I just read an article about the idea of “flip-flopping” in politics. The articles makes the point that this practice isn’t all bad. I would tend to agree with that. In reality, I really dislike the term “flip-flopping”. It unfairly simplifies the issues.
To me, it should be called what it is… changing one’s mind. When politicians change their stand on an issue, there could be purely political reasons behind it, but much of the time, I believe, there are less sinister reasons for it.
For the last 7+ years, we have had an administration which has refused to change its mind, even when presented with new facts which contradict a position. This is an extremely dangerous practice! I’ll not elaborate further, but just throw the opinion out there. Of course, it’s equally dangerous to change one’s position on a whim, solely because the political wind changes.
It seems to me that in this case (as in many others), the best path lies somewhere in between. A good, effective leader, should be concerned with getting as much information as possible on a subject and basing his or her opinion on the available facts. When given contradictory evidence, a truly great leader should have the courage to change his or her mind. I have rarely heard a politician simply say, “I changed my mind.” when charged with flip-flopping. I don’t see what the big deal is. We all do it and we all understand it.
One of the things I’m looking for in the next president is the ability to be thoughtful and decisive, and to also be curageous enough to change his views. When these views are made or changed, I want the next leader to be able to explain to me why he believes his views to be correct and to convince me as well. To me, this is what a great leader should do. Unfortunately, this has been sorely lacking on the national seen here in the US for almost 8 years.
We really do need a change in so many ways.