Yeah I said it. Meghan McCain has been doing some serious re-branding of the Republican Party recently, much to the disdain of many party bigwigs. She’s basically giving the Republicans a blueprint to attract young voters, not unlike what Obama so efficiently did this last election cycle.
In a blog post, McCain, very eloquently, writes:
“I am a woman who despises labels and boxes and stereotypes. Recently, I seemed to have rocked a few individuals within my party by saying that I am a pro-life, pro-gay-marriage Republican. So if anyone is still confused, let me spell it out for you. I believe life begins at conception and I believe that people who fall in love should have the option to get married. Lest we forget, our founding document, the Declaration of Independence, grants the same rights to everyone in this country—“All men are created equal.” If you think certain rights should not apply to certain people, then you are saying those people are not equal. People may always have a difference of opinion on certain lifestyles, but championing a position that wants to treat people unequally isn't just un-Republican. At its fundamental core, it's un-American.”
So I’m not really into the whole “life begins at conception” point of view, but I can definitely agree with her points about gay marriage. She goes on to blast Obama for not supporting gay marriage, and she’s right. Obama has consistently been pretty luke-warm when it comes to equality for homosexuals. The gay activist that says “this sounds a lot like separate but equal” is 100% correct. Unfortunately, with the economic crisis, it’s going to be difficult to mobilize and push Obama to take a more progressive stance on this issue. But that doesn’t mean we should stop. What it does mean is that we should watch out for Republicans, like McCain, who might be able to alter the national discussion and change the way her party attracts voters.
Unfortunately for Meghan, she’s gotta deal with the structure of the American political system i.e. the fact that our “democracy” is (in practice) only a two-party system. Where are all the religious zealots and Chuck-Norris-succession-movement-loving nutjobs going to go if the Republicans embrace gays? They’ll start a civil war before they move to Canada. I’m actually serious about this; Meghan McCain and Michael Steele have both made admirable efforts at re-branding the rhetoric of the party, but they are beholden to larger political forces that will inevitably make their efforts futile. The Republicans simply can’t afford to alienate that section of the electorate. And I don’t see them taking Meghan McCain’s advice seriously, either.
Or, who knows, maybe this is just her push to get her own talk show. And you know what? I might tune in.