Mitt Romney has been criticised for not being a "conviction" politician, for having modified his views on a number of topics such as abortion and health care. He has been labelled an "Etch-a-Sketch" politician.
Is it truly a crime to modify one's views? John Maynard Keynes once said, "When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?" Is it not, in fact, a virtue to be willing to change one's opinions over time? Is that not a natural part of human growth and maturity?
Nietszhce, wrote that, "Convictions are greater enemies of truth than lies." Is it not possible to have an excess of conviction? Is it not a weakness to persist in beliefs that merit scepticism? The great Irish poet. W.B. Yeats wrote,
"The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity."
Timothy McVeigh was a man of unshakeable conviction. Norway's Behring Breivik is full of a passionate intensity and a major loon to boot.Churchill did far more than change opinions, he changed his parties twice in the course of his political career yet we do not despise him for doing so. Ronald Reagan was an FDR Democrat and the President of the Screen Actors Guild before becoming a Republican. The trajectory of each man's political career was in a direction away from increased state control over the the lives of individuals.
The natural trajectory of the evolution of political thought follows the same pattern as the reading of an English sentence -- we proceed from left to right. Clemenceau said that, "Not to be a socialist at twenty is proof of want of heart; to be one at thirty is proof of want of head." George Orwell developed from an anti-imperialist leftist who fought alongside communists in the tragic Spanish civil war to the greatest opponent of Stalin, communism and all forms of totalitarianism. More recently the English socialist Christopher Hitchens went from bashing Reagan in the 1980's to supporting the Bush-Cheney ticket in 2004. A neo-conservative is, as the saying goes, "a liberal who got mugged." Life's little realities (mortgage, taxes, crime) tend to erode the idealism of youth. We call this phenomenon "maturity," "growth", or the "gaining of wisdom".
It is the grimly consistent Ron Paul whose ideas betray a stubborn streak of pure idiocy. Emerson in his essay Self-Reliance wrote, "A foolish Consistency is the hobgoblins of little minds, adored by little statesmen, philosophers, and divines. With consistency, a great soul simply has nothing to do." Let us not be overly afraid of inconsistency and course corrections. Walt Whitman in Leaves of Grass wrote, "Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes."
Moreover, Romney clearly does have convictions in areas where it really counts. He has clearly had a "conviction" with regard to Ann, just as Winston had for Clemmie, and, to be fair, Barack has for Michelle. Moreover, Romney has also had a consistent record of support for business, private enterprise and a free economy.
Today, on June 1, 2012, US Unemployment ticked up to 8.2% while the Dow Industrials lost 274.88 points turning negative for the year-to-date.
Winston Churchill offered the following definition, "A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject."
Do we want a fanatic in the White House or would prefer someone who has experience making a payroll and creating jobs like Mitt?
Commander Kelly would take an "Etch-a-Sketch" over the current "fail" who occupies the White House now.
Commander Kelly is also happy to welcome former congressman Artur Davis to the big tent! http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2012/05/30/former-rep-artur-davis-switches-to-gop/?mod=google_news_blog