Former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell waged an important message to the Republican Party this weekend: "We have to become more respectful of each other." He said even Jerry Springer thinks it's gone too far, and "when Jerry Springer thinks you've gone too far, my friends, you have gone too far." It isn't the first time the Anglican/Episcopalian military leader has issued reminders about American faith.
This time, Powell was prompted by the death of former first lady Nancy Reagan Saturday to speak out in an interview with NPR's Michel Martin on "All Things Considered." Powell said he believed she would be "disturbed" by the way her husband's legacy is invoked by some people today.
"To stand there and do junior high school tricks on one another is belittling the country and belittling the office to which they are striving," he said, reminiscing about the "civility" and "lack of any nastiness" he saw while serving as Reagan's national security adviser.
Powell insisted he is a Republican, even though he supported Barack Obama in both the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections, reports NPR. In both of those campaign years, Powell spoke out critically about the rhetoric of the GOP.
In 2012, Powell spoke out against "a level of intolerance in some parts of the party - and there was. And I think there still is."
In the NPR interview, Powell did not name any specific candidates while sharing his criticism.
He must spend time analyzing the political situation, because he, himself, declined to run for the U.S. presidency on during several nominating periods in the past.
Powell became national security adviser in 1987 at the height of the Iran-Contra scandal, which erupted over secret operations that included an arms sale to Iran in exchange for American hostages being held in Lebanon.
As the political world again reflects on the example set by the Reagans in the wake of Mrs. Reagan's death, Powell said he hopes "perhaps this would calm the temperature a bit in our public debate now."
NPR readers seemed to agree with Powell on the service's Facebook page. One online poster, John C. Moody, shared that Powell is the only current Republican he doesn't consider an embarrassment to their party, and is the one he would vote for over anyone in either party in this election.
"It is a true shame that the GOP has put forward this group of right wing fools in this election cycle and couldn't find a decent man like this [Powell] to give us a moderate to vote for," stated Moody.