Monday, July 16, 2012

The "Here's Why I'm Saying Something Different Now" Speech

I don't see this as likely to become a trend, but I'd love to see a habit of politicians giving either speeches or substantial articles explaining why they have a different position.

The first part would explicitly acknowledging that they had a particular position in the past and now have a different position.  Ideally they would even break down the particular changes.

The second part would explain why they changed their minds.  They would not only justify their current positions, but also demonstrate that their current position is better than the previous one.

This would server several purposes.  Most obviously, it would reduce the claims that an individual is a spineless flip-flopper who is easily pushed around or who changes to suit the political climate.  I wouldn't eliminate the accusations or the incidents, but it would help.  It would also have the effect of forcing politicians to create explicit positions rather than merely talking in vague terms and hoping no one remembers what they said last week.  In terms of creating rational policies, it would have the effect of making them justify their current positions in a logical manner.  Ideally it might even make each policy position an improvement over the previous one.  With this format, they could cite new evidence as justification, without needing to compromise their values or change their perspective.

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