The following is a Point/Counterpoint concerning the enduring reputation of retired Army General and former Secretary of State, Colin Powell. Amanda Cartwright, a senior at Valley Forge High School and editor of the school newspaper, will be presenting the point. Powell will be presenting the counterpoint.
Point: Colin Powell was a retired four-star Army general who served as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and secretary of state. He was an American hero and a true patriot. If he were still alive, today would be his 82nd birthday.
Counterpoint: My name is Colin Luther Powell. I am still alive, and my birthday is in April.
Point: It is important for us to reflect on the life and accomplishments of this great American soldier and statesman. Who knows how the world might be different if he were still with us?
Counterpoint: I am flattered to be remembered so fondly, but I would like to reiterate that I am 100 percent still alive. I did an interview with Fareed Zakaria last October.
Point: We are so sad to have lost Mr. Powell. His impact on American military doctrine and foreign policy cannot be overstated. We can only wonder how he might feel about the present state of international politics. Standing here outside of his former home, one cannot help being overwhelmed.
Counterpoint: Are you standing outside of my house right now?
Point: An accomplished statesman, Mr. Powell maintained a strong presence on the international arena and stayed active even after he left office. Once he retired, he published a best-selling autobiography and even started restoring old Volvos. Here’s one of them in the driveway.
Counterpoint: Don’t touch that Volvo. I spent six months fixing that car. I am this close to calling the police.
Point: One can almost hear the sound of his thoughtful, resolute voice echoing through the neighborhood. Let’s pause for a moment and listen.
Counterpoint: That sound is my actual voice. That is me yelling at you from my upstairs office to go away. Please go away.
Point: In closing, we should all take time to reflect on Colin Powell’s contribution to our nation. He was, without a doubt, a great American.
Counterpoint: Is a great American.
Editor’s Update: As of press-time, Colin Powell is still a great American.