On the anniversy of Martin Luther King Jr.'s assasination, John McCain was in Memphis
(at the site where MLK was assasinated) to to explain that he voted against a federal holiday for MLK in 1983 because he didn't know what a great man MLK was. [In Lil Jon voice] HuuuuWHAAATTTTT?!?!?!?
As a congressperson, isn't it your obligation to find out exactly what the issue is you are asked to vote on? You like, dont have a real job because people voted you into congress, expecting you to make informed decisions on issues and this is what you do? At age 47 when he voted no in 1983, he was plenty old enough, freshman congressman or not, to either know who Dr. King was or to know that he ought to find out. We're not talking about some obscure historical figure here. If this man wasn't doing his due diligence on congressional matters at 47, should we expect that he will on presidential matters at 71? Ok, I know people who are likely reading this are not even considering voting for him, but I still thougth that was an argument worth putting out into the blogosphere, anyway.McCain, you need more people.
He claims to have evolved, but not knowing who someone is, and then knowing who they are isn't really evolving. He makes it seem as though, had he known about MLK in '83, he would have voted for the holiday. Thats not evolution. Going from bigot to something less than a bigot is evolving, but thats not what he's claiming, and in my estimation, it should be. And even that assumes that he's something less than a bigot now, which according to his voting record
isn't quite accurate. Heres what he could have said to earn my respect:
At the time, I was a middle-aged white man, who didn't have much contact with black people and as a result, wasn't really in tune with civil rights issues (read: I was a racist). So when the country was making an attempt to move foward, I was still a step behind and I was wrong for that, but I have changed. Blah, blah, blah.
Maybe he would have said something like that if his campaign were based on riding around the country on a bus called the 'straight talk express.'
Oops. I have to also consider his 'vigorous fight' for the MLK holiday in 1990 dubious at best, considering the fact the he knew the state would (and did) lose millions in tourism dollars through a subsequent boycott if the holiday did not come into existence. Eventually, in 1991, after 2 years of boycotts and over 500 million dollars
in lost tourism dollars, the politicians and citizen's of Arizona 'evolved' in unison to make the holiday a reality. Isn't it amazing how people's consciousness evolves when it costs them half billion dollars?
Labels: holiday, McCain, MLK, racism