A few minutes with Congressman Allen West, Part Two


A few minutes with Congressman Allen West, Part Two

Congressman Allen West

Congressman Allen West addressed the Georgia Republican Party State Convention Victory Dinner on Friday night. I caught up with him for a few minutes earlier that day. My personal thanks to Congressman West, and I hope to follow-up on this one day.

Here is Part One of the interview.

GaPundit: “How do we, as a Republican Party, get beyond the balkanization of America and talk to Black Americans as individuals?”

Allen West: “Talk to everybody. And that’s what I’m going to talk about tonight [at the GAGOP Victory Dinner]. The thing is, we have a superior message, we just don’t take our message to every single corner of this country.”

“You know, I grew up in the inner city. My parents were registered Democrats. My parents voted for [Georgia Congressman] John Lewis, but my parents raised me in a very conservative manner.”

“We need to start talking to people about principles. We need to start talking to people about the opportunities they want to have for themselves, and they want to have for their kids. Everybody wants that. No one wants to be a failure. Everyone wants to try to be a success.”

“So, we talk to individuals about how we revitalize our inner city communities.”

“I go back to my neighborhood, it’s been decimated.”

“When you talk to people in the Black community about better schools, school choice is the number one issue in the Black community. That’s a conservative issue, that’s a winning issue, but how many times did you see Mitt Romney or Paul Ryan talk about it? As a matter of fact, how many times did you see them go into the Black community?”

“When you look at Detroit, Detroit is a perfect example of what liberal, progressive policies over the last 40 to 50 years have done.”

“And Mitt Romney, if I’m correct, grew up in Michigan, his dad was the Governor there. How many times did Mitt Romney go into the inner city in Michigan and just stand in one of those dilapidated neighborhoods that look like a combat zone and say, ‘this is what I don’t want to see happen in this country and this is my plan?’”

“It was Art Laffer and Jack Kemp in the Reagan Administration who were the ones that came up with Urban Economic Empowerment Zones. Those were Republicans, those were conservatives. Now why is it that we don’t talk about that anymore?”

“So again, we have all the right principles, we have the message, we just have a reticence about going into these communities and talking about them.”

“The Hispanic community, they’re all about small business entrepreneurship. Well, everything in this current Administration is against small business entrepreneurship, so why don’t we go in there and talk to them about that?”

GaPundit: “One thing that strikes me in Republican politics in the last twenty years, is that successful Black Republican candidates in office tend to have had two types of careers: you have professional athletes or entertainers, and you have military professionals. Is there something about those types of organizations that leads to that type of success or that type of thinking?”

Allen West: “You know what those kinds of organizations are based upon? They’re based upon merit. Okay, when you come into the military, you know what the standard is. You don’t meet the standard, you don’t get promoted.”

“When you go into the entertainment industry, if you can’t sing, you’re not going to be successful. In the sports industry, if you can’t get out there and perform, you’re not going to be successful.”

“So, it is incredible that when you look at prominent Blacks that have been conservatives, that have been Republicans, they have come from merit-based types of organizations. And that’s what we need to continue to highlight, to promote, instead of this ‘equality of achievement,’ that the other side tries to portray, or where they try to manipulate the outcomes. That’s not how my parents raised me.”

“My parents basically said ‘you go out and get a good education and the world is yours as far as you want to go’ and that’s the type of individual responsibility, that’s the type of fundamental, individual sovereignty, individual industry that we need to go back into those communities and talk about.”

GaPundit: “How do we approach the Black community as Republicans?”

Allen West: “I think we need to reconnect with the churches, reconnect with the colleges, with the institutions.  When you look at the fact that in the Democrat National Convention last year in Charlotte, when they had to vote to put God back into the platform, that was a great opportunity for us to say, ‘we believe in our Judeo-Christian faith heritage,’ because the most conservative people in the United States on a Sunday are in the Black churches. And so that’s a connection that we need to be able to make.”

“We need to look at the Black professionals, the doctors who have one-on-one connections. Auburn Avenue, when I grew up, and I used to go down to the Butler Street YMCA, we had doctor’s offices, we had lawyer’s offices, Citizens Trust Bank, a Black-owned bank, financial institution, Atlanta Life Insurance. Those things are being lost.”

“Here in Atlanta we have Morehouse and Spelman Colleges, two of the most-famed, historically black colleges and universities, you had white Republicans who helped start those universities.”

“It’s not just your state party, it’s the national party that has lost the sense of the legacy and the connection, and the history.”

“One thing I told folks, when you sat down and you looked at the movie Lincoln, you really understood what separates the Republican Party and the Democrat Party. The Republican Party was established in 1854 for one sole reason: individual freedom.”

“Now when you looked at that movie Lincoln and they were arguing about the Thirteenth Amendment, it was individual freedom from physical bondage. But today it’s individual freedom from economic bondage. And it’s still the same two adversaries fighting this out, the protagonists and the antagonists and we need to continue talking about that legacy, about why this party was started, and make it just that simple.”

“You and I can sit here and talk about quantitative easing, we can talk about what different types of tax code systems will do, but we need to connect with people in a very simple manner. Why is the price of a carton of eggs so high, or a gallon of milk? Why is it that gasoline has gotten so high and just track it from when the President came in and it was $1.84 and where it is now. That’s where you connect to people. ”

“You know, look around in your community. Don’t you want to see these closed storefronts opened back up again so that you can get a job in your community. Talk to them about their own security and safety in their communities. That’s what we don’t do.”

GaPundit: “What’s the number one thing you want Georgia Republicans to know after you talk to them?”

Allen West: “I want Georgia Republicans to be energized and recommitted to go out there and understand that we are facing a seminal point for the future and the direction of this country. Really, this is our time as Republicans, but primarily as conservatives, to be able to articulate the right path for this country.”

“The historical path that we’ve always been on, the legacy from our Founding Fathers, from the time that Thomas Jefferson put quill to paper and he wrote the Declaration of Independence, he talked about an invasive and intrusive government. And here we are today, and what are we dealing with? When a federal government is targeting individual Americans for their political beliefs? That’s an invasive and intrusive government. So we need to be able to articulate that message out there, to say it may be these guys over here today, but one day it’s going to be you, so make your choice.”


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