John McCain's Political Views

John McCain's Political Views

During his campaign for President in 2008, the media (both the mainstream press and the partisan bloggers and commentators) have paid an inordinate amount of attention to Senator John McCain's personality. Ask most Americans about the Senator and they'll know that he lost to President Obama in the 2008 Presidential Election, was a P.O.W. in Vietnam, and currently serves in the U.S. Senate representing the state of Arizona. Those who follow politics more closely will probably be able to tell you that he has a reputation of being a political "maverick," someone who is willing to go against the Republican party line. But what does John McCain actually believe politically? What are his actual stances on issues important to most American voters? This hub will try to provide and unbiased look at what McCain's political beliefs truly are.

The War in Iraq: John McCain was a strong supporter of the decision to go to War in Iraq and the continued presence of American troops in that country. Though he criticized the Bush administration for making strategic mistakes and called for the Pentagon to make "significant policy changes" in their handling of the war, he consistently expressed the belief that America did the right thing in invading Iraq, and that we need to keep troops in that country "as long as it takes to win."

Foreign Policy/War on terror: McCain generally agreed with the foreign policy strategy of the Bush and subsequently the Obama administrations, including their refusal to negotiate with the Iranian government and their emphasis of military force over multilateral diplomatic solutions to conflicts. The one notable exception to this agreement has been over the issue of torture, as in the lead up to the 2008 presidential elections, McCain said he would close Guantanamo Bay and ban the use of torture by American intelligence services. McCain has also described the controversial tactic of waterboarding as "torture," though he voted against HR 2082, a bill that would have banned its use.

Health Care: During the 2008 presidential campaign, John McCain expressed strong opposition to the idea of universal health care, instead wanting to provide greater access to health care through a $5,000 tax credit and encouraging greater competition among health care companies to lower costs. McCain continued this opposition after the 2008 election and strongly criticized the health care bill passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama in 2010.

Environmental Issues: Compared to many of his fellow Republicans, McCain has been somewhat of a moderate on environmental issues. Specifically, as a Senator, McCain co-sponsored a bill to implement a cap and trade system to limit carbon emissions in 2003. He also voted against allowing oil companies to drill the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and expressed some past support for a carbon trading system to help combat global warming. In recent years McCain has been somewhat less moderate in his environmental views, criticizing the Obama administration's decision to delay approval of the Keystone XL pipeline in 2011 and backing off his previous support of cap and trade.

Abortion: Though he has made conflicting statements about the issue in the past, McCain unequivocally said that he believes Roe vs. Wade "should be overturned" in 2007.

Immigration: While running for President, McCain was a moderate on immigration, supporting greater use of the H-1 visa programs and providing greater and easier paths to citizenship to better control the immigration process. However, in recent months he has come out as a strong supporter of Arizona's strict immigration controls which allow for police to require suspected illegal aliens to show proof of citizenship.

Gay Rights: McCain was a strong opponent of President Obama's decision to allow gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military, telling an audience "today is a sad, sad day" in 2011 after Obama had ended the military's don't ask, don't tell policy. McCain did vote against the constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, calling it an issue "for the states to decide."

Gun Control: McCain received a C+ rating from the NRA, indicating a moderate to conservative stance on most gun control issues. McCain voted against continuing the ban on assault weapons but has been sharply criticized by some second amendment interest groups for some of his other votes on restricting weapons.

Summary: McCain is a traditional right-wing conservative on economic and foreign policy issues, though he does take a moderate stance on certain issues: most notably on the environment and immigration.

If you enjoyed this hub please check out my other pages on Barack Obama, Hilary Clinton, and Ron Paul's views on the issues.

Please let me know if you have any issues with the factual content of this hub, I'll be happy to change anything if it proves to be incorrect

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Comments 17 comments

rlbarger 8 years ago from Gadsden, Al.

John McCain has the distinction of managing to be on the wrong side of most of the issues. In my opinion his candidacy will be a worst debacle than Bob Dole 1996. Take for instance the immigration issue. Why do the Mexicans cone here: Obviously to find jobs. Felipe Calderon, Pres. of Mexico with a law degree and MBA is very interested in developing a middle class for Mexico. In that vein, not too long ago he visited India to explore mutual opportunities for their countries. After WW II we developed programs to put Japan and Germany back on their feet with great success. We are spending $750 mil. on a futile fence on the border. They (Mexicans) will either use a ladder or tunnel under it. This money could be much better spent by sitting down with Calder and others in his country to figure how we can help them develop opportunities for their workers. Calderon has been snubbed by our country, and as a result, does not have a very high opinion of us. If McCain were on top of the issues, he would make a trip to Mexico as he did in the middle East to explore opportunities.

McCain also professes to be weak on economic issues. He had better jump start his knowledge fast as gasoline at the pump north of $4 per gallon is going to cost thousands of people in this country their jobs as they do not have the extra money available for this cost. All of the photo ops show him with Lieberman and Lindsey Graham. If he picks either of these for his running mate, he loses. They are not heavy weights in economics. He could also trumpet the two trillion barrels of shale oil in Colorado and Wyoming which needs a big push from the govt. to bring it on stream. I doubt if he even is aware of these deposits.

McCain's delivery is terrible in his stump speeches. He constantly uses a trite and demeaning phrase "My Friends" His advisors should get him to stop this. He says he will not run a divisive campaign. Apparently he doesn't understand how down and dirty the Clintons can get.

Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 8 years ago

Good job of providing a fair summary of McCain's position on the key issues.

Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 8 years ago

02SmithA profile image

02SmithA 8 years ago from Ohio

Nice post. McCain made a very interesting VP pick today, and I wonder how that will change the dynamics of the election.

02SmithA profile image

02SmithA 8 years ago from Ohio

Nice post. McCain made a very interesting VP pick today, and I wonder how that will change the dynamics of the election.

Chef Jeff profile image

Chef Jeff 8 years ago from Universe, Milky Way, Outer Arm, Sol, Earth, Western Hemisphere, North America, Illinois, Chicago.

McCain, like many people who have run for the presidency, seems to be on both sides of most issues.  I can accept this is it is a sign of growth, both as a person and a politician,  But when it smacks of pandering, I have to decide if this person gets my vote or not.

When I found out that McCain hired and takes advice on running his campaign from the very same people who sent out lies about his adopted, dark-skinned daughter, asking more or less that if South Carolina voters in the 2000 primary learned that John McCain had fathered an illegitimate black child, would they still support him? - and then made sure pictures of the McCains wit their adopted daughter made the headlines in every paper in that state, I had to wonder if he was, as he claimed, putting country first, or merely hiring the best assassins to "take out" the other side as Rove et al did to Kerry last time around.

I also wonder now if his "Straight Talk Express" is meant to express a double meaning.  Straight people only?  No rights to civil unions for people who want a single sex marraige?  First I voted for it before I voted against it - sound familiar?

If so, then why are the same poeope who damned Kerry for that stupid mistake not jumping all over McCain?  Well, to me the reason is obvious - McCain is now one of "THEM"!

myway720 profile image

myway720 8 years ago from Gresham, Oregon

Great hub! You do a great job explaining the issues and where Senator McCain stands on them without bias.

deliciousgurl234 8 years ago

You know, i think that mccain can really do a good job of being the president. I totally agree with him on everything....

deliciousgurl234 8 years ago

actually, i change mii mind, mccain has no clue what he is doing and if he becomes president than he will lead to the era of Bad Presidency and will probably make bad decisions.

SpeedyPin profile image

SpeedyPin 8 years ago from San Diego

Although I do not agree with every stance Senator McCain holds, I do think he will be a good President for the USA; certainly better than Obama.

lol 8 years ago

I think that Obama will be the better president... He will bring back the troops and he will give national helth insurance....

AndyBaker profile image

AndyBaker 8 years ago from UK

Great hub - thanks.

John 8 years ago

What is the "change" that both of the candidates speak of? Tax cuts in a recession/tax beaks/humanitarian based foreign policy/health care debate/etc. are status quo solutions to age old problems. America doesn't want change. We think we do, but we don't. The economy is based on credit, so cut it-job loss. Fair tax-job loss(IRS, how many do they employ and what would Washington talk about if tax cuts/breaks weren't at issue?)Huckabee wanted it, and they ran him out of town as a crackpot.Education-what about cutting college down to 3 years all in your major rather than having to graduate then get training on the job?-job loss.

It is irritating that we all scream for change, but politicians and Americans dismiss these new ideas and then claim "change". There is nothing that is going to change. If a President gets lucky and we enjoy prosperity, then he is great. Clinton's administration reaped the benefits of the Reagan and the older Bush's groundwork. Then the Clinton administration created Fannie Mae and Freddie Mack, but "W" gets the blame. After September 11, Bush was a no win unless we caught Bin Laden. Americans blame him like Osama was his to catch-like he was the military. If the military had caught him, he would be considered a great.

We need major changes in Education( streamined to the goal like I would suggest or the European model), the tax code like the fair tax(love it-never happen), and many other things. But if you bring these kinds of changes to the forefront you will NEVER get elected. The Americans will think you are a radical and the politicians will discard you and not lend support. This is a sad state of the nation in that what needs to be done will never be.

Businesses in this nation are dependent on loans to make their payroll-as are governments, if you look at California and others. What if they backed off just a little so that they weren't over extended-job loss. Are you recognizing a pattern? Our nation is built on things that should not be. My father used to say "Don't buy it unless you can pay cash." Do you realize that if we all did that the economy would be in just as bad a shape as now? They don't want us to be solvent and live within our means. Why do you think that they don't teach about credit cards and house mortages in high school? High School is supposed to be essential knowledge, but if we all understood it and acted responsible the credit economy would collapse. So, keep borrowing my friends- no one wants "change".

nellie apple 8 years ago

I am voting for John McCain because he is not just another guy in the block!


anonomus 8 years ago

i hate your stinkin paragraphed articles, can't you just use bullet points?

anonomus 8 years ago

Your wesite is great!..i totally understand the political views. Great job. and by the way (lol)..HELTH is spelled as health. have a nice day.

vann wilson 3 years ago

i'm 140% service connected marine sgt fron the nam era 1st bn 9th marines delta jan68-69+ ihave had many proceedures over the years i just 2 wk ago still got several 1 serious am totally they un employable the moneyt mccane receives i wish that me and my family got that much we get the scraps like a hungry aminal the gov allows us to have cola is a slap in the combat marines face we did the bleeding/dieing/suffering for life but we bail out banks/cooperations/politicans/trillions in foreighn aid to nations that hate us thanks a lot

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