The Misguided Colin Powell

Former Secretary of State Gen. Colin Powell has lost his bearings on what it means to be a Republican.

He certainly can be forgiven for supporting Obama over McCain. He can be forgiven for criticizing Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin. He can be forgiven for criticizing the direction of the Republican Party.

However, he cannot be forgiven for disparaging the core of the philosophy of the Republican Party. At a recent conference, Powell stated, “Americans do want to pay taxes for services." He also continued that "Americans are looking for more government in their life, not less."

Powell also said, correctly, that “the Republican Party is in deep trouble.” But the party is in trouble because it deviated from two core Republican principles when it was governing.

President Bush and the Republican-controlled Congress did not adhere to two of three core principles that clearly distinguish the GOP from the Democratic Party. The first principle is less government in people’s lives. Under the Bush administration, domestic programs and spending ballooned.

The second is lower taxation. While the Bush administration lowered taxes in its first term, it did so with a sunset provision that will increase them to their pre-Bush levels in 2010. Only in the area of a strong defense did the recent Republican-controlled government maintain its principles.

The primary purpose of a political party is to advocate a certain political philosophy; not to maintain power at the expense of its core principles. If a party fails to maintain power because of poor implementation of its philosophy, it needs to change the politicians implementing the philosophy. It also needs to educate the American people that its political philosophy is better than the competition’s. It does not change its core philosophy just because it lost an election.

With his advocacy of more government and higher taxes, Powell has lost his standing to recommend change to the Republican Party. He sounds like a sheep in wolf’s clothing. He should consider joining Arlen Specter and change his party affiliation to the Democratic Party, where his big-government, liberal views are consistent with their philosophy of large government and high taxes.

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