Monday, February 13, 2012

Can politicians change their minds?


During the Republican primary race, Mitt Romney has been maligned by conservatives for his flip-flopping on several positions.  In particular, his switch from pro-choice to pro-life has generated much discussion as to whether or not he is a true conservative.  It is likely, as we have discussed, that Romney is trying to appease Republican voters by adopting more right-wing views.  I think, however, that this issue raises a larger question: should politicians be chastised for changing their political views?  Like any other citizen, shouldn't a politician be allowed to reformulate his or her own beliefs?  Maintaining a steadfast allegiance to your initial ideology may seem honorable to voters, but don't we want public officials who are willing to reconsider crucial political issues and adjust their priorities accordingly?  Flexibility, accompanied by intelligent decision-making and rational choices, should be considered a positive trait.  (I should note that I don't believe Romney is engaging in this positive flexibility; his reversal on abortion caused me think about whether changing one's political beliefs should always be condemned.)

Attached is a New York Times article about Romney's history on abortion.

4 comments:

Cris said...

Nick, I agree with you when you say that politicians should be allowed to change their beliefs just like the rest of us. The problem I have, though, is that on an issue as controversial as abortion, it is hard for me to see someone flip like that. Especially with abortion, I feel like you fundamentally believe in one stance or the other and that there's really no in between there. For me, this flip-flop in position makes me very skeptical of just how much Romney is relying on appeasing the voters rather than taking his own persepctive on salient issues.

Dylan Wulderk said...

I'm pretty sure this won't count for "thoughtful" comments, but Nick, how'd you get the title of the post to link to an article? I've been trying to do this but apparently I'm missing something. I feel like a moron.

Dylan Wulderk said...

Also, I agree.

Nick Solano said...

Sorry for the late response, Dylan. When you make a new post, there is a box for a link underneath the title box. That should do it.