Others call it a flip flop.

It’s like a trend today. And it gets to be tiring to have to make heads or tails of the news.

By changing lanes very quickly, it confuses even the rational individual.

The death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi is an example of changing stories. Jamal’s death at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul has remained a glaring mystery in his murder. Statements out of Saudi claimed Khashoggi was armed and had fought it out in the consulate. Today, Saudi prosecutors say the killing was planned.

But this is not the first time that stories of espionage had changed rapidly. The reason for the inconsistencies is to confuse people and make them tired of the issue or topic. After all, the best way to mislead the reader is to waylay them.

There’s a lot of that going on in local politics lately. Juan Ponce Enrile, who once said that there were atrocities during the Martial Law years had flip-flopped on this during an interview with Bong Bong Marcos. In today’s news, he once more becomes inconsistent by apologizing for the faux pas, and blaming unlucid moments (of a very very old man).

Or there’s Sid Lapeña on the news flip flopping on whether those metal containers containing the 11B pesos Shabu shipment were or were not actually there. After the exchange in barbs and evidences with PDEA, he concedes like a little boy, “sige na nga”, and affirms the presence of drugs in the metal containers that were able to get through customs.

Oh but we don’t have to look far for the tree that bore these fruits. The president, after all, appointed these incompetent nincompoops. Without doubt, many of them are not cut to lead. Loyalty cannot be the first qualification for governance. After the academic and experience requirements are fulfilled, the vetting begins considering all qualified people equal. My janitor is loyal to me. Do I expect him to become my chief finance officer?

We are all loyal to the president. Since he is the duly elected leader of the country.

That extent of loyalty will vary over time. And ends when love of country reigns in our hearts and mind.

When what he does is inconsistent with what he says, then skepticism arises. When he sides with evil and wrong decisions because of friendship or acquaintances, people will distance themselves from being loyal. It creates dissent among the ranks. Mistrust.

When you don’t walk the talk, you don’t expect an appreciative audience. It is human nature to distrust someone with inconsistencies. Only fools or opportunists will trust someone with lack of integrity.

Real life relations are the perfect example of why trust matters. When inconsistencies happen, when you cannot look at your partner straight in the eyes because of indiscretions, when you hide from others because you’re too embarrassed to face your ghosts, when you cannot address issues at home or work because personal conflicts collide with honesty…these are the times when our integrity slowly erodes. Until there is nothing left to show. To believe. To hold on to.

Inconsistencies destroy not only a person and his relations with other people. Inconsistencies have destroyed empires. Inconsistencies are used by tyrants as a strategy to confuse and literally divide a nation.

As Jim Collins puts it bluntly

The signature of mediocrity is not an unwillingness to change. The signature of mediocrity is chronic inconsistency.

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