What's Wrong With Flip-Flops?
By Al Trellis
Home Builders Network
The news is filled today with candidates claiming that their opponent is a flipflopper. Political pundits use and reuse this phrase to lambaste elected officials who they believe have wandered off the reservation of political consistency. Upstarts who dare to change their mind, their opinion, or, perish the thought, their beliefs. Yet what do we call someone who faced with new truths, new evidence or new facts refuses to modify their position? Unrealistic? Unrepentant?
For a society that claims to embrace progress, and therefore change, we seem incorrigibly wedded to our preconceived notions of particular human virtues. Why stay the course if we realize that the original strategy was erroneous? Why praise immovable consistency in an inconsistent and often irrational world? A person who constantly searches for the truth must often face the reality of new circumstances and conditions. Even core beliefs must be able to withstand constant scrutiny and evaluation. Failing to reaffirm the underlying truths of such beliefs is intellectually dishonest. Any ideology or value system worth believing in must be capable of enduring periodic evaluation and assessment.
It is not people who justifiably change their minds that we must fear. The truly dangerous people are those unwilling or incapable of changing regardless of new circumstances, and those who change for the wrong reasons. Flopping to curry favor, avoid difficult decisions or steer clear of unpopular positions is all too common today. But before you label someone as indecisive or wishy-washy, ask the key question; was their position shift logical and appropriate for a changed situation? And if the answer is yes, that someone is not a flip flopper. He or she is a realist, a pragmatist adapting to the ever changing environment of a capricious world. And overall, that’s a good thing!