Archive for Thursday, June 17, 2004

Change is OK

June 17, 2004

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To the editor:

Though recent polls, such as the Los Angeles Times' finding that Sen. Kerry is leading President Bush among voters nationwide, are encouraging, I am disturbed by an item that pollsters employ and that misleadingly appears to be a shortcoming of the senator. I ask each of you to consider in November whether it would be so bad to have a president who is "more likely to flip-flop on issues."

In reality, as no capable politician changes positions repeatedly on a particular issue, which the term "flip-flop" connotes, this query regards whether a candidate is willing to publicly change his mind. I ask my students to, and hope that my president will, practice critical thinking for every iteration of each important decision. Is the modern world so utterly predictable that we should expect our president to hold to his or her first impression no matter what contexts and forces transpire in the future? We need look only to the fiasco in Baghdad to observe what happened when the current president stuck to his guns, literally in this case, no matter what developing evidence and logic dictated.

Some may say in response that we cannot afford to project an image of America to the world as a nation that is indecisive or slow to act. I would rejoin that these are the least likely qualities to have led many people around the world to despise us.

Michael Robert Dennis,

Lawrence

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