Former Secretary of State with the Bush Administration, Gen. Colin Powell spoke with Tom Brokaw on Meet the Press recently to announce his full support for the Democratic nominee, Barack Obama. In addition to citing Obama’s many strengths as a leader, orator, and politician, Powell also denounces, amongst other things, the disturbing trend of polarization that has been creeping up within the McCain campaign. The Republican leader has grown increasingly disturbed with his party’s narrow-minded rhetoric, and their even narrower definition of what it means to be “American.”
I’m also troubled by, not what Sen. McCain says, but what members of the party say, and is permitted to be said. Such things as, “Well you know that Mr. Obama is Muslim.” Well the correct answer is he is “No.” He is not a Muslim, he is Christian. He has always been a Christian. But the really right question is, “What if he is?” Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country? The answer is no. That’s not America. Is there something wrong with some 7 year-old Muslim-American kid believing that he or she could be President?
Pretty powerful stuff if you ask me, and clearly a sentiment that has been pushed out to the peripheries in this campaign. The great thing about America is that there really is no one singular definition of who or what an American should be. 60 years ago people might have never dreamed they’d see an African American leading in the polls in the waning days of a Presidential election, but you know what? Times change. Who knows where we will be in the next 60. Maybe a gay Muslim woman will one day be taking the oath of office? What ever does happen, I can only hope we choose to take a step forward, not back.
Also, here’s a related article via Altmuslim.com