On Flip-flopping

This just in: politicians change their minds.

However, it seems they can never do so without being accused of "flip-flopping". This negative term is poison and should be banned from political journalism. The journalist is obviously trying to paint the politician as indecisive or implying that the politician is lacking something for having taken two contradictory positions on an issue. But the truth is, "flip-flopping" is weasel-speak for "changing your mind". And guess what? Changing your mind is what rational people do when confronted with new information that invalidates your previous position.

It's very simple: based on the information you have, you adopt a position on a topic. Say, asbestos. Originally people thought it was a good thing, since it is a very effective fire retardant. People said "Asbestos is Good". Then people learned that it caused cancer. If a politician had been pushing for the adoption of asbestos, and then changed his mind once he learned it caused cancer, he'd be accused of flip-flopping. Never mind that only a moron wouldn't change his mind in this case, when you're a politician you're damned if you do, and damned if you don't.

To all journalists: Please ban the phrase "flip-flops". It is loaded and unnecessarily biased. I promise I won't proclaim "Journalists flip-flop on using the phrase 'flip-flop'".

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