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Rangie's avatar

When you form a political opinion, how do you know your are right, and are you willing to change your mind?

Asked by Rangie (3661points) May 3rd, 2010

If your party tells you: (just an example) that Obamacare is the best solution for this country, and you agree, are you willing to change your mind, if someone can prove it isn’t best for our country?

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15 Answers

xxii's avatar

When the facts upon which I make my argument are negated or proven false.

wilma's avatar

I don’t have a party.
I listen to the facts and base my opinion on them.
If someone or something can convince me that my opinion is wrong then I’ll change it.
No one gets my unquestioned support.

Cruiser's avatar

I am always open to forming a new opinion. I am pretty good about squaring away as much available information before forming opinions and I never do so because of what one party said or one talking head said either as I let the merits of the so called facts stand on their own when I make my own opinions and conclusions.

wundayatta's avatar

It’s not so simple. In fact, it works the other way around. The party doesn’t tell me what to think. I (and millions of others) tell the party what we want. We want universal health coverage. A lot of people are opposed to that, so we have to compromise to get it through, and in the end it is a leaky ship, bound to go down. But that’s the nature of legislating.

There is nothing like proof in politics and legislation. Either you think it is working or you think it isn’t. People look at the same facts and draw different conclusions. Proof is not a standard that makes sense in politics. Occasionally someone will say black is white, and even they will have supporters.

It’s about rhetoric and people and masses of people. It’s about what people believe, not what the facts are. It’s about advertising and voting, not careful analysis of the situation. There are not facts in politics. Everything is up for grabs. The situation is terribly fluid.

Therefore many people are unwilling to change their minds. Their ideology tells them the facts, not the real world situation. But there are plenty of people who are willing to try to analyze things dispassionately and arrive at the best solution to the problem they can enact.

They say legislation is like sausage. You really don’t want to know what’s in it nor how it’s made. Legislation is usually a mess because we have to meld together so many different interests. Don’t be fooled by the two party system. In reality, many, many more interests than two are represented.

Yes. I change my mind when I get new information.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

I have changed my mind, the Democrats aren’t calling it “Obamacare”, that’s a Republican term. Democrats are calling it “a step in the right direction.”

A society is judged on the care of the least affluent of its citizens because they are the most vulnerable. That is my political belief. Dems come closest to agreeing with me.

wonderingwhy's avatar

It’s just a matter of either believing, hopefully based on research/facts/reason, in the idea put forth [or, perhaps more often than not, not believing in the alternative(s)]. You know you were “right” when you implement it and it works out as predicted or close enough to it to not cause undue hardship. The thing about politics is there are few absolutes, so having an open mind and a willingness to change is a must (he said, as visions of congress danced in his head), as is “knowing” when to stick with it.

Part of the problem is, politics involves so many who are so diverse that words like “right” and “know” don’t hold the same meaning in most instances. Parties, to the public’s detriment, love to throw such words around though often combined with other issues not related to the legislation at hand knowing that it will stir the pot and get people to back them by supporting the party rather than the idea.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I don’t listen to the political party – I form opinions first and then see which politicians or party aligns with them.

Sophief's avatar

I just have actually. I don’t know if I am right, it just feels right. As @Simone_De_Beauvoir said, I don’t listen to the political parties, I will have an opinion of what I expect and then see who lives up to that, and for the first time ever I have changed my political view.

mrentropy's avatar

I do what everyone else does then deny I did when it all goes wrong. Then I blame all the others for allowing themselves to be swayed by weak arguments.

thriftymaid's avatar

Opinions form from what you can understand about an issue and applying your own sense of morality and logic. Of course there are times that, in time, you may change your opinion when more knowledge is obtained or you see that the actual impact is different from the initial assumed or inferred one.

marinelife's avatar

I don’t get me information from a party. I read factual news accounts and form my opinion that way.

Since my opinion is based on fact, I am not likely to change my mind unless someone presents me with new facts that contradict what I already know.

Rangie's avatar

@marinelife But you are at least willing to change your mind. I know people that are so stead fast, they will not change their mind for any reason. I am not one of them, but I am not far from them. I need some real hard facts for me to consider first.

Blackberry's avatar

I feel political opinions and ‘facts’ are just a way to determine what would be best for the future, even though no one exactly knows what will happen. One group can say ‘This is what will happen when this legislation is in place’, and another group will say the opposite, and then each side gives their opinion on why this is true. Correct me if I am wrong, but you can’t use opinions on facts to determine the future, right? And then there’s the people that just use opinions only to convince people they are facts, but that is another story.

Rangie's avatar

@Blackberry You are right about And then there’s the people that just use opinions only to convince people they are facts, but that is another story. I know several of those people. I think they just love to argue and get in your face to try to intimidate you, until you agree with them.

lilikoi's avatar

I look at original sources of data / information available, and form my position based on that. Yes, I am willing to change my position as new information becomes available if this new information seems legitimate and favors a different position than my own. The only way to get the real deal is to go straight to the original sources of information and read them yourself. News coverage of legislation is spotty; they often get it wrong, whether intentional or not. Even then, you need to consider who the source of the information is and take into account any potential bias / spin.

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