Cross-posted from The Progressive Pulse.
I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate (or "Independents," as they're now called). I could have written that sentence with conviction today, but it was first written by Reverend Martin Luther King on April 16, 1963. It is part of his famous "Letter From Birmingham Jail":
I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's greatest stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen's Councilor or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to "order" than to justice.
Martin Luther King
Reverend King could have had today's McCain-leaning anti-war Independents in mind when he wrote that from his jail cell. He added:
Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will.
According to a Jan. '08 L.A. Times/Bloomberg poll, 66% of Independents want the US to withdraw from Iraq in the next 12 months. Folks, if getting our troops home safely is on your Top Ten list of concerns…do not vote for John McCain. Otherwise, as Rev. King says, despite your good will you have a "shallow understanding" of the McCain candidacy. Simply put, McCain is the most imperialistic, pro-war hawk in national politics. It is difficult to reconcile anything less than a full-throated embrace of the Iraq War and the candidacy of John McCain. Go here if you want to see what that looks like.
Moreover, can the mainstream press please stop calling John McCain a moderate? Whatever moderate positions he once held (opposition to Bush tax cuts, criticism of evangelical leaders, immigration, campaign finance, etc.) were thoroughly repudiated by the candidate this week as he lurched to the right at a conservative conference.
More importantly, in the areas that the president has genuine influence (as opposed to imagined influence on social issues …ie gun control, abortion, gay rights) McCain is radically conservative. Here are the two most important:
—Foreign Policy: McCain never met a war he didn't like (including Vietnam). You can sum up his foreign policy in 3 words…Might Makes Right. He currently advocates aggressive positions on Iran and North Korea. And since he has essentially based his candidacy on what he calls "the transcendent issue of our time…Radical Islamic Extremism" he has forewarned Americans that he can easily (eagerly?) justify military intervention anytime, anywhere.
—Judicial Appointments: He likes Roberts, Alito, and Scalia. He also voted to confirm Robert Bork. Enough said.
John McCain is no moderate.