Consistency is important to me, but so is a willingness to reverse a decision once new information is learned which wasn’t available before.
How this looks in practice:
After careful thought and review of ALL available information, a decision is made and direction initiated. New information is evaluated as to whether it supports and counters this decision.
If new info counters the decision, you don’t immediately change your mind, but instead spend sufficient time to comb all new and past info to understand if the truth lies in the original decision, or if a minor tweak or full reversal is required. Be mature enough to change your mind if needed. This is educated growth and maturation, not flip-flopping.
Flip-flopping, or inconsistency, describes a person who often returns to a previous decision, and might even reverse again. This suggests careless thinking or the mind of a chameleon.
Chameleons are not good leaders. Good leaders thoughtfully grow with new information and don’t change their minds often. If you mostly agreed with them when you voted for them, they’ll likely change their minds and make new decisions consistent with how you’d likely grow if you’re not closed-minded.
2004 Election and Now
In the 2004 Presidential race, opponents labeled John Kerry as a flip-flopper by providing evidence he changed his mind from 20-30 years ago, and provided little evidence he changed his mind on major issues over the campaign season. They used bumper-sticker sound bites against him as though that’s all the reasoning a President must use to make worldly decisions. However, a President must make some changes or adjustments to remain relevant in a changing world, and a new President will certainly make some changes after entering office based on information only available once in office. This is not flip-flopping; it demonstrates educated confidence based on available facts and the best derivative information from a country’s top experts.
Our Current Presidential Campaign Season
Through our current Presidential race, I hope our electorate bases their voting decisions on issues relevant to our current population and environment and not on some man’s 1,500 year-old writings of his interpretations of another man’s beliefs from another 500 years before that. Consistency over a 2k year period is a bit ridiculous considering this world is nothing like it was then. Even if the world’s churches changed their minds on certain attitudes, it would not be flip-flopping or inconsistent.
Is it relevant today to say sex is only for procreation and never for pleasure? No. Having multiple wives and 50 children are not required for today’s man to ensure his mark on the survivability of mankind. Most couples have only 1-3 children, and I find it hard to believe many happily married couples stop all sex after they have the last child they want or when they want a year or more between children. Also, I challenge anyone to find 5 honest people among their surrounding population who’ll profess they’ve never had sex for pleasure unless they suffered genital mutilation. Additionally, if you could return to 2k years ago, I doubt you could find a majority who didn’t enjoy sex for pleasure.
Is it blasphemous to not praise Jesus Christ? Only if it is correct to kill American and NATO soldiers for accidentally burning copies of the Quran while cleaning out a building. This is where consistency is important. If you’re opposed to countries like Egypt enacting any form of Sharia law, then you have to fight to keep Christian law out of American law as well.
Is it okay to gun down a physician outside an abortion clinic in the name of saving unborn fertilized eggs and fetuses? Only if it is correct for condemning God for all the babies he let die in miscarriages and eggs which never attached. It is not consistent to say you’re pro-life, then go kill someone. In the modern day, we can all agree that murder is wrong and almost nobody wants that done to them. However, many of us disagree on the religion and spirituality of life and when life begins. You can’t force your religion and spirituality on others just because you think your god tells you it’s right. What if their god tells them you’re wrong?
Is it okay to tell someone who they can or cannot love? Only if you believe it is and has always been right to ban inter-racial marriages and if you accept my decision on who you’re allowed to marry.