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pushback on Powell

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:

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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.

“Holy
cow!” Powell thought. Upon checking Amazon.com, 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
World.”

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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.

  • Abdifatah Shafat

    I was watching Powell’s endorsement and I don’t believe he did anything unconstitutional. As a Muslim living in the US, I couldn’t stop but feel a little excited about Powell’s pronouncemnts especially with regards to the rights of Muslims in the US. He said what Muslims would have wanted said, but which they don’t have any platform to say. Furthermore, it was striking since it came from a top individual and a military leader at that. It has become “institutionalized” that Muslims are culprits, and that anybody who is even remotely related to them is one of them and thus is not fit for public office. Whatever happened to democracy and inclusivesness!

  • Erin

    I guess I am just weirded out about him endorsing Obama. Look, I know that the Bush administration hasn’t been the best, but I would rather have someone who has more experience. Also, I would think that most Muslims would rather go for someone who is more conservative, than someone who will let anything go. I am a full American, born and raised, and I feel that it is unfair that I work 40+ hours a week, struggling to get by, when others don’t choose to work and get free schooling, free food, and free money, and the democratic party want us to give even more.
    Far as Muslim affairs, I am actually thinking of converting, and I still don’t think Obama is the right candidate. I think the only people that will truly benefit will be the non-working people. Because the middle class will be struggling to keep the non-working people benefited, this includs Islamic businesses and hard working Muslims.
    Much love!!

  • Ed

    If Powell were going to endorse Obama because of race, he would have done so a long time ago. It was a thoughtful and powerful endorsement. He acknowledged Sen McCain’s good points first. And I just totally admire Powell’s comments about Islam. He is brave in so very many ways.

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