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Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations. 1989.

AUTHOR: Sidney Justin Harris (1917–86)
QUOTATION: An idealist believes the short run doesn’t count. A cynic believes the long run doesn’t matter. A realist believes that what is done or left undone in the short run determines the long run.
ATTRIBUTION: SIDNEY J. HARRIS, in his column “Thoughts at Large,” for the Chicago Sun-Times. Reprinted in Ann Landers’s column, The Washington Post, November 12, 1979, p. B7.
SUBJECTS: Idealists