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Hillary Clinton recently stated she supports changing the status of veterans who were dishonorably discharged because they were gay or lesbian. They should be retroactively changed to having an honorable discharge, she said.  I agree with her.

Clinton also said she's "just getting warmed up" when it comes to LGBT rights.  "I see the injustices and the dangers that you and your families still face," she said.  "I'm running for president to stand up for the fundamental rights of LGBT Americans."

She was immediately excoriated, shredded, and bloodied by all kinds of people.  Why?  Because she had changed her mind. Even the news article that reported the above stated, "The statement marked a remarkable evolution for Clinton, who opposed same-sex marriage for more than two decades in public life as first lady, senator and presidential candidate. As recently as this year, Clinton said that while she personally supported gay marriage, the issue was best left for states to decide —a position held by most of the Republican presidential field."

It didn't matter that her new opinion was better and more compassionate than her previous one.  It didn't matter that her new opinion would potentially make life better for millions of Americans and their families.  It didn't matter that this was the right thing to do.  All that mattered was that she had dared to change her mind.  The horror!

Why is it we've decided that politicians are never allowed to change their minds?  As a society, we seem to be saying that once politicians have stated an opinion, it's cold-chiseled in granite on their tombstones.  Changing their minds shows weakness!  It shows bad character!  Or worse--lying!  They aren't stating these new opinions out of conviction--they're just saying what they think we want to hear to get votes!

This is the height of idiocy.

We non-politicians change our minds all the time.  We discover new information and realize we were wrong before.  We get older, and decide the opinions we held when we were young were foolish.  We get to know a member of a group and decide "those people" aren't so bad after all.

Politicians go through the same thing.  They learn something new.  They get exposed to new people.  They grow older--or even grow up.  Their opinions change.  This is a good thing!

Refusing to change our opinions ever shows an inability to think about ourselves.  It shows a lack of empathy, and a lack of critical thinking skills.  No, not every opinion is or should be subject to change, but all opinions should be subject to examination.  And no one should ever, EVER be afraid to change his or her mind.

For a famous example, we need only look to our own Founding Fathers.  When they were weaving the Constitution, James Madison was adamantly opposed to including any method for removing the President from office.  A President was duly elected and must be allowed to serve out his office, no matter what he did, Madison stoutly maintained.

Benjamin Franklin spoke up.  "If that is the case, then there will be only one method for the people to remove a bad President from office."

"And what is that?" Madison asked.

Franklin replied, "Assassination."

Madison thought for a moment, then said,  "I have changed my opinion."

I congratulate and applaud Hillary Clinton for her support of LGBT veterans and citizens, and I am thrilled that she has changed her mind from the damaging opinion she held on the matter five years ago.  Good for her, and may other politicians follow her example!

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
khavrinen
Oct. 10th, 2015 02:07 pm (UTC)
Although I am in total agreement about how politicians should be willing and able to change their positions, I think I understand at least one reason why people get their hackles up about it. If you voted for someone who is theoretically working to represent you, having them change their opinion on an issue that was important to you couldn't help but feel like at least a little bit of a betrayal.
realmjit
Oct. 12th, 2015 10:47 pm (UTC)
I strongly suspect Madame Clinton will be vilified by the masses because her main reproductive organ is an inny, not an outy.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
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