Colin Powell arguably traveled one of America’s least probable paths in history. Peggy Noonan calls it his “Great American Journey”, and it was a great one, for him personally and for his country. And his success on this journey was no doubt due to his determination that, as he wrote, “I am not going to let bigotry make me a victim instead of a full human being”. No need here to recount his stellar record as a soldier, a patriot, a human being of character. It is simply a time to give thanks that he came our way, but it is also a time to reflect, as Karl Rove has done, on the passing of another American foreign policy leader of his generation and wonder where the next one with his perspective on the American mission in the world will come from. As Rove notes, these leaders “often disagreed on specific policies, but they shared a common outlook: America is a force for good; the world is a dangerous place in which peace is maintained through strength; U. S. leadership is vital to peace; American ideals are powerful assets; and engagement in the global economy is in our interest”. And Noonan says ask yourself: “As you consider the great ones who’ve passed, are we still making their kind?” We’d better be.
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