Perspectives: Colin Powell’s Death and Legacy

Headline Roundup October 19th, 2021

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell’s death on Monday prompted an outpouring of opinion articles discussing his death and legacy. Powell, 84, died of complications from COVID-19, according to his family; he was fully vaccinated and suffering from multiple myeloma, a blood cancer that impairs the immune system. On Tuesday, former President Donald Trump made news by remembering Powell, a frequent Trump critic, as a “classic RINO” whom the media was covering “so beautifully” despite “big mistakes.” President Joe Biden and former presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton each issued a statement praising Powell. 

Outlets big and small across the spectrum published opinion articles on Colin Powell following his death. Most voices praised Powell as a “reluctant warrior,” “a widely admired symbol of the American Dream,” or a “role model for all Americans.” Some voices in left-rated outlets criticized Powell’s “shameful” role in the Iraq War. Some voices spoke about Powell’s impact on black Americans. Some voices discussed Powell’s vaccination status, with some on the right arguing his death weakened the case for vaccines and other voices from the left and center pushing back on that idea. 

From the Center
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OPINION

A patriot died Monday.  A man who proudly said, “I’m an American, first and foremost,” lived a life of integrity that stayed true to his statement. Colin Powell, 84, was extraordinary because he did something that we should all expect. Powell put country ahead of politics.

With Powell’s death Monday from COVID-19 complications amid his battle with cancer comes the loss of an important voice of reason for the Republican Party. His death is a loss to the country and the Black community. Powell was a trailblazer. He was the first Black secretary of State...

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From the Left
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OPINION

Colin Powell, who died Monday due to complications related to Covid-19, commanded respect from Washington elites and the broader public across the political spectrum — an extraordinary feat that stemmed from his reputation for discipline and fairness. The Harlem, New York-born son of Jamaican immigrants, Powell became a four-star general and the first Black secretary of state and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Unfortunately, Powell marshaled that reputation and power in service of a terrible misdeed: making the Bush administration’s most powerful case for the Iraq War. Powell went on...

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From the Right
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OPINION

It was an enormous shock to learn that Colin Powell died at 84 of complications from COVID-19.

His devotion to duty, commitment to America, and innate sense of dignity and decency made him seem ageless and timeless. 

We live near the Powells in McLean, Virginia. Our pictures hang side-by-side at Simon’s Shoe and Luggage Repair. As a four-star general, secretary of state and national security adviser, Powell wandered around town as a normal citizen. He greeted one and all with courtesy and kindness.

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