If you think something is important to you, but after listening to someone else, maybe getting some advice, you decide to change your opinion, are you a turncoat or just flexible in your thinking?

Where does the line between being a turncoat and having wise flexibility go?

Well, we all know that politicians are never ever turncoats, no way. They are flexible in their views – they might be of the opinion A today, but after careful consideration (and no, no money/favors/drugs/hookers/land deeds exchanging hands!) they have slept on it, and now are of the opinion B. Quite natural and logical and all that I’m sure.

Turncoat is seen as something dirty, despicable, immoral. But how does it really differ from changing your opinion and selling your ideals.. oops I mean reviewing your thinking and then changing your view on a matter?

Wikipedia defines turncoat as: “A turncoat is a person who shifts allegiance from one loyalty or ideal to another, betraying or deserting an original cause by switching to the opposing side or party. In political and social history, this is distinct from being a traitor, as the switch mostly takes place under the following circumstances:..”

Whoa, hey, where did the traitor come in??

We’re simply talking about ideas, views, opinions here!

Is it betrayal to change your mind? And now I mean changing it after maybe receiving new information (new to you), maybe some statistics or scientific information.

Or is it dependent upon what you change your mind into? Like to the side of the majority? To the side of the ones who are “right”?

If history is written by victors, is the definition of a turncoat also something that depends on who defines it?

So if you’re changing your opinion to the one everyone else holds (like “ ice cream should be part of a daily dinner”), you’re just very clever, wise, have foresight and understanding?
If you change your view to something unpopular, minority view (like “cats are aliens in disguise), you’re a turncoat?

How would you draw the line between turning your coat and changing your mind?


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One thought on “Turncoat

  1. Samantha Pilling

    Ooooh…. great question! I think it depends upon what your objectives are by changing opinion. If you’re a politician and you defect to another party because you think you stand a better chance of getting elected then yes, you’re a turncoat. If you’re disgusted by your political party’s line and you defect because you strongly believe in the other party’s policies, then that seems admirable to me.

    The flip side of this is that sometimes it is more pig-headed to stick to your guns, despite evidence to the contrary.

    I never thought I’d say this in public, but I agree with Lilly Allen when she said “I reserve the right to change my mind.”.

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