McCain Condom Remarks Show Peril of So-Called Moderate Vote
If you’re thinking of voting for a “moderate” ticket in 2008 rather than for a progressive ticket, you might want to consider what “moderate” politicians are standing for these days in Washington, DC.
Take, for instance, Senator John McCain, one of the frontrunners in the race to gain the Republican nomination for president in 2008. McCain has built a reputation as a maverick moderate who is willing to break with the Republican Party to reach across the aisle to the Democratic Party for legislative and other purposes.
What does a “moderate” like McCain have to say about the use of condoms to prevent disease? Here is a transcript of a conversation held between McCain and a reporter on his “Straight Talk Express” campaign bus this week:
This is a high-profile health policy issue on which empirical studies are quite clear: condoms effectively prevent the spread of diseases such as HPV and , more effectively than abstinence pledges, which do not reduce disease rates and actually may be associated with in increase in high-risk sexual behaviors.
John McCain has been on Capitol Hill for 25 years, so if he really is so ignorant on sexual health policy as to be “stumped” about whether condoms prevent HIV, then he has betrayed such a lack of diligence on the issue that he has no earthly business being president. Do you really think Senator McCain doesn’t know that condoms prevent the spread of HIV? The other, more reasonable, possibility is that John McCain knows full well that condoms and condom distribution policies not only prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, but do so better than abstinence promotion policies. In that case, what we see above is a pander by a man who doesn’t want to lose anti-empirical right wing voters.
After the Bush years, that’s where we are now in politics: “moderates” like McCain are willing to feign an embarrassing ignorance regarding clear-cut policy issues in order to stay in the good graces of right-wing America. McCain has swallowed the Kool-Aid, but you don’t have to follow suit. This time around, vote with the people who are willing to state the obvious. Vote progressive.
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