Lawrence Wilkerson, former Chief of Staff at the State Department and 16-year aide and friend to Colin Powell, was interviewed yesterday on Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s Lateline.
Wilkerson’s October 19th speech to the New America Foundation was one of the most important foreign policy commentaries in the last 12 months and will be a fundamental part of any future assessments of Bush foreign policy.
A TWN loyal reader in Australia caught this poignant segment about Wilkerson’s political party loyalties:
Question: Now, you were, I believe, a Republican for many years, you worked with the Republican administration and the Republican secretary of state. Do you think the Republicans and the Republican President will end up paying the price, the political price, for this war?
Wilkerson: Yes and I’m very concerned about that as a citizen. My mum wrote me a letter the other day and she said, “Son,” — she’s 86 years old — she said, “Son, please don’t become a Democrat”.
And I told my mum, I called her and I said: “Mum, you know what? I want my party back. I don’t want to become a Democrat. I want my party back.”
The Republican Party that I knew, that I grew up in, a moderate party, a party that believed in fiscal discipline, a party that believed in small government, a party that had genuine conservative values. This is not a conservative leadership. This is radical leadership. I called them neo-Jacobins. They are radical. They’re not conservative. They’ve stolen my party and I would like my party back.
The political health of the country depends on the restoration of healty competition between the parties. But for that to occur, both parties have to restore their internal health. Dems need to sort out their agenda and probably need a few internal civil wars in order to move a coherent policy framework forward.
Republicans need to restore their pragmatic, moderate center.
— Steve Clemons
Ed Note: Thanks to TS for sending this clip.