Is John McCain a conservative? I think he is and in a good way. I should know, I'm a bleeding heart liberal who is a tree hugger who thinks government can help people. With all the noise from the "pundits" on the TV political shows the term "conservative" has been bandied about by everyone including McCain himself. I felt the definition of a conservative as one who espouses personal responsibility and government policies that promote moral behavior seemed to fit my own idea of what their philosophy encompasses. There is also a strong feeling that government should stay out of the way. All the Republican candidates talked so much about Reagan that I expected him to be channeled right into the debates. Funny they didn't mention the "compassionate conservative" George W Bush. I wonder why?
I would define Conservatism as "maintaining the current order." I don't draw a distinction between this political definition and my tree hugging sensibilities especially when it comes to the environment. McCain has broken with his party over some important issues such as drilling in the Artic, bet that annoyed Cheney and Bush, the oilmen. He is also been very vocal on global warming. A maverick in the best sense.
During the New Hampshire primary season I remember watching Mitt Romney flail around about the torture debate and waterboarding. He was completely unable to comprehend that simulated drowning might constitute torture. He was going to ask the "experts" whoever they may be (Marquis de Sade?). McCain to my great delight is very articulate on this matter after enduring torture for 5 years. This is not a popular position to take for the republicans.
So who is criticizing McCain? Who are these stalwarts of Conservativism? Rush Limbaugh (recovering Drug Addict), Ann Coulter (always fashionable in a black cocktail dresses), Tom Delay (my all time favorite smiling mug shot photo), and "family values" experts like James Dobson. Also a collection of radio and TV personalities who see "Nuking" Iraq as a thoughtful foreign policy.
I'd vote for the guy but the 100 years in Iraq and total victory (whatever that means) does not sit well with me. Obama is my candidate and hopefully the democratic machine will realize that he is the only candidate that can win against a man like McCain. I have reasons for supporting Obama, but I'll save that for another posting.