John McCain on Civil Rights

Support evangelism but don’t pander to evangelical leaders

Evangelical leaders are changing America for the better. [For example], Chuck Colson, head of Prison Fellowship, is saving men from a lifetime behind bars by bringing them the good news of redemption. Others are leading the fight against pornography & cultural decline. I stand with them.

Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell and a few leaders of the pro-life movement call me an unacceptable presidential candidate. Why? Because I don’t pander to them, because I don’t ascribe to their failed philosophy that money is our message.

We embrace the fine members of the religious conservative community. But that does not mean that we will pander to their self-appointed leaders. [These leaders] are corrupting influences on religion and politics. They shame our faith, our party and our country.

Neither party should be defined by pandering to the outer reaches of American politics and the agents of intolerance whether they be Louis Farrakhan or Al Sharpton on the left, or Robertson or Falwell on the right.

Source: Speech in Virginia Beach, VA Feb 28, 2000

Inter-racial dating ban is idiotic and cruel

KEYES [to McCain]: What votes have [you] been willing to risk to stand for any principle [such as opposing the ban on inter-racial dating at Bob Jones University]?

McCAIN: Well Alan, I’ve taken a few risks in my life and I’m proud of those risks. Some of them are the proudest points of my life.
I was not invited to attend Bob Jones. I understand that it’s a fine academic school. If I had been invited, I would have gone and I would’ve started by saying, as I have gone to other places that people are not in favor of me, and I would have said: Look, what you’re doing, in this ban on interracial dating, is stupid, it’s idiotic and it is incredibly cruel to many people. I also happen to have an adopted daughter who’s from Bangladesh. And I don’t think that she should be subjected to those kinds of things. In fact, I will stand up and fight against those. You’ve got to bring the message to get these people in to the modern times.

Source: GOP Debate on the Larry King Show Feb 15, 2000

Career-long history of supporting Indian causes

Empathizing with the plight of the American Indian is an issue that McCain embraced early in his Congressional career. McCain called the treatment of Indians “one of the darker chapters of the American people.” He described a Sioux reservation in South Dakota “where people live in the worst conditions of grinding poverty.” McCain criticized some of the tribes for imposing their own rigid bureaucratic rules, “stifling free enterprise” on the reservations. In some cases, entrepreneurs are forced to wait 2 or 3 years to start businesses, he said.

When he arrived in Congress in 1983, McCain said, he was recruited for a slot on the Indian Affairs subcommittee by Mo Udall, a fellow Arizonan who made great strides to support Indian causes.

After taking the position, he won recognition for a tribe in Connecticut that was having trouble getting recognized. “Know which tribe?” McCain asked, then answered his own question. “The Pequot, now the proud owners of the largest casino in the world.”

Source: Boston Globe, p. A27 Jan 28, 2000

Ten Commandments would bring virtue to our schools

Q: Does posting the Ten Commandments in schools invalidate the religious expression of children who are not in the Judeo-Christian heritage?
A: We begin our proceedings every day in the US Senate with a prayer. Now, it doesn’t have the beneficial effect that some desire, but it seems to be acceptable for the Senate to do that. Virtues [like telling the truth are] exemplified in the Ten Commandments. They could be and should be taught in every school in America.
Source: GOP Debate in Johnston, Iowa Jan 16, 2000

Confederate flag is a “symbol of heritage”

[Regarding flying the Confederate flag at the South Carolina Statehouse,] McCain said last week that many in South Carolina view the flag as a “symbol of heritage.” That phrase is used by some who want the flag to continue flying over the Statehouse.
Source: Holly Ramer, Associated Press Jan 16, 2000

Allow, but not mandate, school prayer

McCain indicates that religious expression on public school property should be allowed. He says, “School prayer or a moment of silence should be allowed but not mandated. Education is a civil rights issue. Education reform, including school choice is necessary so every student can be prepared for success in higher education, career and life.”
Source: 2000 NPAT Jan 13, 2000

Would be “comfortable” with a gay president

John McCain said in a telephone interview with Reuters over the weekend that he would be “comfortable with a homosexual as president of the United States.”
Source: Buchanan Interview on “Equal Time” Dec 21, 1999

Flying Confederate flag should be left to states

McCain said the controversy over the Confederate flag flying above the South Carolina Statehouse is an issue for the state’s voters.
Source: Bruce Smith, Associated Press Sep 4, 1999

1st Amend. not a shield for hate groups

As a result of Congressional mandates and court actions, the government [may be] unable to routinely monitor organizations that foment hate and violence. Certainly, protecting civil rights must remain sacrosanct. However, we must not allow the First Amendment to be abused as a shield for those who advocate or conspire to commit acts of violence. Organizations who are legitimately suspected of criminal or violent activities should not be shielded from legitimate & vigorous investigation & monitoring.
Source: (x-ref Crime) Letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee Aug 13, 1999

Indian gambling OK; lottery is not

McCain urged everyone to read the latest national report on gambling, which warns of its consequences. McCain is a longtime defender of American Indian tribal casinos and supported legislation in 1995 that paved the way for gambling “cruises to nowhere.” However, McCain also warned of the consequences associated with gambling. And state-run lotteries aren’t any better, he said. “Who buys lottery tickets?” he asked. “When I’m in a Circle K, I know who buys lottery tickets. The lowest income.”
Source: Associated Press Aug 3, 1999

Hollywood should voluntarily self-censor sex and violence

McCain called on Hollywood to adopt voluntary standards to limit excessive violence and sexual content in entertainment media. His “Appeal to Hollywood” calls for the entertainment industry to devise a code of conduct modeled after the code the National Association of Broadcasters followed for 30 years. “Media industry leaders should voluntarily commit to reining in the toxic mix of sex and violence that has come to dominate so many media products which negatively affect our children today,” he said.
Source: Press Release: “Media Violence” Jul 21, 1999

Supports Amendment against flag-burning

I support the constitutional amendment to prohibit the physical desecration of the American flag. I believe we have an inviolable duty to protect the right of free speech. I do not believe, however, that guaranteeing respect for our national symbol by prohibiting “acts” of desecration impinges on political ‘speech.’ As long as citizens are free to speak out on any matter, it does not seem burdensome to me that we accord some modicum of respect to the symbol of those precious freedoms.
Source: “Press Releases” Apr 28, 1999

We don’t need laws against Spanish language & culture

Spanish was spoken in my state when it was carved from the wilderness. Spanish culture influenced the making of Arizona society. And Arizona society cannot sustain its character, absent that influence today. Yes, we all need to speak English well if we are to succeed in this country. But no one should have to abandon the language of their birth to learn the language of their future. We don’t need laws that cause any American to believe we scorn their contributions to our culture.
Source: Landon Lecture at Kansas State University Mar 15, 1999

Affirmative action OK for specific programs, but no quotas

Source: Project Vote Smart, 1998, Jul 2, 1998

Voted NO on expanding hate crimes to include sexual orientation.

Vote on an amendment that would expand the definition of hate crimes to include gender, sexual orientation and disability. The previous definition included only racial, religious or ethnic bias.
Bill S.2549 ; vote number 2000-136 on Jun 20, 2000

Voted YES on setting aside 10% of highway funds for minorities & women.

Vote to table, or kill, an amendment to repeal the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise [DBE] Program, which requires no less than 10% of highway construction projects funded by the federal government to be contracted to 'disadvantaged business enterprises'
Bill S.1173 ; vote number 1998-23 on Mar 6, 1998

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