Thus far in the Republican race for the presidential nomination, “flip flops” have been talked about so often that I bet the shoe industry is salivating over the free publicity.
I have no issue with the fact that the candidates’ change of position is being brought up; I take issue with the fact that they are not mentioning how much time has passed. Why is that important? I believe its importance comes in determining whether it is a political flip flop, or a natural evolution of Ideas.
In 2002, Mitt Romney (third cousin once removed of the author) was elected governor in Massachusetts. During that time, he ran for office stating he would not change the state’s laws as it applies to abortion. In 2005, a bill came before then-Gov. Romney that would expand access to emergency contraception in hospitals and pharmacies.
Romney has stated that he began researching both medically, emotionally and spiritually the pros and cons of the abortion issue. He came to a conclusion, stating he simply could not do it. He vetoed that bill. On December 19, 2011, he again stated that his position on abortion was a big mistake.
Romney made this decision, and voted against the establishment in his state because of what he described as a better understanding of the issues, that progressed over a three-year span.
On December 22, 2011, Romney stated this at a New Hampshire event: “There’s no question that over the experience of a lifetime my views on some things have changed — not as many as my opponents might suggest, but in some places they have changed, and I’ll acknowledge that.”
“Having had the experience of living in the private sector, I’ve found more than once that I’d been wrong … and in the private sector, if you don’t recognize if you’re wrong, and you keep sticking to a decision that you had before you had all the data that you get later in your experience, why, they call you stubborn. With time, you’d be likely to lose your job, and so you learn as you moved along.”
On March 7, 2011, Newt Gingrich stated in a television interview, On the Record with Greta Van Susteren, in regard to the Libyan conflict, “Exercise a no-fly zone this evening ... We don’t need to have the United Nations. All we have to say is that we think that slaughtering your own citizens is unacceptable, and that we’re intervening.”
Shortly after that, the A coalition led by the U.S. (from the rear) enforced a no-fly zone over Libya.
On March 23, 2011, Gingrich stated on another television interview, The Today Show, “… I would not have intervened. I think there were a lot of other ways to affect Gaddafi ...”
This “better understanding of the issue” occurred in 20 days.
We have all made decisions that have caused us to change our mind, our jobs, and, in some cases, our spouses. Just keep in mind as the “flip flop” gets tossed around, was it a three-year change of heart, or a span of 20 days?
T.S. Romney currently lives on a road halfway between Zion and Purgatory. He is the published author of The Little Star Story, and the series Legend of The Bully Slayer, set to be released in February 2012.