Nov 19, 2011

Political Purity, Flip Flopping, and Changing Positions

Abigail and Dolley readers, I have been a busy girl.  Since declaring myself a supporter of Newt Gingrich, I have become a social media warrior for the cause.  Much of my creative energy, writing, and talents have been given to persuading my fellow conservatives to join me.  I believe I have been moderately successful in this endeavor.  None the less, my sweet little blog has been terribly neglected and I shutter think what my once so important Google Analytics would tell me if I had the heart to look!  I will strive to do better.

Now, on to the subject of the day:  the consideration of political purity, changing positions, and flip flopping, all of which are playing a part in this primary season.  Many will hold up their esteemed candidates and declare ideological purity.  They claim that purity to cause and ideals must trump governmental compromise.  They proudly proclaim that their candidate never strays from absolute purity.  They fail to recognize that purity and inflexibility in our form of governance translates to ineffective and non-existent leadership.  Purity of purpose leaves no room to actually accomplish the things we elect leaders to do.  The purists do not seem to understand that even the Founding Fathers had to compromise, flex, and sacrifice some of their beliefs to actually get things done.  The case in point, the northern delegates that were against slavery.  If they followed in the "Purity" model, they would have never compromised and then where would we be?  I guess speaking with English accents...

Then we have the flip floppers.  These are the political animals that hold no position or conviction other than the ones help by whatever audience they are addressing at the time.  They stand for everything and hence stand for nothing.  The flip flopper does not hold a firmly held conviction and it is said that a double minded man is unstable in all of his ways.  The flip flopper is the lukewarm drink of water that voters spit out of their mouths in disgust.  These political opportunists are interested only in power and position.  They care for nothing except their own personal aggrandizement and as such must be rejected completely.

Thus, we are left with the Position Changer.  This is the politician who once believed, spoke, or campaigned for an issue and has since changed their mind.  The purists rail against this claiming that the perfect candidate would never do such a thing.  The flip floppers gladly post videos showing the perceived flip flop and accuse the Position Changer of being a pot calling the kettle black, yet therein lies the rub.  People change.  People grow and learn, adapt and study, they take some ideas and strengthen them and they take others and say, "No, upon further review I don't believe that anymore."  Contrary to showing weakness, those who can grow and learn from their past positions show an emotional and intellectual growth that the purist lacks and the flip flopper will never know.

Given the choice between the three, I will take the position changer because at least they have thought about it.  They have studied it and examined it and researched it - whatever that may be.  Typically they have the intellectual honesty to say that in the past they were wrong, they made a mistake, and here is why they now believe as they do. The position changer is also in the unique position to engage with others who believe as they used to about and issue and come to a solution that solves the problem and moves the country forward.  That my friends is what we elect them to do in the first place.