About Colin Powell endorsing Senator Barack Obama
Well if you haven’t heard about this, I am sure you will. The commercials and the pundits will likely be buzzing all week on this news. Colin Powell, former Secretary of State and former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, has endorsed Senator Barack Obama.
Now this is important on several levels. Powell is a Republican (as I’ve said in the past, Black Republicans do exist), respected on an international level as well as domestic, has great insight on foreign affairs, and is politically neutral (up til now). His opinion, and the weight he gives to Obama should not be underestimated. It should also be scrutinized as to why he picked Obama.
At the offset, Powell clearly states that he has followed this election since the candidates first mentioned they would run. That indicates to me that he was aware early on that this election would be the most important likely in decades. That the shape and ability of America will be shaped in the outcome.
And he clearly states that he is quite familiar with both men. He has spoken with both several times in almost 2 years.
Those are facts. And I interpret from that fact that neither man was able to convey a confidence for Powell. Further it is clear that he believes that the Republican Party is becoming too conservative and religious for his liking. In that I can say I agree with Powell, if I understand him correctly.
But it seems that Powell does not like the pick of Gov. Sarah Palin. It is not because she is incapable, nor that she is not qualified. It is the fact, in his opinion that she is not prepared or experienced enough at this time. That argument is one that many have made, and is the source of why Palin is so often compared to Senator Obama instead of Biden.
And the final critical point is the actions of Senator McCain with respect to the mortgage crisis and the credit crunch it has caused. McCain has made several moves on this issue and had several changes in policy as event have unfolded. This was a problem for Powell.
But I have a problem. It is the very lack of action, and the seeming disdain that Obama displayed in regard to the mortgage bailout and the credit crisis that bothers me. He did not do his job as a Senator when the Congress was debating and voting on the mortgage bailout. Were it up to Obama the bailout would have been passed with a clause that would take any repayments and provide them not to the public but to Democrat sponsored groups like ACORN. That is not where I would want my money to go, and the Government should not choose for my money to go there without my permission.
And Yes Obama has seemed very steady in his view of the crisis. In fact he seems more than unflappable, he is steadfast. Obama essentially refuses to change his mind on his tax plans, and the 832 billion dollars in new spending that he continues to promise, seemingly oblivious of the consequences of the trillion that has just been spent (to say nothing of the hundreds of billions just prior to that).
There is also a question of the judgment of Obama in picking a VP that opposes him so much on critical issues. That includes healthcare, Iraq, and taxes. This says nothing of the public denial Biden made about the preparedness of Obama to assume the Presidency. That speaks to me of an Administration that would be plagued with internal stryfe and ineffectiveness.
And as to the campaign of Senator McCain, I agree that the focus has drifted a bit from the core issues facing America at this time. But drifting is not the same as abandoning.
Yet I think addressing issues like Bill Ayers is important. Not only because Obama has yet to clearly state the nature of his relationship with this terrorist, but because he refuses to discuss the matter at all. He reacts as if mentioning that the actions happened in the past is enough. It is not, since the terrorist has no remorse and has stated in the present his desire to have done more domestic bombings.
And let us not forget that it is the Democrats who are firmly fixated on the past with regards to Iraq, and many policies of President Bush, if not also the 2000 election. If they believe the past is important for the future how is the past of Ayers, and his relationship with Obama not important?
So yes I agree that if this were about Rev. Wright it would be too far. And yes there is a hint of the anger versus terrorists in the message. But Ayers is unapologetic about the terrorism and domestic bombing he was admittedly responsible for. I feel that is important when dealing with a future President.
And I must ask, when has a Republican called Obama a Muslim? I am not familiar with anyone stating that, except one preacher who was then chided and refuted by Senator McCain.
But I do recall that it was the Clinton campaign that promoted and spread thoughts of Obama as a Muslim and drug dealer during the Democratic primaries. I do recall that they had staff going so far as to spread emails and appear in interviews stating these thoughts. Republicans, as I recall never have, but Democrats often have. And McCain has nothing to do with that.
And I do agree that there is nothing wrong with being Muslim in America. They are as American as anyone else. They are as religious and pious as any other religious sect. They are as worthy of any position as any other religious American. A Muslim can be a President, as there is Muslims in Congress. There is no difference than a woman, an African American, Hispanic, Jewish, Asian, Mormon, or other type of person as President.
So again I have to question how McCain can be responsible for every Republican in the Party, just as I believe Obama cannot be responsible for the actions of all Democrats – like various racial comments of Biden, the wild spending and disinformation of alternative energy stock ownership of Nancy Pelosi, or the inaction and hazardous inattentiveness of Barney Frank and Chris Dodd in their respective banking committees.
So I respect the conclusion that Obama is transformational. I respect that his is an orator of exceptional ability. I respect that he has an image that conveys a thought of a new type of America. And the fact that he is Black is not a bad point either, being Black Puerto Rican myself. But is that enough?
Is it enough that he has ideas that he thinks are good. Is it enough that he wants to turn the nation from the hard right direction we are in now to a far left position he embraces (as opposed to a more centrist position that most agree the nation reflects as a whole)? Can we accept that he is potentially a President that would bankrupt the nation with his economic policies in his attempt to make everyone more equal? That he would rather face defeat and embolden attacks on U.S. soil in the future rather than struggle through a difficult and politically damaging success? That he would rather increase the cost of energy such that businesses would fail in order to enforce energy saving practices on the American public? That having a uniform and Government mandated healthcare is better than any other choice? That the Government is larger and more involved in the daily lives of every American and business than ever before?
Colin Powell agrees that Obama does not have enough experience. That he will need to be guided by others around him. But is not the choice of a person with enough experience to understand a good advice being given from purely political or bad advice the better choice? Is not a President who knows enough to ask a question not answered, or wise enough to ask a question not brought up, better?
The growth of Senator Obama over the past 20 months has been impressive, and I have no doubt that in 4 years he will be the choice for America. But today the inexperience and inability to work in a bi-partisan manner on even something as important as the mortgage bailout troubles me.
And as for those that would claim that Powell has supported Obama because both are Black, they have not thought the facts through. While I respect Powell, and his decision, I see his reasons. I do not agree with them, but at no point are they wrong or fabricated. He has expressed a well thought out and heartfelt reason why Obama should be president. To disagree with those reasons is no more about race than to oppose voting for Obama would be. In fact I think to simply disregard the arguments of Powell for Obama as simply race preference is to be racist in the most ignorant manner, in my opinion. I find that no different than someone deciding to not vote for Obama because he is Black, because a decision and choice as important as this can never be based on something as trivial as who has the best suntan.
So these are my thoughts about Powell’s choice. I respect his view, and the man. I respect anyone who has a well thought out view on why they should or should not vote for either Presidential choice. But I have to say that I disagree with his final view. But that is America, and it is a right that we each have.
Exercise your right to vote after you have exercised your mind and learned who the right choice is for you. Colin Powell has, I have, now it’s your turn.