In Praise Of Colin Powell And Common Sense

Geez, too bad Colin Powell isn't running for president. I'd vote for him faster than you can say "hanging chad."

On the other hand, maybe I'm glad he's not running for office -- because if he were, he might not be so willing to speak sense. I mean, have you noticed how often the process of campaigning turns candidates' brains to mush, so that they often end up spouting inane bullshit instead of sense?

Anyway -- three cheers for Powell for saying aloud two things that I had hoped at least one of the presidential or vice-presidential candidates would say:

First, as he noted in an interview this weekend, yes, taxes are a way to redistribute wealth. Say it's a nice sunny day and you and your family decide to visit a local park. You get in your car and pull out into the street -- which is paid for with tax dollars. You stop at a traffic light at an intersection. Yup, paid for with tax dollars. You take a walk through the park -- you guessed it, paid for by my tax dollars and yours. Do you have kids in school? The buildings, the playgrounds, the desks, the books -- all paid for by tax dollars.

Because that's what we do with taxes: we pay them to a central treasury, at the municipal, county, state, or federal level, and then we redistribute that "wealth" back to each other in the form of streets, parking lots, sewers, water, schools, and so forth.

Second: Barack Obama is a Christian, but what if he WAS Muslim? Big deal. Is there something wrong with a Muslim child believing he or she could be president? Or a senator or a CEO? Last time I checked, this was still the United States of America (all of it, not just the parts deemed "pro-America" by Governor Palin). And one of the things that defines we Americans is freedom of religion

. I notice, by the way, that no one objects when Muslims pay taxes or vote or die in battle for this country. So why should anyone object if a Muslim wants to run for president? Because, ya know, who's next? No Jews allowed? No Catholics? No atheists?

So -- thank you, Colin Powell, for the audacity of common sense.