One of the longstanding views of Republican Senator and presumptive Presidential nominee, John McCain, is that he is an independent thinker, reformer, and a political maverick.
These images seem no longer to hold the truthfulness and vitality they once held. Senator McCain will be the standard bearer of the Republican Party in the upcoming Presidential election. This party is not a reform, progressive, or maverick party, and while it shows some diversity within,such as what are called "conservative Republicans," "fiscal Republicans," or "evangelical Republicans," the unity of this party is stronger than its divisions.
The Republican Party is overwhelmingly a white political party. In the year 2008, this country incredibly has a national party, that is one of the stalwarts of the two party system, that speaks in behalf of and that represents a large segment of the white population of this country.
A very large portion, if not the major part of its white political constituency, is found in the South, in the states that had once constituted the Confederation of Southern States of the nineteenth century, and in states of the upper South, such as Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia, and Virginia.
Southern Whites are the dominant element of this party, and so many are particularly against any kind of extensive political, economic, or social change in their part of the country, or in the country itself, that drastically alters the relationship between Whites and Blacks in both places.
Senator John McCain is the presumptive nominee of an overwhelmingly white political party. A way he could be an independent thinker, reformer, and maverick at this moment would be for him to express his opposition to it being so white, and to encourage the party to reform itself and become more diversified, similar to the racial and ethnic diversity found in the Democratic Party.
But the Senator is not likely to do this, not only because he is the presumptive nominee of the Republican Party. But because he has never been an advocate of his party attaining this kind of diversity.
Even when Senator McCain, who is often referred to as a centrist or moderate - but in an overwhelmingly white political party, and because of this fact - thinks of reaching beyond the party, he primarily thinks of reaching out to white independents and white blue collar workers. He might reach out for the vote of people who are not white, but he does not give much or any thought to them becoming members of the Republican Party.
Thus, what Senator McCain does in the two major instances of reaching out, is to expand the size of the white population his party seeks to lead, speak in behalf of, and represent in the national government(and if possible with the aid of voters who are not white). Thus, diversity for Senator McCain and the Republican Party is primarily different kinds of white people.
But the overwhelming Whiteness of the Republican Party makes it a divisive party, and in five major ways. First, it promotes a racial division between a large segment of the white population and other races in the country. This also constitutes a national division.
Thirdly, this party promotes regional division, since its biggest and most important population base is found among Whites in the South. This division is captured in the "red state, blue state" dichotomy.
Fourthly, the Republican Party also divides the rich from the poor in the country, because it favors the kind of fiscal- -government spending and tax schemes- - and economic policies and programs that create enormous disparities in wealth between the rich and the poor, with the rich being mainly white, and the poor being found among Blacks, Hispanics, some Asians, and many Whites, located mainly in Appalachia and in the South.
There is a fifth division that represents a division between the past and the future: between an America that seeks to keep its feet planted in a fetid, discriminatory and suppressive social past; or rooting its feet in the new social context of equality of rights and opportunities that is presently being constructed in the country, and in which all Americans will live and participate.
The latter objective is not what the overwhelmingly white Republican Party, which was built by Barry Goldwater, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, Jesse Helms, Strom Thurmond, Newt Gingrich, and others, envisions for the country, and has not envisioned for half a century.
This political reality has essentially been given an uncritical pass by political pundits and media political analysts for half a century, and it continues to be given one in the present Presidential contest.
This makes these political observers tacit surrogates or supporters of Senator John McCain, who is not being made to respond to this reality, which he himself helped to shape, as per his own confession of being "a disciple of the Reagan Revolution" of the 1980s that had a strong racist orientation, by his own voting record on civil rights in the Congress, by accepting the southern White view of "states rights," and by his association of patriotism almost exclusively with white people, as per when he makes a reference to it, which is invariably before a white audience.
It is a political/social reality that the Senator might be seeking to perpetuate in the White House, which many of his supporters hope he will do. The Senator has said on a number of occasions, dipping low in his political rhetoric, that the terrorist group Hamas, would like to see Senator Obama elected President, and that the American people could draw their own conclusions about that.
The position can be easily countered by saying that there are many white racists in the country who would like to see Senator McCain elected to the White House, and the American people can draw their own conclusions as to what this would mean in terms of the kind of policies, legislation, programs, and judicial appointments that would come out of Washington - and the backward direction in which it would take the country.
Republican Senator John MCain, will be the standard bearer of a national political party in the general election that consciously and deliberately seeks to promote and maintain multiple serious divisions in the country- - all public denials, party surrogates and strategists of dark hue, and token faces of dark color in the front row or backdrop of McCain's speeches to the contrary notwithstanding.
Senator McCain, as the emerging head of the present racially composed Republican party, and as President, would not be capable of ending serious political and societal divisions, and uniting the American people and the country. This takes much more than crossing the political aisle, or seeking to promote bipartisanship in Washington, D.C. Indeed, these actions can be used to perpetuate the fetid political/social dimension of American life of the last half century.