I changed my opinion and outlook on different subjects throughout my life and I would not necessarily call it “flip flopping”. A change of mind comes with knowledge and education or just simply, because we grow older and that’s a good thing. Imagine we all would keep the opinions and believes we had in our teenage years? Gruesome idea!
However, flip flopping on subjects is often practiced by politicians or wanna-be leaders, who are afraid to lose votes and voters.
A very good example is the unforgettable “Whiskey Speech” and I would like to share it with all of you today, it’s one of my all-time favorites.
In 1952, Noah S. Sweat, Jr., a member of the Texas House of Representatives, was asked about his position on whiskey. Back then, the legalization of whiskey and other liquors was a topic of spirited debate in the Legislature. While the Senate had passed legislation for local option for legalized liquor sales, the House had not moved the legislation along. Not only were there moral objections to the sale of whiskey, but state legislators, and perhaps Gov. Hugh White as well, feared the loss of tax revenue from “black market” liquor sales which the state collected. On Friday, April 4, 1952, Rep. Noah S. “Soggy” Sweat, still just 28 years old and in his final year as a legislator, was invited to give a speech on the subject at a banquet for legislators and other state elected officials and their wives. Sweat, it seems, had let it be known that he had been working on a “universal approach” on the liquor question. The following speech was delivered that night at the King Edward Hotel in Jackson:
What follows is his exact answer (taken from the Political Archives of Texas):
My friends, I had not intended to discuss this controversial subject at this particular time. However, I want you to know that I do not shun controversy. On the contrary, I will take a stand on any issue at any time, regardless of how fraught with controversy it might be. You have asked me how I feel about whiskey. All right, this is how I feel about whiskey:
“If you mean whiskey, the devil’s brew, the poison scourge, the bloody monster that defiles innocence, dethrones reason, destroys the home, creates misery and poverty, yea, literally takes the bread from the mouths of little children; if you mean that evil drink that topples Christian men and women from the pinnacles of righteous and gracious living into the bottomless pit of degradation, shame, despair, helplessness, and hopelessness, then, my friend, I am opposed to it with every fiber of my being.
“However, if by whiskey you mean the lubricant of conversation, the philosophic juice, the elixir of life, the liquid that is consumed when good fellows get together, that puts a song in their hearts and the warm glow of contentment in their eyes; if you mean Christmas cheer, the stimulating sip that puts a little spring in the step of an elderly gentleman on a frosty morning; if you mean that drink that enables man to magnify his joy, and to forget life’s great tragedies and heartbreaks and sorrow; if you mean that drink the sale of which pours into Texas treasuries untold millions of dollars each year, that provides tender care for our little crippled children, our blind, our deaf, our dumb, our pitifully aged and infirm, to build the finest highways, hospitals, universities, and community colleges in this nation, then my friend, I am absolutely, unequivocally in favor of it.
“This is my position, and as always, I refuse to compromise on matters of principle.”
Now isn’t that just like a politician?
Think of a topic or issue about which you’ve switched your opinion. Why the change?