The gentle art of flip flopping

Posted: May 20, 2008 in John McCain, politicians
Tags: , , , , , , ,

A “flip-flop” (used mostly in the United States) or a U-turn (used in the United Kingdom) is a sudden real or apparent change of policy or opinion, while trying to claim that both positions are consistent with each other. Usually it will occur during the period prior to an election in order to maximize the candidate’s popularity.
The charge was originally used to attack politicians for making contradictory election policies, while denying the self-contradiction.
Example 1: “Candidate A, after finding out that weapons of mass destruction won’t likely be found in Iraq, flip-flopped to keep Candidate B from using his previous stance against him.”
Example 2: “During his previous campaign, Candidate B promised to regulate the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide as a pollutant, but declined to do so after taking office. Candidate A could now cite this as a flip-flop.”
The charge has more recently been used to attack politicians and in some cases other public figures for any change of policy for any reason whatsoever, including new information becoming available or a change in circumstances. Such changes in policy are considered evidence of a lack of political conviction.
Example 3: “C opposed the treaty on greenhouse gas emissions but has since changed his mind”. An opponent of C might describe this as a ‘flip-flop’ while C might claim that both positions were based on his interpretation of evidence at the time.

Maybe it’s time for standardized testing.

This video would appear to be the definition of either “flip flopper” or “dumbass”, your choice.


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