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In an email sent to his constituents, West, reflecting on these last three attacks, speculated on why “the media simply dismissed the incidents.” “One might wonder–is it open season on a principled black conservative?” he wrote.
It may very well be. But not just for the principles West espouses, but the way he espouses them. On his website http://allenwestforcongress.com/blog, candidate West maintained a blog spanning from Sept. 9, 2009 to Nov. 16, 2010 in which he outlined both his own positions, and pointed criticisms of progressive ideology. His style of writing was extremely forthright, both in defending his conservative principles, and taking on the progressive worldview, as well as its adherents, in no uncertain terms. In one of his final entries, “The Politics of Character Assassination,” West not only took on the media and the DNC, but establishment Republicans to whom he posed a question regarding their preference for RINOs who could win over Tea Party candidates who might not: “is it more important to win with no principles than to stand for something? That is the question the Republican party had soon answer unless they seek to steal defeat from the jaws of victory,” he blogged.
His straightforward style of speaking is equally forthright. Numerous videos available on the internet attest to this reality, such as this one on the topic of illegal immigration and his disdain for amnesty, this one regarding his contempt for government dependency and an unabashed belief in American exceptionalism, and this brilliant exposition of Islamic jihadism in a speech for the Freedom Defense Initiative.
This last topic put Mr. West on the the Council of America Islamic Relations‘ (CAIR) radar. The organization, designated as a co-conspirator during the Holy Land Foundation terrorism financing trial in which four defendants were convicted of aiding terrorist organizations, sent Executive Director Nezar Hamze to one of West’s townhall meetings in Pompano Beach, FL on Feb 21, 2011. Holding a Koran in his hand, Mr. Hamze asked where the book gives orders to its followers “to carry out attacks against Americans and innocent people.” West pointed out that the Koran was written long before America existed, but that it does tell its followers to kill infidels. West then chronicled a list of historical acts of aggression by Muslims, including the Fort Hood massacre and 9/11. He finished up the heated exchange with this: “I went to Muslim countries to defend the freedom of Muslim people. Don’t come up here and try to criticize me. Put the microphone down and go home.”
Sadly, the onslaught against West shows no sign of letting up. On Wednesday night, I attended Allen West’s town hall meeting in Boca Raton. Much like the meeting on Tuesday, Mr. West had to endure several leftists attempting to shout him down during his speech, and the Q&A which followed it. Much like Tuesday night, Mr. West kept his cool and security escorted the unruly people out of the auditorium. No one was arrested, and to the best of my observation, the disrupters did not appear to be officially organized. However, the arrested Nicole Sandler and her cohorts seem to have something of a personal obsession with West. Sandler tweeted Wednesday that her boyfriend was going to attend the Boca Raton town hall and that she hoped she didn’t have to “bail him out jail (sic)” (h/t NBC Miami).
West’s no-nonsense approach to politics has galvanized many conservatives who would like to see him as part of the Republican ticket in 2012. If he were at the top of the ticket he would undoubtedly give Democrats fits, because he would devastate one of their primary motifs for the upcoming election, best expressed by PBS host Tavis Smiley on Wednesday. Smiley predicted the 2012 presidential campaign would be “the ugliest, the nastiest, the most divisive, and the most racist in the history of this Republic.” On Wednesday I spoke with West’s Communications Director Angela Sachitano, and asked about the possibility of West running for higher office. “Right now he’s focused on running for re-election in his district,” she told me. But she also left the open the possibility that things might change.
With his star rising, West is right to keep his options open. Tellingly, one of the candidates currently polling high on the Republican side of the ledger is Donald Trump. Why? A straightforward, take-no-prisoners approach to national politics. Allen West is just as straightforward, but he has at least three things going for him that Trump does not: a command of the facts, a genuine commitment to conservative principles, and a down-to-earth style which connects with a large cross-section of voters.
But the road ahead will be difficult, if West does indeed have higher political aspirations. In his last election, West faced a strategy of character assassination by his opponent. Unfortunately, as he becomes more ascendant, he will only face more ruthless attacks by the leftist stewards of race politics — those who demand conformity, and have little tolerance for rouge minorities who are unafraid to promote principled individualism in lieu of the culture of dependency.
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