Gregory G. H. Rihn (milwaukeesfs) wrote,
Gregory G. H. Rihn

Stealing Liberalism

One of the most pernicious ideas to enter political discourse in modern times has been the allegation that anyone who ever changes his mind on any issue is a "waffler" and lacks character and conviction. We are lead to believe by some politicians, essentially, that everything they need to know they learned in kindergarten, and they haven't been required to change their minds since entering adult life. This is supposed to be good thing. I disagree. I much prefer to have persons in office who can be persuaded. Such people have enough confidence in themselves to be able to admit that they might have been wrong, or that someone else's idea might work better with the facts and applicable principles. Senator Kerry, for example, has been in the Senate long enough for various issues to come around more than once and to be re-examined in different lights, according to conditions that prevailed at that time. It is no shame to have examined different evidence and to have come to different conclusions.

On the other hand, Mr. Bush argues that he is "steady," and so he is-steady as rock, about as flexible, and about as sensitive. And when he gets one of his fixed ideas-such as making war on Iraq, or that any tax cut is a good tax cut-he's just like a big rock rolling downhill-just as hard to divert, and just as likely to do damage. I find his persistent refusal to listen to reason and expressed preference not to be bothered with facts the absolute worst facet of his administration and the source of innumerable evils.

The March 13th Milwaukee paper had a good article analyzing John Kerry's decision style. This is the kind of thing I like to envision a President doing, not being so set in his ideas as to not even ask questions.
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