|Sen.Bernie Sanders and former Sec. of State Hillary Clinton|
Voters need to distinguish between flip-flopping, which is bad, and evolving, which can be good or bad, depending upon how a candidate has evolved and what the candidate’s position is now. It is perfectly appropriate for a candidate to change his or her position as circumstances change. What reasonable person has not been willing to change his or her mind on the basis of new information?
The question is not where a candidate stood on a given issue “back then,” but where he or she stands now, and why. The question is not when a candidate made up her or his mind on a given issue, but how and why one has come to believe what one believes now. What were the circumstances that influenced his or her decision?
The candidates have a right to ask each other why they changed their minds, when that is the case, but they should stop criticizing each other for doing so, unless they disagree with where their opponent stands now.
Neither Senator Sanders nor Secretary Clinton is a flip-flopper, but the positions of each of them on certain issues have evolved. Good for them. They now agree idealistically on many if not most issues. Again, good for them! They disagree less about what is idealistically desirable than they do about what is pragmatically possible. So now we need to hear a really substantive debate on how they expect to achieve and pay for their respective goals.