Donald Trump has again made headlines for the wrong reasons as he trash-talked Colin Powell soon after his death. The controversial former US president never shies away from queer utterances and the inability to care about people’s feelings, especially those classified as anti-Trump. His reign in the presidential office was marred with peculiar decisions and statements that would make other world leaders question his qualities of becoming a good president.
One would expect empathy after the death of a person, but Trump seemed to have other ideas concerning the late Powell. In most societies, it is regarded as a bad form to bad mouth the dead. It does not hurt to say ‘rest in peace,’ but Trump wanted to clarify Powell’s flaws and misconduct. Medical reports revealed that Powell died of covid-19, and he was the first black US secretary of state.
The staunch republican released a statement on Tuesday. He said that “Wonderful to see Colin Powell, who made big mistakes on Iraq and famously, so-called weapons of mass destruction, be treated in death so beautifully by the Fake News Media. Certainly, Powell tainted his legacy by supporting the second war in Iraq after blaming it for possessing weapons of mass destruction. He added that “Hope that happens to me someday. He was a classic RINO, if even that, always being the first to attack other Republicans. He made plenty of mistakes, but anyway, may he rest in peace!”.
Trump’s statement depicts how his message of condolences was just thrown around and can be viewed as emanating out of a sense of social duty. According to some social practices, a person’s conduct must be shown at the funeral, and maybe Trump was coming from this angle of life. Some might crucify Trump since Collin Powell once served as an American soldier, and clearly, his death must bring sorrow to the faces of Americans.
Other former US presidents sent out their condolences which are quite parallel to Trump’s words. “Laura and I are deeply saddened by the death of Colin Powell. He was a great public servant, starting with his time as a soldier during Vietnam,” noted by the iconic George W. Bush. Former US president Barrack Obama commented on Powell’s death and said, “General Powell was an exemplary soldier and patriot. He was at the center of some of the most consequential events of our lifetimes.”
Bill Clinton released a statement that stated that Powell “lived the promise of America, and spent a lifetime working to help out the country, especially our young people, live up to its ideals and noblest aspirations at home and around the world.” Considering these messages from other prominent politicians leaves people wondering why Trump is the odd one out. Usually, such stances are taken by people who want to own the spotlight. Still, the Republican has already amassed many followers and always has the media eye following him around.
CNN suggested that “Trump’s statement should remind us is that this is a man uniquely self-obsessed — and without any ability to see beyond himself.” This is not the first time he has been despised for being selfish and self-centered and was attacked for his views towards immigrants, the coronavirus outbreak pandemic’s origins, and racist comments.
History shows friction between Powell and Trump, and Powell aired out criticism against Trump on public forums. In 2016, Powell voted for Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden in 2020. His death gifted Trump with an opportunity to lash back at him, and he received it with open arms.
Having spent most of his life serving the country and dedicating his time to work for the government, it is justifiable for government officials to be saddened by his death and appreciate his contribution to the welfare of the US. But this does not persuade Trump to move even an inch closer to empathy or even try to describe him with kind words.