I would hate to think that life has taught me nothing at all. To hold on to the same views that I had as a child would mean that experience was not my teacher, that I had not matured, that I had not grown. In other words, that I am static.
Consequently, I am amazed that we expect our politicians to never change their minds. What they said to the contrary twenty years ago is thrown in their face whenever they make some new announcement. The media dig up some old speech back in kindergarten days and accuse the politician of being erratic, unreliable, and insincere.
All these are possibilities, of course. I am certain that no politician can be really and truly sincere. He’s in the game of politics, after all. He will say whatever he has to say to get elected and then he will continue to do and say whatever is necessary to remain in power. We may be wary of a politician who chops and changes his view constantly but that doesn’t mean that he can never ever do so.
But, if he goes out on a limb and actually admits he has changed his mind then he is accused of betrayal. Now that is plain stupid.
We as human beings, have been given a mind so that we can learn and think and act. If we have to adhere to the same opinions all our lives, then there is no point to education. Learning something new would consequently become a threat, since it would cause us to behave differently and according to the media this is a no-no.
Even though I don’t agree with him on this particular subject, Tony Abbott is now being pilloried because he supports paid parental leave. He didn’t eight years ago. He now admits he has changed his mind on the subject.
He didn’t come down from the mountain with his views carved in stone. Criticise him for what he announces now, right now, but not because his views have changed. He is not a statue, he is a living and developing human being and he should be allowed to admit that life has taught him something new.
That is not a crime, even though the media would like us to think it is.