David Treadwell: Powell vs Trump: a study in contrasts

On Friday, November 5, a memorial service was held in honor of former US Secretary of State and Four-Star General Colin Powell at the Washington National Cathedral. Speakers spoke of Powell’s leadership, patriotism and family values, creating an image of an extraordinary human being, a man of the people and for his country.

Powell’s son Michael Powell has spoken of holding his father’s hand over the past few days, just as his father had held his when he had been in hospital years earlier. He recounted the time his father thought he heard a noise in Michael’s car and wanted to fix it. He started taking the car apart, tinkering with it and then reassembling it. But then the car would only roll back. So Powell drove him back three miles to the gas station, smiling the whole time.

Powell’s close friend Richard Armitage, a former military, diplomat and government official, recounted the moment Powell fell to his knees and sang Mama Mia to an amused Swedish foreign minister. And, on a more serious note, Armitage said that if he called Powell on a Sunday morning, Powell would always say, “I’m in a state of grace,” meaning in church. Armitage noted that Powell was still in a “state of grace.”

In addition to Powell’s family, the audience included President Barack Obama and Michelle and President George W. Bush and Laura. Former Secretaries of State Hillary Clinton and Madeleine Albright both spoke fondly of Powell’s leadership and humanity.

Powell, who gained the nation’s respect after successfully leading the First Gulf War, briefly considered running for president in 1996, but decided against it. Looking back, he said: “It was a horrible time because I didn’t expect to be approached that way and have so much pressure on me. I am a soldier. But after a few weeks (testing political waters), I realized it just wasn’t me. This is not what I can do.

President Donal Trump was notably absent from the memorial service. This is perhaps not surprising given Trump’s typically rude comments after Powell’s death. “It’s wonderful to see Colin Powell, who made big mistakes on Iraq and the infamous weapons of mass destruction, being treated so well to death by the fake media. I hope that will happen to me one day. He was a classic RINO, if not that, always being the first to attack other Republicans. He made lots of mistakes, but may he rest in peace!

Trump apparently did not appreciate Powell’s remarks shortly after the nation’s Capitol uprising on January 6. Powell had said Trump was “responsible for one of the most disgusting things I have ever seen in all my years as a government employee.” He also said he no longer considered himself a member of the presidential party.

Trump’s comments on Powell horrified even Michael Reagan, the son of President Ronald Reagan and a columnist who spends most of his time waving the Republican flag and disparaging Democrats. “Trump just can’t help but be Trump. He can’t think beyond right now – or even beyond himself. Instead of issuing a respectful presidential statement on the death of a great American, or just shutting up, he had to do his digs and try to make himself the star of the day. “

Come on, Michael: Did the selfish tyrant behavior you supported in 2016 and 2020 really surprise you? Truly? I think you protest too late.

Okay, let’s compare General Colin Powell with President Donald Trump.

Powell, the son of poor Jamaican immigrants, went on to become a four-star general and the country’s first African-American secretary of state and the first African-American chief of staff, the highest military rank. Trump, on the other hand, was the son of a real estate developer who passed on several millions and a broken moral compass to the man who twice became America’s first president. Trump remains stuck in a quagmire of lawsuits over his history of White House mischief. Powell remains revered by members of both parties, past and present.

Powell was a devoted family, a loyal husband and faithful for nearly 60 years to his wife Alma. Trump has had three marriages and has been sued by several women for sexual harassment and worse.

Powell, a four-star general, won a Purple Heart in his first tour of duty and a Bronze Star a year later. Trump “earned” a postponement of military service, earning the nickname Cadet Bone Spurs by Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-Illinois), who lost both legs during the Iraq War.

Powell was a faithful practitioner, devoted to the episcopal faith. Trump has rarely seen the interior of a church, although like a last-day Elmer Gantry, he managed to convince millions of white Christian evangelicals that as a good Christian he would fight for them in the White House. by appointing “conservative” judges, ie anti-abortion and anti-same-sex marriage justice. In all fairness (satire scare), Trump managed to hold a Bible (upside down) without dropping it outside St. John’s Church after disrupting a protest.

So there you have it: Colin Powell, a giant among generals, against Donald Trump, a pygmy among presidents. A man who really cared about our Republic and whom she defended against a man who doesn’t care about himself.

On a final note, some people have suggested that I stop writing about Trump because he is no longer president. I can’t do this because Trump remains largely the head of one of our two main political parties and until the Republican leadership abandons Trump, I will continue to denigrate him.

David Treadwell, a writer from Brunswick, welcomes comments and suggestions for future “Just a Little Old” columns. [email protected]

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