Saturday, August 02, 2008

I am a flip-flopper

I find myself absolutely fascinated by the national pre-occupation with "flip-floppers". The media will carefully track everything a candidate says and any indication that there has been a change in his or her view of an issue will trigger a flurry of articles, interviews, and condemnations.  Furthermore, the public seems to have bought into this activity - I hear it every day:  "I can't trust him - he's a flip-flopper!"

To me the idea that changing your mind is a sign of weakness or something that should be scorned is completely bizarre. Should you hold fast to your idea or opinion when presented with evidence or a good argument to the contrary?

Consider that a few years back our president was presented with evidence that there was no real threat from Saddam Hussein, no weapons of mass destruction, and no tie between Irag and Al-Qaeda. Yet, he stood fast to his idea and refused to "flip-flop". Still think "flip-flopping" is wrong?

To be clear, in a lot of instances, I find myself not agreeing with the change of view.  However, I don't think I can condemn someone for the process of changing their minds or consider them weaker or less trustworthy for doing so.  They are entitled to change their opinion, and I am entitled to disagree with their new stance.  

Further, I am not condoning changing your stance solely for political reasons.  I am not completely naive!  What I am focusing on here is the process of evolving a new opinion based on facts or arguments.  I believe it is this latter process that is getting grouped into the "flip-flopping" category.  That simply should not be the case, especially in a democratic society.  

So, for the record and in the interest of full disclosure, I would like to proclaim myself a proud "flip-flopper". I change my mind almost on a daily basis! Whether I'm at work, watching the news, reading the newspaper, or reading a good book - when presented with a compelling reason to change my point of view, I generally do.


John Q. Entrepreneur said...

Great points. It reminds me of the crazy behavior I see when watching "The Apprentice". Someone with an okay idea that isn't working stubbornly refusing to change their mind in the face of overwhelming evidence. FYI, those folks always lose. If only the real world were so simple!

Shaun Connolly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shaun Connolly said...

I posted "My Friend Jon - The Flip-Flopper" in response to your inaugural, thought-provoking first post.

Greg Pavlik said...

I can honestly say that presented with good evidence, over the last 10 years, I have never once seen you change your mind. In fact, I've heard you called "The W of Development"...

Seriously, nice to see you back with a new blog.