John F. Kennedy once said “Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” It’s a beautiful truth of life and oft quoted. And yet we persist in holding our politicians’ feet to the fire if they make a change in their perspective, intentions, or political platform. I understand the need for consistency and the benefit of perseverance – you made the decision to go this route and you follow through. What seems wildly unreasonable to me is that when new information comes to light, or an evolution of need or circumstance, any revised or reversed stance by our candidates and civil servants is outright condemned. It’s condemned by the both the press and the opposing political party.
Change is inevitable. We commit to a plan, try it out, either it works or does not and we move on to the next thing. That’s how life is lived. We live, we learn, we adjust, and so it goes. Why cannot our political system allow for change? It’s a major flaw in the system. Programs that were instituted 20 or 40 years ago may not serve well now. Welfare, health care, public schools, defense and other government systems must adapt and conform to modern requirements and new efficiencies.
If public service is intended to be service to our country, we must insist that all our politicians be open minded students of the world so they may serve us well.