Colin Powell is of a dying breed. He’s perhaps the last surviving moderate Republican, and he knows it. According to The Hill, the only reason the decorated U.S. Army General and former Secretary of State is still a Republican is because it aggravates the right-wing extremists and Tea Party wannabe “patriots” who have taken over the party.
Powell assured everyone that he isn’t defecting from the Republican Party during Washington, D.C.’s Washington Ideas forum, saying:
“Yes, I’m still a Republican. I want to continue to be a Republican because it annoys them.”
I think the party has shifted much further right than where the country is and it should be obvious to party leaders that they cannot keep saying and doing the things that they were doing and hope to be successful in national-level election in the future, not just in 2016.”
As funny as the idea of Colin Powell trolling the GOP by staying one of them just because it amuses him is, it really highlights just how extreme the party has become and how scarce moderation has become. He is nothing but a heretical RINO (Republican In Name Only) to the current crop of legislative terrorists who are in charge of the party. He’s stopping short of defecting, likely for reasons known only to himself.
Powell then turned to focus on the GOP’s hateful stances when it comes to undocumented immigrants, noting that it tends to be a turn off the much of the electorate, saying:
“I think most Republicans understand that we need immigration, we are an immigrant nation [and that] it is in our best interest to do it.”
After that it was on to the establishment Republican Party’s wild-card feral child, primary frontrunner Donald Trump. Powell assured the forum that Trump’s immigration ideas should not be representative of the party at large:
“If I was around Mr. Trump — Donald, who I know rather well — I would say, ‘You know, Don, let’s see what happens — let’s tell all the immigrants working in Trump hotels to stay home tomorrow. ‘Let’s see what happens.’”
Colin Powell and others likely know that Trump’s empire would come crashing to the ground if his immigrant employees up and abandoned him, even for a day. Trump’s offensive stance on immigration is at odds with his own livelihood, which makes no sense at all but perfectly encapsulates the Republican way Then again, someone like Trump, of all people as the frontrunner in a presidential primary makes no sense at all, either.
Powell went on to conclude by reminding everyone that, by its very nature, America is a nation of immigrants and that fact is one of our biggest strengths:
“There are first-generation American immigrants who will raise children who will go up to higher things. It’s that immigrant tradition — get started and the next generation will be better and the generation after that will be even better.”
And that, of course, is what makes America truly great. However, Colin Powell is sorely mistaken if he believes that he can bring the Tea Party crowd over to a reasonable way of thinking on immigration reform or anything else. The current incarnation of the GOP is determined to continue with their draconian ways until they are voted into complete irrelevance. Come on over to the left, kind sir. We’d be glad to have you.
H/T: The Hill
Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.