In the upcoming American election, it's a pretty big deal to have former Secretary of State and general Colin Powell, a Republican, endorse Barack Obama, the Democratic nominee, for president:
Of course it's all over the news. But I'd like you to watch the video of his speech or, even better, read the transcript, then think about it a minute.
Notice how straightforward Powell's answers are. He doesn't dodge or prevaricate. He doesn't try to spin talking points or fire out sound bites, even about the Iraq War. When a reply needs detail, he provides it, and talks for some time, making an argument. When it needs simplicity, he offers it without extra padding. At the end, when a reporter asks if he's still a Republican, what is his answer—in its entirety? "Yes."
Such clarity in political speech is so rare that it is actually shocking. That people must be out of politics before they can really speak their minds this way is shameful. I'm sure many U.S. Democrats will applaud Powell for it, and many Republicans will excoriate him. But I'm glad he is self-secure and well respected enough that, to him, that obviously doesn't matter.
Labels: americas, language, politics, war