Politics

Allen West at CPAC: “Deeds, not words, will paint this country red.”

Allen West at CPAC: "Deeds, not words, will paint this country red."

I suspect Allen West knows that a line like “Deeds, and not words, will paint this country red from California coast to the rocky shores” will be seized by liberals as some kind of bloody threat.  I doubt it bothers him much.

The former representative from Florida came to the 2013 Conservative Political Action Conference to talk about the resurgence of conservatism in the wake of Barack Obama’s re-election.  “I’ll give it to you straight,” said West.  “Last November, we did take one on the jaw.  But this movement, and this fight, is not determined by the punches that we take.  We’re defined by how quickly we pull ourselves off the mat, and our perseverance.  There’s no shortage of people telling us what conservatism cannot accomplish – what we can’t do, how we cannot connect, how we must change our values to fit the times.  Well, ladies and gentlemen, I want to tell you, that truly is a bunch of malarkey.”  This earned West some laughs from those who recall Vice President Joe Biden’s use of the term during the vice-presidential debate in 2012.

West portrayed the opprobrium hurled at him by liberals as a manifestation of their fears.  “Folks, I’m speaking from experience when I tell you that there is nothing on this green Earth that a liberal progressive fears more than a black American who wants a better life, and a smaller government,” he said.  “The Republic I love, the Republic I risked my life to defend, the values I hold dear, the integrity that we all share… these do not know prejudice, and they do not accept partiality.”

He hailed the American combination of “fierce independence held high on the shoulders of compassion,” expressed through a Constitution that was “written to control and regulate the government, not the people.”

“I am sick and tired of hearing that it’s our moral duty to serve the State,” said West.  “Because conservatives believe that it is our moral duty to serve our fellow man, regardless of race, sex, affiliation, or creed.  And when we serve, we believe that it is the State’s duty to get out of the way.”

President Obama, in contrast, served “snake oil” in the last election, telling Americans that “compassion comes not from generosity, but from compliance,” and “kindness means raiding a man’s hard-earned wages and sending it off to Washington D.C., so that they – not you – may dole it out as courtesies and indulgences.”  He strongly praised private charity and volunteer efforts, which are hindered when people lack the freedom to choose charity of their own free will.”  He amusingly described Washington as “sixty miles surrounded by reality.”

Liberal “charity,” on the other hand, was described by West as “a smug sermon on ‘fair share’ and what fairness is.”  He remarked that if America’s founders wanted to be ruled, they wouldn’t have bothered with the Revolution, since a ready supply of “controlled existence” was provided by the British crown.

West, a military veteran, was inspiring in his appreciation for the valor and sacrifice of those who defend our “freedom born of fire.”  He declared, “I’m a conservative because I believe in peace, real peace, and not peace of mind.  I’m a conservative because I believe and understand that real peace comes from the Marine Corps, not the Peace Corps.”

He compared President Obama’s fear-mongering about the ravages of sequestration to the very real, and generally unremarked, job losses inflicted by his policies.  “A few weeks back, President Obama trotted out a handful of emergency responders, and talked about how badly Republican policies were hurting them.  But let us not forget that a company in Tennessee will have to lay off a hundred workers because of ObamaCare’s new tax on medical devices.  A doctor works his way to prosperity by inventing amazing new tools that have saved lives across the world, but government regulations have become so strict that he has to fly to Europe to test them.  Down in Virginia, there’s a man who started Chick-fil-A to provide food for the nine people living under his roof.  He paid his employees above the minimum wage and treated them like family. Now he has to fire or demote them to part time, because he can’t keep his business in the black while ObamaCare is on the books.”

West spoke at length about the “giants” of American leadership, specifically naming a few of what he saw as the “next generation of great leadership”: Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, and Rep. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee.  “We cannot simply be a party of accountants, of dollars and sense, of bottom lines,” he said.  “This next generation cannot allow righteous concern over the national debt to mask the benevolent purpose behind all of those words.  We are for freedom.  We are for liberty.  We want hope for the impoverished.  We want America to shine as a beacon of light and life for the world.  And it is conservatism, not the hollow promises of the welfare state, that will get us there.”

He concluded by quoting from Paul’s letter to the Romans – “The time has come for you to wake from your sleep.  Salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed” – and offering the same encouragement to conservatives.  “The night is gone.  The day is at hand.  Cast off the works of darkness, and put on the full armor of light.”

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