There are a number of candidates who have offered support for gun control in the past. They either claim they didn’t mean what their words actually said or they blame co-authors. They rarely ever admit they may have supported a bad idea in the distant past.
Yet in Minnesota, one candidate did just that.
One of the main issues in statewide and local races this fall will be violent crime and gun violence.
Saturday night, newly-nominated Republican candidate for governor Dr. Scott Jensen apologized to delegates for once being on the wrong side of the gun control issue.
“My effort in 2018 was klutzy,” he said. “It was born of a rookie’s, non-veteran understanding of how things work, and so I apologized to the group. I put them in a place that made them uncomfortable and it was a mistake. I wish, if I had a mulligan I would have done it over.”
Unfortunately, some are taking issue with Jensen for “flip-flopping” on the issue, including some Republicans.
However, I think that’s the wrong strategy to take.
The truth is, Jensen supported gun control in the past and now he’s saying he doesn’t. The difference between someone like him and Dr. Oz is that he’s not trying to gaslight people into believing he didn’t support stuff he clearly did.
Instead, he’s saying he was wrong and has learned from that mistake.
To blast Jensen for owning up to the inescapable truth and offering a mea culpa is to discourage honesty from politicians. You’re going to get candidates telling you that they didn’t support red flag laws despite their words to the contrary because they can get away with that easier than they can for admitting their mistake.
If the GOP does down this road and gives Jensen so much crap that he cannot win over his own admitted mistakes will simply discourage others from admitting their mistakes.
This may well to people refusing to change their minds because it’s politically untenable to do so. When it comes to our gun rights, I’d much rather have people see the light than be afraid of worse issues later if they don’t double down on bad positions.
Gun control is an issue and yeah, I’d much rather see support go to a candidate who has been supportive of gun rights the whole time.
Yet Jensen is the nominee and he’s coming right out and admitting his past mistakes with gun control were just that, mistakes. Ones he wouldn’t repeat.
That’s behavior that should be encouraged and celebrated. Jensen is a freaking hero–in the political sense, anyway–for owning up to his past. It should be far more preferable to see this than the previous examples of gaslighting we’ve had from GOP hopefuls.
People change their minds. They do it all the time. You’ve changed your mind on something or other, so why does Jensen get denied the right to do just that?
It’s not flip-flopping if it’s not a case of his mind changing every time the wind blows.