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In comments of late, Former Secretary of State Colin Powell, a decorated military veteran with impeccable credentials, has shown a proclivity for adopting an adversarial stance towards the GOP.
As one of the most prominent figures in the party over the past two decades through his military service and cabinet positions, Powell has always had a decidedly positive imprint on the reputation of the GOP with his name constantly rising as a possible presidential contender.
So it's with considerable dismay that I pronounce him to be, well - no longer a Republican! I understand and support the concept of the Big Tent. Embracing that concept places the prospect of winning securely back in its rightful place of importance. Yet a big tent still has to have a secure structure to underpin the legislative goals after those hard fought wins occur. General Powell holds far too many positions that place him squarely in the Democratic party's base to seriously be considered a Republican.
First off there is his support of climate change legislation. The Republican Party Platform does not support man made climate change, or its elevation to a level of importance that dwarfs the nation's requirement for affordable energy. Powell supports the radical governmental takeover of the health care industry, The Affordable Care Act, which is completely at odds with the conservative ideals of smaller, limited government and free markets.
Powell also supports amnesty as a path to immigration reform, and oddly enough doesn't see the value of school choice or vouchers in improving the educational prospects of minority kids trapped in failing inner city schools. And Powell is no better on social issues, claiming the false mantle of choice over the position of Republicans that life is valuable and to be protected from conception to natural death.
His dalliances with liberalism have not gone unnoticed. Conservative firebrand and radio host Laura Ingraham expressed ire at Powell’s public statements and challenged Powell to a debate:
“I would challenge Colin Powell, frankly, to a debate on whether liberalism – climate change regulation he wants, I guess more affirmative action, he’s pro-choice, and now he believes that immigration amnesty is going to help, I guess, what? The wages of the black family?,” Ingraham asked.
“Liberalism has been an utter disaster for black America,” Ingraham said. “The weapon of mass destruction, Gretchen, has been found. The Democrats found it. It’s Colin Powell. He’s blowing up on Republicans.”
As much as we would enjoy the spectacle of a Ingraham takedown of Powell, a larger issue has emerged. Powell is no longer simply supporting a few fringe Democratic ideals, he is castigating the party using the very tired but effective cudgel of race. Tossing the race card is the purview of liberals; who use it when their ideas run out or are proven wrong using facts. Instead of supporting his "evolution" from conservatism to liberalism with facts that support the superiority of the Democratic platform, Powell has sunk to saying the following about the GOP:
The former secretary of State also strongly condemned his Republican Party, calling it out for a "dark vein of intolerance."
"I think the Republican Party right now is having an identity problem and I'm still a Republican," Powell said on NBC's Meet the Press, as he lamented a "significant shift to the right" that has resulted in losing presidential campaigns in 2008 and 2012.
What? The entire party contains a dark vein of intolerance? That would include myself and other black conservatives that have taken issue with many of the strategies used (and unused) to attract and convert minorities to the party. This is no time to avoid discussing sensitive matters, as the left makes headway with outrageous lies about the very nature of the reason that fully one half of this nation ascribes conservative ideals. Of course race, minority outreach and messaging are on the table as priority topics moving forward. Winning elections will not happen for the GOP without broadening the base. But this was clearly not Powell's intention when he made those statements.
By voting for President Obama twice and spending an ever increasing amount of time publicly blowing up the Republican party, Powell has clearly demonstrated that he isn't a moderate Republican, but a Democratic operative of the worst sort. In the interest of honesty and fairness, he should switch parties and make his allegiance clear. As it is, he is confusing Americans about the central tenets of conservatism in a way that is unseemly and if continued can only be construed as having malicious intent.