It’s Fun to Flip-Flop

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April 1, 2009 by D Stack

One fairly brief thought here. On this blog and on various message boards/forums I participate in I often get input from people I don’t agree with – sometimes slight disagreements, sometimes biggies. And I like that. Sometimes people have actual caused me to reevaluate positions I’d held – sometimes even strongly held positions. My view on economics and social justice has been pulled sharply “leftward” over the past few years for instance. I’ve had virtual friends convince me that the US invasion of Iraq was a super-bad idea.

In politics this is called flip-flopping To be honest, I like it when I see people – or myself – change their views. Not at the first sign of being challenged. But upon thorough re-examination based on new facts or ideas. That’s why I try to give politicians at least some benefit of the doubt if they change positions, especially if they admit to it and explain their reasoning. Mind you, for every one who does that, you’ll find ten (or more) who slide into new positions for a few votes. One fine example of flip-flopping is George Washington. As a Virgina planter, African slaves were just there in the background. But as he came up north his views were challenged. He saw free blacks as part of his army. He wasn’t too happy about this. And it challenged his worldview. Did he become a saint? No, he remained a slaveowner till the day he died and that is not something praiseworthy. But he began to face up to the evil of what he was a part of. If he sold slaves, he made certain to keep families intact. In his will, he freed his slaves and made certain they were provided for. It is difficult to imagine him doing that if his beliefs were not challenged.

So if you disagree with me and talk with me about it, I hope you’ll find I’m open to being swayed. I won’t always – or even often – change views. Nor easily. And not immediately. But I welcome when new seeds of ideas are planted in my head. How else can we grow if what we believe isn’t challenged? (Though mind you I’ve never found “D00D UR RONG” a good arguement… )

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