While it is certainly true that Powell's views were not uncommon among moderate and liberal Republicans of an earlier era, it is not entirely clear why he chooses not to identify as a Democrat or as a liberal-leaning independent.Call me crazy, but isn't that the answer to his own question? He is implying that ideological purity is healthy in a political party. I disagree. It just leads to two parties that are more unwilling to work together or even agree on basic policies because the game becomes sinking the other party. Parties should not be religions or competing sports teams, throwing out any member that may agree or even endorse the other side or acting as if governing is a zero-sum game.
It's long past time we returned to politicians trying to help run the country rather than scoring political points and blocking the other side.