Monday, February 13, 2012
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.