As the United States celebrates Martin Luther Kings Jr. Day today, Americans have taken to Twitter to share the poignant and powerful words of this stories civil rights leader. Meghan McCain, the daughter of prominent Republican Senator John McCain, also took the opportunity to share a quote by Dr. King.
One Twitter user, however, pointed out her glaring hypocrisy.
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Hey Meghan, remember when your dad voted against making #MLKDay a holiday?
— Yes, You're Racist (@YesYoureRacist) January 15, 2018
As a congressman in 1983, John McCain voted against the establishment of a national holiday in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He was ultimately on the losing end of the vote, as the House affirmed the measure 338 to 90.
Surprisingly, McCain responded to the account, admitting that her father’s move was regretful.
We all live with regrets and my father points to this and his stance on the confederate flag in 2000 as 2 of them. We have been talking a lot about this life these days… I am still intensely proud of him and his legacy. I am sad, on MLK day, that this account would tweet me. https://t.co/vWO7bxzmfp
— Meghan McCain (@MeghanMcCain) January 15, 2018
While McCain’s admission was noble, it does not discount the fact that her father was on the wrong side of history. The true test of leadership is not whether someone can admit wrongdoing 35 years later, but whether that person has the courage to stand up for what is right at the moment that the nation is looking to them for direction.
Martin Luther King, Jr. stood up to systemic racism and fought tooth and nail to ensure civil rights for African Americans. As much as Ms. McCain would like to believe that MLK Day is a day for rainbows and unity, her father’s actions were directly counter to what Dr. King represented. She may be “sad, on MLK day, that this account would tweet” her, but that is exactly what this day calls for.