City of Brass

Republican pundits have been hating on Colin Powell, saying he endorsed Obama solely because of race, as well as impugning his service and his honor. But the really venomous reaction has been from the rank and file, flooding Powell’s inbox. Especially with regard to Powell’s impassioned defense of muslim-American patriotism, I found this particularly telling:

Powell got a note from Feroze Khan this week thanking him for
telling the world that Muslim-Americans are as good as any others. But
he also received more e-mails insisting that Obama is a Muslim and one
calling him “unconstitutional
and unbiblical” for daring to support a socialist. He got a mass e-mail
from a man wanting to spread the word that Obama was reading a book
about the end of America written by a fellow Muslim.

cow!” Powell thought. Upon checking, he saw that it was a
reference to Fareed Zakaria, a Muslim who writes a Newsweek column and
hosts a CNN foreign affairs show. His latest book is “The Post-American

I am actually reading Zakaria’s Post-American World right now and it’s a brilliant book, not about the “end of America” but the increasing ways in which globalization is letting the rest of the world wean itself from our dominance in all spheres, particularly economic and cultural. Zakaria’s previous book, The Future of Freedom, was really quite formative upon my thinking with respect to constitutionalized liberalism and the pursuit of freedom world-wide.

I think that the reaction to Powell from the right, especially the email above, are indicative of a tremendous intellectual gap between the idealogues who have dominated the Republican Party and the stalwart, serious Republicans who comprised its serious core. That the core is being expelled does not speak well of the GOP’s future, which by all accounts appears headed for scapegoating, civil war and ideological purges after its impending massive defeat.

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