CNN reports – “Roughly 24 hours after the death of Colin Powell, Donald Trump proved, again, that he is utterly incapable of empathy, grace, or even common decency.” CNN was referring to the following comments made by Trump concerning Powell:
“Wonderful to see Colin Powell, who made big mistakes on Iraq and famously, so-called weapons of mass destruction, be treated in death so beautifully by the Fake News Media,” Trump said in a statement released Tuesday morning. “Hope that happens to me someday. He was a classic RINO, if even that, always being the first to attack other Republicans. He made plenty of mistakes, but anyway, may he rest in peace!”
CNN goes on to say, “Powell was a highly decorated soldier and served as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the first Gulf War. While there’s no question that his argument that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction as a way to justify the second war in Iraq was a stain on his legacy, it’s just as clear that this is a man who gave the vast majority of his adult life to service to the country.”
This is in contrast with other past presidents’ comments concerning Colin Powell.
- “Laura and I are deeply saddened by the death of Colin Powell,” said George W. Bush. “He was a great public servant, starting with his time as a soldier during Vietnam.”
- “General Powell was an exemplary soldier and an exemplary patriot,” said Barack Obama. “He was at the center of some of the most consequential events of our lifetimes.”
- “He lived the promise of America, and spent a lifetime working to help our country, especially our young people, live up to its own ideals and noblest aspirations at home and around the world,” said Bill Clinton.
So was Trump insensitive in his comments of Colin Powell’s legacy?
Mariana Alfaro of The Washington Post wrote extensively on how Powell envisioned moving the GOP “Close to the Spirit of Lincoln.” The political world wondered whether Powell was a Democrat or a Republican – as if one could not tell by the policies one espouses.
At a packed news conference in November 1995, dominated by speculation about a presidential bid for the trailblazing four-star general, Powell delivered the big reveal: He had registered as a Republican.
Powell resisted seeking the presidency, saying that he was turning them down because he believed he lacked the “passion and commitment” needed for political life. Powell simply did not have the “fire in the belly to run for public office” because he never “felt comfortable having to play the political game.” “I’m not a fellow of anything right now,” he added. “I’m just a citizen who has voted Republican, voted Democrat, throughout my entire career, and right now I’m just watching my country and not concerned with parties.”
Powell eventually became disenchanted with the GOP and endorsed Democrats for president, starting with Barack Obama. He also called former President Donald Trump a national disgrace and said he no longer considered himself a Republican following the Jan. 6 storming of the Capitol.
Like so many other political decisions in Powell’s political career, he was an enigma to understand what he really believed in terms of political policy for the nation. This is exemplified in his view or towards Black Lives Matter (BLM). He supports BLM but then goes on to say he also supports all lives matters. See here in a video explanation. For Powell, it seems as if the journey was more important than actual policy – which can be problematic if you want to achieve something for the nation.
Trump’s Colin Powell comment mirrors some other comments Trump has made in the past concerning other people in politics and reflects a familiar self-sabotaging pattern. On this particular occasion, his comments were:
- Poorly worded and timed.
- Indecent towards grieving family.
- Egocentric and focused too much on himself.
- As former Commander-in-Chief, tone death to the hundreds of thousands of Military who served both in battle under the direct command of Powell in theater or peacetime.
- An unforced political error. Unnecessary in the sense that Trump is trying to build a new America First coalition. Months of targeted fundraising and promoting candidates to challenge (RINO) Republicans in the 2022 primaries at risk over his divisive comments that yield little, and now become the lead cudgel on the campaign trail for every Trump-endorsed candidate who media sticks a microphone in their face to prick, not to mention the RINO’s fundraising pitch.
- A perfect red-bowed gift for the media to set up Trump and by extension the Republican party and candidates as racists. While Trump laid nasty words on Senator McCain and George Bush Sr., Jr., and Jeb – he refrained from attacking in such a vein on the days and weeks directly after the elder Bush’s passing, and the Senator. Trump even facilitated Air Force Two to transport the Senator to lie in state. The media will wrongly spin the racial angle on Trump choosing to put vile words on Powell instead.
However, as often the case with Trump, for some Americans the analysis was challengingly correct.
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