In their oath of office, the President of the United States swears that they will “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States”. Of course the preamble to that Constitution starts with “We the People”, but former Secretary of State Colin Powell today said that President Trump is advocating “me the president” instead of “We the People”. Many have noted what appears to be rampant narcissism on the part of Trump, but usually it is not a former Secretary of State, a Republican one no less, saying it. Speaking on CNN, Powell, who was Secretary of State in George W. Bush’s administration and is also a retired four-star general, said, according to The Hill, “My favorite three words in our Constitution is the first three words – ‘We the People.’ ‘We the People.’ But recently it’s become ‘me the president,’ as opposed to ‘We the People.’ And you see things that should not be happening.”
Even back to the time of Trump’s presidential candidacy, Powell decried Trump’s propensity to insult not just individuals but whole groups of people, including women, immigrants, African Americans, and his political opponents. That alone was enough for Powell to state at the time that he could not vote for Trump. According to The Hill:
Former Secretary of State Colin Powell on Sunday said he doesn’t believe President Trump can be a moral leader, adding that it has become “me the president” for Trump instead of “we the people.”…Powell pointed to Trump’s attacks on the press, which the president has dubbed “the enemy of the people,” as well as his tendency to insult his opponents and different groups of people. “How can a president of the United States get up and say that the media is the enemy of Americans? Hasn’t he read the First Amendment?…And I hope the president can come to the realization that he should really stop insulting people. And I used this two years ago when I said I could not vote for him in the 2016 election — and why? He insulted everybody,” Powell added, noting Trump’s attacks on African Americans, immigrants, women and his fellow candidates for president.
Powell’s response came after host Fareed Zakaria asked him if he thought Trump could be a moral leader for the world. Powell’s initial response was, “I don’t know that he can do that, because right now that is not the way he is acting.” Here is a video excerpt from Powell’s interview earlier today, including the part about “me the president” versus “We the People”: