The ascendency of Donald Trump has got the Republican establishment in a panic. Donald Trump is definitely not considered acceptable by the Republican establishment. But, how Republican is the Republican establishment? Who is considered an acceptable candidate by the Republican establishment? Let’s take the case of Colin Powell. Powell, a former secretary of state, was seriously considered as a possible presidential candidate. He is what might be considered a “moderate” and electable candidate by the establishment. Yet Powell appears to have some issues that should be troubling to his supporters.
Colin Powell sees a “dark vein” of intolerance in the GOP. Powell told George Stephanopoulos, "I still see it. I still see it in the Republican Party and I still see it in other parts of our country. You don't have to be a Republican to be touched by this dark vein.” General Powell is troubled by the Tea Party and by extension the Trump candidacy. He believes they cannot produce a winning candidate. He has asserted, “the Tea Party point of view of no compromise whatsoever is not a point of view that will eventually produce a presidential candidate who will win.” He claims, “The party has taken a sharp turn to the right…over the last 10 or 15 years the party has moved increasingly away from someone like me.”
At the same time Powell views the Occupy Wall Street protests, “as American as apple pie.” They are who we are. “We’ve been marching up and down and demonstrating throughout our history.” Tea Party demonstrations, however, just don’t pass the pie test. Powell believes in a “big tent.” How big is this tent?