Republicans want Colin Powell to leave the party and become a Democrat
By Boyce Watkins
Colin Powell is a very unique Republican to say the least. He has been consistently loyal to the party for decades, but has huge ideological divides with the party on many common sense issues. He hasn’t allowed the change of party direction to cause him to change his own views on the world, and some respect him for that.
But there are some Republicans who’ve had it with Powell. Powell’s recent endorsement of President Barack Obama, which is the second since 2008, has Republicans fuming, and they are now asking Colin why he even bothers to pretend to be a member of the party?
Rather than leading as a general, they are asking why Powell isn’t following like a good soldier?
CNN contributor Reihan Salam has asked this question openly in his latest column, stating that Powell would be better off simply leaving the Republican Party instead of torturing the party with what he perceives to be blatant disloyalty and unforgivable disrespect.
Recently, Colin Powell, a retired four-star U.S. Army general perhaps best known for having served as Secretary of State under President George W. Bush, endorsed Barack Obama’s bid for re-election during an interview with CBS This Morning.
Given that Powell had enthusiastically endorsed Obama in 2008, his decision to back him yet again shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise. Yet Powell’s endorsement of a Democratic candidate is seen as significant because he describes himself as “a Republican of a more moderate mold,” who laments that GOP moderates are “something of a dying breed.”
Powell expressed discontent with the Republican stance on climate change, immigration and education, and he seemed more comfortable with Obama’s approach to achieving fiscal balance than Mitt Romney’s. Powell is also, among other things, a defender of racial preferences in college admissions and abortion rights.
While it is certainly true that Powell’s views were not uncommon among moderate and liberal Republicans of an earlier era, it is not entirely clear why he chooses not to identify as a Democrat or as a liberal-leaning independent. One assumes that Powell has some residual loyalty to the party of Nelson Rockefeller and Gerald Ford, which is, of course, fair enough.
But would American democracy be better and healthier if we had more Republicans such as Powell and more Democrats such as, say, former U.S. Sen. Zell Miller, the Georgia Democrat who famously endorsed President George W. Bush at the 2004 Republican National Convention?