Seeing Allen West in person, the first thing I noticed was his normalcy. He is a nice looking, well dressed, middle-aged man with an unassuming presence…until he speaks. That is when he becomes larger than life. I was fortunate to be one of the first few people that he spoke with when he entered the room (well, truth be told I got there early and sat on the front row). I wore my Politichicks button and he smiled when he shook my hand and said “ah, a Politichick, I guess I will be seeing this in writing”. I simply said “yes sir, you will, but it will all be good”.
LTC West and I share a birthday, February 7th. Recently he held a fundraiser dinner for the Allen West Foundation here in our city. Attending the speech and dinner with LTC West was my birthday gift this year from my husband. I loved it!
Per the website – “The primary objective of The Allen West Foundation is to educate and inspire the next generation of conservative minority and veteran leaders”. This is truly what he has set out to do. He did not campaign for himself or any candidate, he did not ask for money, he simply educated those in attendance. In his own words “it is not about parties or politics, it is about principle”.
Allen West still believes in America. That in itself is rewarding and gives me the fortitude to want to make a difference. However, there are basic values that he feels we have forgotten, basic premises that we have quit carrying forward, basic knowledge that we no longer share with the uninformed. For instance, we have stopped taking the message of success to every corner of this great country. Growing up, Allen West’s parents never told him his color was a crutch. Children of today need to be told that same thing. They need to be told that no matter what color they are or what their ethnic background is, they can succeed. He asked “Does the Constitution guarantee you happiness? Of course not, it guarantees you the pursuit of happiness.” Our younger generation needs to be the taught that the only thing that limits them is themselves. They need to be taught to believe in a cause – causes such as liberty and freedom. But it begins in childhood. That is where the values of respect, patriotism, discipline and pride in country start. LTC West brought the audience to their feet with applause with one statement. “The breakdown of America began with the breakdown of the family.” No one was applauding the statement. They were applauding the fact that he takes this message to everyone he meets.
One question that was asked time and again was “how do we get local people involved, how do we inform others, how do we get people interested enough to vote?” His answer was this, “Go out and talk to five people who believe differently than you and make it your goal to convince at least three of them to listen to your views.” Remind them of a quote by the philosopher Plato, “One of the penalties of refusing to participate is politics is being governed by your inferiors.” Apathy is killing America.
I asked LTC West about the dossier that he signed with Frank Gaffney to the ACU regarding the infiltration of the Muslim Brotherhood into conservative America. His answer was simply this. “Read the 1991 document called An Explanatory Memorandum”. As he elaborated he reiterated that the Muslim Brotherhood is alive and well and each of us needs to be aware of it in our daily lives. There are 30+ training camps scattered across the United States and people need to realize that everyone who crosses the Texas and Arizona borders from Mexico is not here to work construction, landscape or babysit. We are being infiltrated every single day. There are Hezbollah training camps operating in South America. There are daily flights from Caracas to Tehran with no manifest. The infiltration is not overt. The terrorists work from within to change our ideology and to erode the fundamental beliefs of our country.
In ancient times the Greeks locked shields to create a united and formidable front. It is time for us to stop creating gaps, lock shields and fight.