The news is abuzz about Colin Powell endorsing Barack Obama. The buzz might be mostly focused on a prominent Republican endorsing a Democratic candidate, but to me the important thing about this news is that the Republican Party is not a total lost cause yet.
Given my criticisms of the Republican Party, one might think that I'm a rabid Democrat. But I'm not particularly enthralled by the Democratic platform. Rather, it's that the Republican Party has been sucking so much that the Democratic Party automatically becomes the lesser of two evils. I want all three branches of the government to base decisions on reality and at least know what they're doing. I want them to have a respect for human dignity and civil rights. I want them to be honest and respect all Americans, not just those that agree with them. The Republican Party has been flunking miserably in all these respects and has been tempting me to write them off as hopeless, but Colin Powell makes me think that there still might be hope for the Republican Party yet.
As Colin Powell announced his endorsement of Barack Obama on NBC's Meet the Press, he argued many points that I wholeheartedly agree with, some of which are:
- The McCain campaign seems to be flailing about with little idea of what they're doing, in contrast with the Obama campaign which has been much more measured.
- The McCain campaign and their supporters trying to imply that Obama is a Muslim is bad enough in that it's not even true. But America is a country that values equality and diversity: the implication that being a Muslim is bad in itself is just so anti-American.
- The McCain campaign spends so much effort on dubious attacks against Obama that no one really cares about except for a narrow demographic.
While I would probably still disagree on many things with reasonable Republicans such as Colin Powell, at least I can respect them. (Despite his role in the build-up to the Iraq War, he always seemed to me as an outsider from Bush's hawkish inside circle. And while I wouldn't absolve him of all responsibility, it feels like he was duped to some degree like the rest of us.) In fact, I would probably disagree with a moderate Republican Party as much as I would disagree with the Democratic Party. The Republican Party needs more reasonable members like Colin Powell, otherwise politics becomes too boring as I would always side with the Democrats.
Or maybe not. The current state of the Republican Party does make for great comedic material.