When a fish flip flops, everyone agrees that it is just as it should be. It is definitive proof that the animal is alive and ever adjusting to its changed circumstances. The flopping fish has generally become a “fish out of water.” It continues to thrash about trying new things and seeking the comfort of being back where they belong, with the other fish who love them. Unfortunately, a really big fish can rarely go back in time and continue to look at the world in the same way. There is a world of difference between a lake and a dock.
There is a world of difference between the harsh realities of political life and the idealized Washington created from a soap box/stump mentality where the candidates authoritatively proclaim that they have all the answers.
Sometimes a representative will change their position on an issue. That change could be driven by political realities or a better understanding gained by listening to and evaluating an opposing viewpoint. Other times, the change could be based on a better understanding of the facts because of an increased access to information as an office holder. As long as we continue to malign that willingness to reconsider, all the political debating is absolutely an exercise in futility.
In this system where compromise is ridiculed, how can we ever hope to move forward? If an issue is worthy of debate, should we not expect some of those listening to change their minds? If not, then our representatives are simply speaking to hear themselves. It is difficult to imagine how we can consider a reversal of a previously held belief to be a common character flaw of a liar.
In this political environment, flip-flopping is political suicide. However, there are still some Americans who actually respect a representative who is open-minded and brave enough to actually independently consider an issue. Furthermore, there are even more Americans disgusted with the one opinion for all mentality rampant in Washington today.
Let our representatives “flip-flop” just like a fish: at least we’ll know they are alive and fighting to change their environment.