I recently became fed up with the media reports about the presidential candidates and their “flip-flopping” on various issues. For the rest of us, changing our mind is often described as learning, or even considering a matter more deeply.
For politicians, we have made it a sign of weakness, weak-mindedness, or craven pursuit of political advantage. Don’t get me wrong. Sometimes a politician’s change of position is due to those considerations. But let’s talk about what the positions are, not the “gotcha” politics of hunting down inconsistent statements. Was Lincoln a less credible advocate of emancipation because he previously didn’t support it?