I do a lot of complaining here on the Ink of the Sprocket, especially when it comes to politics. Now, I love the politics. I’m what you call a politics junkie, and what really gets me going is when I have something to complain about, such as magical rape-repelling vaginas or racist cartoon villains. When my dander gets raised, I love nothing more than a good, old fashioned rant. But I rarely praise anyone, rarely talk about the good guys.
Yet when I had the gobsmacking pleasure of watching a badass mofo call out his own political party for racism and extremism, I had to publicly give the man his due props. I’m talking about Colin Powell on this Sunday’s “Meet the Press.” And had I been sipping my very hot tea, I may have actually done a spit take. Instead I just yelled across the room my utter delight.
Powell began with explaining that he’s still a Republican, but the current party isn’t his Republican party. He said that there is a “dark vein of intolerance in some parts of the party…What do I mean by that? What I mean by that is they still sort of look down on minorities…When I see a former governor say that the president is ‘shuckin’ and jivin’ — that’s a racial-era slave term.”
I think I may have literally applauded at the television.
Powell is absolutely right on the nose, but in the era of RINOs and signed pledges, you don’t hear Republicans these days calling out their own party, not if they want to sleep in horse-head free mattresses anyway. Dissension is just not tolerated. Sure, you hear Chris Christie occasionally coming over to the dark side and moderate Jon Hunstman has dipped his toes in the criticism water. But this? This is a man who was in W Bush’s cabinet, who has very delicately broached the mistakes of those years in interviews with finesses and diplomacy and has always been kind of gracious.
And this interview was, admittedly, both kind and gracious, but he also didn’t mince words; he called out the radicals and the racists and he made sure to distance them from the old GOP and he didn’t apologize for it. ”You’ve got to think first about what’s the party actually going to represent,” Powell said. “If it’s just going to represent the far right wing of the political spectrum, I think the party is in difficulty. I’m a moderate, but I’m still a Republican.”
People wonder why women are abandoning the GOP? They wonder why highly conservative and religious-minded minority voters still vote Democrat? This is why, folks.
I’m an unabashed liberal (obviously), but I do believe in an opposition party. I’m not one of those who says just abolish the Republican party (for example) so we can all live in liberal, progressive Utopia. Utopia can’t exist and without some opposition to keep us in check, there’s no balance, no give and take and then we run the risk of a monopoly of ideology. Just think Star Wars. You need the Dark Side to bring balance. Or was it Luke Skywalker who brought balance? I’m confused. Also, a nerd I very much am.
Yet the Republican party of today, as Powell pointed out, is not the GOP. It’s been taken hostage by extremists and radicals, leaving no room for moderation, tolerance, or, in many cases, intelligence. I predict that either moderate Republicans stage a coup and take their party back or a new party blooms out of necessity.
General? Care to lead them?