Flipping, Flopping OK by Me

Kelly Pien, News Editor

The media makes a huge fuss whenever a political candidate changes their position on an issue. For example, presidential hopefuls Hillary Clinton and Scott Walker have recently been accused of “flip-flopping” on weighty topics like illegal immigration.

I’m glad I’m not running for president.

I change my mind frequently, albeit on topics that have zero impact on one of the most powerful countries in the world. I decide to take a certain class, and then change to a different one a month later. I say I dislike being tethered to others via social media all the time, then realize that I need to stay in the loop and start texting. I write a 700-word long treatise on why I have a moral issue with wearing makeup, but then wear makeup to prom.

In middle school I was terrible at debating. I would realize in the middle of debates that some of my points didn’t make sense, and that my opponents’ points were more logical. Of course, since the purpose of debating is to prove your side is correct and blast through the other side’s arguments, judges weren’t too impressed when I stopped arguing for my own assertion.

If I were running for president, the media would kick me and my flip-flopping around like a hacky sack.

It’s not that I’m a hypocrite. I actually do change my mind as fast as a girl changes clothes (another example of my indecisiveness: I previously swore I would never quote Katy Perry). Once I change my mind, I don’t change it again until new evidence proves otherwise.

I’m still relatively young and can’t hope to know everything about everything. My views change when I interact with new people who have different viewpoints and I learn about things that shed new light on an issue.

Case in point: I decided this winter that, although I disliked the idea of texting, it would ultimately do me more good than harm to get an app on my iPod that would allow me to text.

My cell phone is about a third of the size of an iPhone 6 and almost as old as the freshmen. It is a mini shrine to long-gone advances in technology, like antennas and the phone service provider Cingular. My phone also has the technological capabilities of a brick. Even if I didn’t have a prepaid phone plan that does not allow me to do anything on my brick -I mean phone- other than call, it is nearly impossible for me to text properly on my phone because of the tiny keypad. Connecting to the internet is something I can’t even dream about.

That being said, the introvert in me liked being unreachable at times. I didn’t always want to hear about someone’s new pet iguana and have to respond with the requisite “<3”.

Slowly though, parents, friends, and classmates helped me realize that not being able to text was a hindrance. I had trouble contacting people about important stuff, and people had trouble contacting me.

I understand why we have a tendency to label people who flip-flop, especially politicians, as unscrupulous. If everyone frequently abandoned their stances on issues, politicians would simply pander to whatever trend of thought happened to be most popular among the people at the time. People would try to do what is popular rather than what they think is right, and the inconsistency police wouldn’t stop them. And I admire people who can, from the start, correctly choose the side to believe in and then never have to change their position.

But I believe it’s okay to change your mind on a topic when you realize your current stance isn’t right.

Don’t we want a person in a powerful position like the presidency who has an open mind, is willing to listen to new information, and if reasonable, change their position?