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As I See It

When politicians change their minds, should we believe them?



We all have the right to change our minds. Chances are you don’t feel exactly the same about any number of issues as you did when you were younger. Some would suggest that is a sign of personal growth, that no matter how entrenched your views you allow your mind to be changed when new information comes to light. It would be viewed as dim-witted if someone clings to a belief despite new evidence to the contrary. But with politicians it can be trickier. A politician or political candidate who says one thing on an issue but then changes their stance can be seen as a flip-flopper, or someone who can be too easily swayed. Former presidential candidate John Kerry didn’t do himself any favors when caught in a controversy over funding for the war in Iraq. He tried to explain his changing position by saying “I was for it before I was against it.” Now, Wisconsin gubernatorial candidate Tim Michels is apparently changing his position on the issue of abortion. Michels has long been a staunch advocate for strict abortion laws. As recently as this month he said he agrees our laws should not make exceptions for case of rape or incest. Now he is changing that position, saying that if were to be elected Governor, he would sign an abortion law that contained exceptions for cases of rape or incest. His opponents say he is trying to “hide his radical agenda.” Is this a case of political convenience, or a spiritual awakening? That is one more thing Wisconsin voters will have to decide in November.

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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