Its about god damn time someone said this:
But what if he is (Muslim)? Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country? The answer is no. That's not America. Is there something wrong with a seven-year-old Muslim-American kid believing he or she could be president? Yet I have heard senior members of my own party drop the suggestion that he is a Muslim and might have an association with terrorists. This is not the way we should be doing it in America.
Thank you, Mr. Powell, for having the guts to confront this issue. Living in the south, I take it for granted that the Christian majority views people who hold other religious views with suspicion. I take it for granted that the establishment is Christian even if we don't have a federal establishment of Christianity. The notion that practice of Islam ought not to disqualify a person from being President has been whispered in private for months but I take it for granted that such a perspective is not acceptable publicly... not persuasive to those who raise this as an objection to Obama's candidacy. Its easier to attack their misinformation rather than engage the fundamental questions of religious tolerance, and the identity of America. But those questions ought to be engaged, and it is heartening that our nation has leaders who are willing to do so.
The cynic in me dismisses this as more political theater. Afterall, it was Powell who fell on his sword after getting caught up in the pissing match between the DoD and the CIA that lead us to the war in Iraq. I'm sure he felt like he could turn the knife more by coming out and publicly endorsing the Dems.
But I like Powell. It was unfortunate that his presidential campaign never really got off the ground because I think he would've been the conservative answer to Obama. He's thoughtful, intelligent, rational, but not afraid to punch you in the throat if he thinks you're full of shit.
In any case, I hope that he has some kind of role with the new administration, whatever it might be.
RE: Colin Powell Endorses Barack Obama