Many political analysts are calling this year the, “year of the Political Flip-Flop.” Almost every Presidential candidate is using the flip-flop argument against his or her opponents. When will Americans grow tired of this fairly new campaign strategy?
During the last Presidential Election, President George Bush used the flip-flop argument against Senator John Kerry at every opportunity. The goal was to make John Kerry look wish-washy to the American people.
Many studies after the Election found that many of the people that did not vote for John Kerry did so because they believed that he easily flip-flopped from one ideal to another. This was the goal of the Bush Campaign, and it was obviously successful.
The psychological argument is that if someone is told something often enough, he or she will believe it. When Bush pushed this point over and over again, there were many people that began to question Kerry through the power of suggestion.
From a political aspect, people believe that they should not be comfortable with someone who flip-flops on issues. They believe that the President should stand firm on all beliefs.
What people do not realize is that all politicians are flip-floppers at some point during their career. Either they realize that they are wrong in their judgment, and flip to the other side, or they realize that their constituency wants something else.
One of the things that makes a successful politician is realizing that errors can be made in judgment, and that it might be time to change a stance or two. This constant evaluation and reevaluation makes the politician stronger, not weaker.
Currently, almost every politician is making flip-flop arguments against each other. Obama has flip-flopped on healthcare. Clinton has flip-flopped on the war vote. Romney has flip-flopped between being a liberal and a conservative. Giuliani has flip-flopped on abortion rights. Edwards has flip-flopped on nuclear waste removal and storage.
All of the politicians are trying to point out that the others in the Election have flip-flopped on terrorism and the Patriot Act. Everyone is guilty of making complete changes on one issue or another.
Eventually, this argument is going to burn itself out. It will get to the point where Americans will not know who to believe about flip-flopping, and will start to backlash against those who use the argument. There are many that remember the Bush strategy, and wish that the current candidates would distance themselves from the argument.
What is funny is that the Nation is full of flip-floppers when it comes to political issues. Many people supported the War in Iraq, and now most do not. Most people believed that the Patriot Act was a needed step. Now many people do not understand why they supported the Patriot Act in the first place.
There are many other issues that cause everyday Americans to change their minds on issues like abortion, the death penalty, euthanasia, crime prevention, healthcare, and foreign policy. If a person is not good for the Presidency since they flip-flop during their career, does that mean that we should not have the right to vote for a President since we flip-flop as well?