Colin Powell’s Chief of Staff Has ‘Never Been so Concerned’ For State of This Country

National security expert and former chief of staff to United States Secretary of State Colin Powell, Col. Lawrence Wilkerson told Joy Reid today that he’s had about 50 “sentient years” and that in all that time he has “never been so concerned…for the state of this country” as he is now, under Donald Trump.

“I’ve been on this earth for about 72 years, 50 of which you could call relatively sentient years as an adult. I’ve been through the Cuban missile crisis, I’ve been through the Bay of Pigs before that, the Vietnam War, the two Iraq wars and so forth.

“And I’ve got to tell you, though, I’ve never been so concerned, as I am now, for the state of this country and world relations.”

For a man who has seen so much, and from a much closer distance than most of us, to be so alarmed by the Donald Trump presidency is truly worrisome.

As Wilkerson told The Real News Network‘s Paul Jay in a recent interview, the people Trump surrounds himself with, including National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, “are exponents of our imperial power, and of the military instrument as a necessary component, even maybe a first component of that imperial power.”

Which attitude, to say the least, more than shreds the spirit of John Quincy Adams’ words to the House of Representatives on July 4, 1821:

“America … goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own. She will commend the general cause by the countenance of her voice, and the benign sympathy of her example. She well knows that by once enlisting under other banners than her own, were they even the banners of foreign independence, she would involve herself beyond the power of extrication, in all the wars of interest and intrigue, of envy, and ambition, which assume the colors and usurp the standard of freedom. The fundamental maxims of her policy would insensibly change from liberty to force. She might become the dictatress of the world. She would be no longer the ruler of her own spirit.”

Donald Trump’s short-on-policy and long-on-blowing-stuff-up approach to foreign affairs are like nothing the United States has seen before, but then, under Trump, the United States is no more ruler of her own spirit than the easily manipulated and influenced Trump is his.