"When I'm wrong, I say I'm wrong." - Jerry Orbach as Dr. Jake Houseman in Dirty Dancing
Yesterday in this space, I came to the realization that a point-of-view I had previously held was wrong. In looking at similar situations, from different sides, I concluded that a position I had taken in the past was not how I feel about the situation today. New evidence convinced me to change my mind on a matter of public policy.
Some might call it "flip-flopping" - others might call it "growth." To me, flip-flopping is going back-and-forth between positions multiple times, based on the audience, with no explanation of how one could support opposing ideas. Growth is a gradual process of discovery, analysis, and adaptation. Growth is good.
There's a psychological term for adults who refuse to grow up; The Peter Pan Syndrome. About the only thing behavior worse for a public servant to exhibit than flip-flopping would be the refusal to grow and adapt ones views, even in the face of overwhelming evidence of the failure of those views. Enter George W. Bush.
Of course, over the past five years, we've seen much evidence of this. There's been the refusals to accept that Saddam had nothing to do with 9/11, the refusal to accept the evidence that there were no WMD's in Iraq capable of threatening the U.S., the refusal to understand that by occupying a country against their will we might anger a few of the residents of that country.
The latest, glaring evidence of Bush's inability to learn from his own mistakes is his refusal to admit that his policy toward North Korea has failed. The world today is a more dangerous place, thanks to the president's steadfast refusal to return to the one-on-one talks that had started show some progress under President Clinton.
Now, some of you smart-ass conservatives who've stumbled across this blog are about to hit the comment button and write something like, "Yeah, but North Korea bought some of the nuclear technology that allowed this to happen while Clinton was in office." True, but who did they buy it from? A company that included Donald Rumsfeld on its board of directors at the time of the sale!
Not that Rumsfeld has ever made any mistakes that he should have learned from.
Tags: mistakes, growth, Peter Pan Syndrome, Bush, Rumsfeld, North Korea