Sunday, October 19, 2008

Colin Powell Endorses Obama

This is Colin Powell's very thoughtful endorsement of Barack Obama. Speaks for itself.

I just reposted this because even though it was Colin Powell when I first posted it it somehow switched to being a Keith Olberman clip. I have no idea how or why that happened, but just in case it happens again, you can find the clip here for sure.

I just discovered this wonderful clip as well... Some very wise comments on the nature of the campaign, including a rebuke to the Congresswoman from Minnesota who actually suggested that liberals are un-American and that her colleagues in Congress should be investigated. Mr. Powell doesn't say this, but I'll add my thought that hate speech - particularly in times when people are frightened and looking for ways to dissipate their fear - is toxic and powerful - and it's what's really unAmerican in my book.


Dr.John said...

But just what is hate speech? How does one know when one is doing it? Are there words that are hate words? Is it only hate speach if directed at your side but truth when directed at the other?
Is accusing somebody of using hate words a form of hate in and of itself?

Raven said...

The kind of hate speech I'm speaking of is that which is intentionally inflammatory and dishonestly so... such as calling Senator Obama a terrorist or using language which guides the unthinking to believe such things. I would say that hate speech is that which is intended to divide and appeal to the worst in us. It is wrong no matter which side does it.

I have not heard Mr. Obama's campaign engage in much inflammatory language. They have, in fact, studiously avoided it. Implying that Mr. Obama pals around with terrorists and "doesn't feel about this country the way "we" do," (we, in the context of Mrs. Palin's speeches being good, hard-working, god-loving Americans), that he is "not like us," are all forms of fear mongering, and appealing to closet and not-so-closet racism (and religious intolerance). Since I live in a small town, I'm apparently a good American on Mrs. Palin's meter, though my liberalism makes me less than American in the eyes of the Congresswoman form Minnesota. If I still lived in New York City, I would apparently not pass the test for either of them.

I have not heard Mr. Obama or Mr. Biden question the patriotism of their opponents or question their ethics (though I personally find them highly questionable). I have not heard them engage in any of that kind of thing, unless you think comparing McCain to Bush or saying he is erratic falls into the same category as implying that someone is an unpatriotic Muslim terrorist who hates our troops. I don't see a comparison there.

If I said we should rise up and smite people like Palin or that crazy woman from Minnesota and investigate THEIR patriotism because of the way they present views which are divergent from mine, that would be meeting hate with hate. I don't suggest that. That would indeed be becoming them.

However, calling them on it when they indulge in hate speech in an effort to both discourage it and counter it with truth, is not hate speech. I believe it is our moral and social responsibility as citizens. I personally think it is important to call people out on such actions. Perhaps if more people had spoken up as the Nazis spewed similar kinds of loaded language, World War II could have been prevented. Perhaps if more citizens of Rwanda had called hate speech for what it was, we would not have had so many die at the hands of their neighbors.

Mrs. Palin and Mr. McCain know quite well that Mr. Obama is not a Muslim or a terrorist. Confronted face to face with someone who had bought into the propoganda his campaign has been spewing, he was forced to back away from it. I'm glad he did that, but he has not really gone far enough to counter the impression his campaign has maliciously tried to create. Given the opportunity at the last debate to discourage and disavow statements like "terrorist," "muslim," and "kill him," Mr. McCain chose instead to say how swell his supporters are. And most of them are fine people. But some of them, egged on by the campaign are spewing the stuff of the KKK and of bigotry and hate. One of the responsibilities of leadership is to be the bully pulpit on such issues. Mr. McCain remained silent and tried to portray himself as a victim. The Congressman from the liberal side of the universe - I think that's the guy's name was Bennett - in trying to express his fear about the potential for such language went overboard and made a comparison to Wallace. Mr. Obama and his campaign, but issued statements saying this was an in appropriate comparison and Congressman Bennett himself apologized. Something said in the heat of the moment and apologized for may be hateful but it isn't hate speech.

McCain's campaign has planted many of the seeds of bigotry and ignorance and watered what has been planted in their name on the internet. At best that is irresponsible. I personally find it reprehensible as well.

And now this comment is longer than the post it references. Whew.

Travis said...

General Powell has articulated the things I've been feeling about this campaign. I agree with him on all points.

Deborah Godin said...

So well said. I hope this can convince some independents and undecideds!

peppylady said...

I heard part of what Colin Powell had to say on "Meet the press" this morning and I liked what I heard today.
But I didn't get to hear the complete interview, I was cooking breakfast.

My hubby and I got a bet on how many state McInsane and Rock will take.
It posted over on my blog.

Coffee is on.

San said...

Powell's words are eloquent. He's a thinker. And he's "been there." I am so pleased about his endorsement of Obama.

I admire what Powell said about the accusations of Obama being a Muslim. He said that although Obama is a Christian not a Muslim, why can't an eight-year-old Muslim child growing up in the U.S. have a dream of being President someday?

Quiet Paths said...

Thanks for posting this; I did see it on another political site but haven't watched it yet; I will now. PS: I just posted another photo I wanted you to see of Glacier.... glad you enjoyed the pics.

storyteller said...

I watched this interview yesterday and was most impressed with Powell’s reasoning. Would that EVERYONE be as ‘thoughtful’ in their assessment of issues and politicians. I pray that all Americans go to the polls and vote out of ‘intention’ rather than ‘fear’ so that our country might get back on track sooner rather than later.
Hugs and blessings,

Billy said...

I thought his endorsement was very measured and dignified. He's a class act in my book.