Tuesday, April 3, 2007

On a thinking person’s prerogative:

Why is it so deadly to change your mind in politics? Don’t we want our public figures to have the ability to learn and grow and for their ideas to evolve with that new knowledge?

Bush is very proud of the fact that he never changes his mind, no matter what the evidence that he’s got it all wrong. Is that something we want to encourage? According to conservative pundits and the media John Kerry is a flip-flopper. Is that really the case or is he someone who can see the necessity of taking different tacks when dealing with complex issues, or of playing a little politics to work within our legislative system as it exists? (Legislators are often accused of flip-flopping when their voting records are scrutinized. The reality is, bills often contain various provisions and lawmakers are often forced to compromise and vote for measures they don’t love in order get others passed.)

Yes, there are those politicians who seem to shift positions with the political winds. It does seem disingenuous when they pretend they haven’t changed their minds, but I submit that they may do that because they fear the political backlash against honesty in this regard. John Kerry was honest about how his stance changed regarding Vietnam and they used it against him.

I would like to point out that our representatives are supposed to do just that—represent their constituents. So if one realizes that her constituents feel strongly about a particular issue, she may consider voting accordingly without being branded weak or a liar. I would like to point out that these people we accuse of playing politics, as if it is a crime, are in fact politicians-- so what can we expect? I would like to point out that changing one’s mind is sometimes the mark of an open-minded, thinking person.

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