A military strategist dissects the political battlefield at the Freedom Center's Texas Weekend.
Editor's note: Below is the video and transcript of former Congressman Allen West's speech at the David Horowitz Freedom Center's Texas Weekend. The inaugural event took place May 3rd-5th at the Las Colinas Resort in Dallas, Texas.
Allen West: I cannot thank you David Horowitz enough for always allowing me to be here as part of your organization and speaking. It means a lot to me. So thank you and I'll see you in November down in my neck of the woods at the Breakers as well.
And it's easier. You don't have to worry about paying me. I just drive about 15 minutes then. But let me get you caught up on some of the things that have been going on since I left Congress.
As you know, I've been working with PJ Media with the Next Generation TV Project. You can go to www.nextgeneration.tv to find out about that. And it's been great.
I mean, the fact that you could sit down and do an interview with someone like Andy for about ten to 12 minutes and really talk about the legal implications of the 21st century battlefield instead of the normal drive-by two to three minute type of interviews is a great thing.
But also one of the things I want to make sure of, in 2008 when I first ran for Congress, you go up to the NRCC and you say, "Here I am and I'm willing to try to serve and run for Congress." And the first thing you get told is, "Can you self-fund?"
Well, look, stupid, I've been a career army officer. If you hadn't noticed, it's not about bankrolling yourself. But what we have to come to understand, there are many great men and women out there who have served in uniform that want to take off the uniform and continue to serve in a suit and tie for this great nation.
You look at the young man up there right now that is running for Senate against Ed Markey in Massachusetts. Former Navy SEAL. But the fact that you find out that the National Republican Senatorial Committee is not getting behind someone like that, a former Navy SEAL that wants to run for Congress. You've got to be kidding me.
Don't throw out the numbers. And as a matter of fact, he's within five points of Ed Markey. But that's the type of thing that we should be doing. So I decided we create a foundation and what we call the Guardian PAC.
Because we want to go out, number one, we want to support minority conservatives and also military conservatives. So we can get that voice up in Washington, D.C. Because it's a shame to me when you think about after Korea and Vietnam, I mean Korea and World War II, about 70% to 75% of the member of Congress had served in uniform. Had served in combat.
But what do you have up there now today? Less than 13%. What do you have up there now today that has served on this modern day battlefield since Desert Shield, Desert Storm? Probably James knows this as well. Probably less than 7%.
And if you look at the situation, the lack of honor, integrity and character on Washington, D.C., I think if you had more people that were willing to put their lives on the line when they took that oath -- and you know exactly what I'm talking about, sir -- we would have a different country.
And so that's what our foundation, that's what our PAC is seeking to do. We're going to look to raise about $5 million to $6 million so we can get behind 12 really solid military minority conservatives that can go up to Washington, D.C. So. (applause)
And that leads me into kind of what I want to talk to you all about. And hopefully if it's okay I'll speak for about 15 minutes. Can I take questions? Is that -- Michael, Finch, where?
Unidentified Audience Member: (inaudible - microphone inaccessible)
Allen West: Okay. Well, I shouldn't ask Mike. I should've asked David. You know, because when I looked at the topics for today with the break-out groups, I said, how can I come back and kind of synthesize these things and give you my thoughts and perspectives on these topics you're covering?
The first thing is, how can we fight back. If you have not looked at this incredible pamphlet that David puts out. I carry this everywhere I go. And it says, "Go for the Heart. How Republicans Can Win." Because this is a strategic blueprint. This is something we don't do.
Now, the army or the military will teach you that there are five forms of maneuver. There is the penetration, the turning movement, envelopment, the infiltration. And then there's the favorite tactic of the Republican Party, the frontal assault. (laughter)
And if you know what happens when you always do the frontal assault, go back and study Fredericksburg. Go back and study Pickett's Charge. Go back and look at World War I. What always happens before you even get anywhere near the objective, you're completely mowed down.
That's exactly what happens with the Republican Party. Now, what David has done, he's looked at those other forms of maneuver. The turning movement, the penetration, the infiltration, the envelopment. The type of things that paratroopers like to do, jump in behind enemy lines and disrupt and cause confusion for the enemy.
That's what we have to do. We have to be able to attack on a broad front and not just a singular front. We have to be able to understand what are the centers of gravity? Where does the other side see themselves as being strong? And we have to challenge them there.
We have to go into the culture. We have to go into the alternative media. When you go back and you look at what happened in this last election cycle when you went to polling locations and someone was sitting there with a list of all the people in those precincts.
And they knew down to the name who had not come out to vote. And guess what they could do? They could either text them or they could send them an e-mail. That's the type of micro-targeting that we have to get to.
We have to get away from this thing sitting around in phone banks and calling people. You know, the big concern that we should have right now is that Organizing for America, they didn't go away. They're still out there.
See, we make jokes about the President being a community organizer. Well, guess what they're doing They're organizing communities. Out there right now going door to door. Out there right now developing and refining those lists of individuals.
Because their objective is very simple. They are going for the first time to increase the voter turn-out for a mid-term election. Now, you say that's not possible. It is possible because in 2008 and 2012 the voter turn-out rate of black Americans exceeded that of white Americans.
Now, they are successful in getting that voter turn-out to come out again in 2014 in the mid-term election cycle, then Katy bar the door. Okay? Because then that means that the last two years will be like the first two years. What that means that Nancy Pelosi will end up being the Speaker of the House once again.
Now, you could say, "Aw, that's sad," and whatever. But the point is that how do we fight back? How do we get out there and make sure that that does not happen? So we have to change that mentality.
You know, we cannot continue to run thinking that we will be successful by being a lesser version of the other side. We don't define who they are. We don't draw a contrast in who we are and what they are doing.
That's the important thing about David's pamphlet here. He talks about saying that what they stand for is not that which is good for the communities that they say they believe in.
Why was it that no one in the Republican Party, no one in the Romney campaign ever went into the black community and talked about the number one issue that could've caused you to win? School choice. Nobody.
Failing schools in the inner city. Why is it that no one goes into the inner city and once again re-energizes a simple principle that a Republican came up with? And that was Art Laffer and Jack Kemp. Urban economic empowerment zones.
So that we can have small business growth. We can have economic activity in the inner cities. Because when I go back to my community in Atlanta, Georgia, down there where Martin Luther King, Junior, was brought up, it's been decimated.
Auburn Avenue was once the center of black entrepreneurship. Professionalism, doctors, lawyers, and what have you. Now when you go down Auburn Avenue, once you go past Ebenezer Baptist Church it's just boarded up, dilapidated buildings. Now, why aren’t we taking our message there?
You know, yesterday everyone came out and they were cheering and applauding. You know, the unemployment rate went down to 7.5%. What's the unemployment rate in the black community? What's the unemployment rate in the Hispanic community? What's the unemployment rate with teenagers?
And we didn't talk about that. What's the overall -- well, work force participation rate? How can you have a work force participation rate that continues to be so low but yet we're saying the unemployment rate is also dropping? That's because you're forcing people out of the work force.
But we're not talking about -- how many people heard any Republican leader explain that or say something about that yesterday? How many people had -- heard any Republican leader talking about, sure, you can have the Dow Jones industrial average is 15,000 points as long as Ben Bernanke continues to print money and it flows into the market. As long as we have a public sector driven economy, not a private sector driven economy.
If we don't put them on defense, if we don't define and contrast we are not going to win. Why am I not in Congress? Because they finally found someone that put them on the defense and they did not like it.
We've got to stand up and support people that are willing to go on the offensive. Anyone here that's ever served in the military I guarantee if I ask you this question I know what the answer is. How many times have you seen anyone win a battle on defense? (laughter) I rest my case.
The second point that we talked about today was the enemy within. How many people here have ever read the explanatory memorandum? The grand strategy strategic plan of the brotherhood in the United States of America?
It was uncovered in 1991 during an FBI raid in a home in northern Virginia. How many people read that? Everyone here should have their hand up. It is very simple. You can google it and you can read it.
And in 1991 the Muslim Brotherhood laid out their plan for the United States of America. They called it a civilization jihad. They said that they would use our own hands against us to destroy our miserable house.
They listed the organizations in the United States of America that are affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood. Council for Americans Islamic Relations, The Muslim American Student Association, The Muslim Political Action Committee, The Islamic Society of Northern America. And no one knows anything about it.
See, if what happened in Antietam. When the Confederacy made the mistake of dropping the plans for Antietam, the Union found them. Now, what if the Union had said, "Oh, you know, probably no big deal. Let's not pay attention to it." They probably would've gotten their butts kicked in Antietam, even though with that plan they still fought to basically a draw.
But you have an enemy that has told you exactly what they want to do in your country. And you don't talk about it. No leader talks about it. No one brings it up. Why is there fear to admit who these people are and what they want to do in our country?
Because that is -- yes, it is political correctness but it is also a reticence that we have in America to want to stand up for our principles and values. That's a winning issue for us to stand up and say, "This is not our words. These are their words." And if you don't believe that this is happening, there is an unholy alliance between Islamism and progressive socialism in the United States of America.
When we see the messages that are coming out, when the Attorney General stands up and starts to chastise and admonish the American people, quote-unquote, about reprisals against Muslims. But yet we have people saying, "Don't rush to judgment."
How many people read about the UCLA professors? I think their last name were the Orozcos. And they wrote a piece in the New York Times this past Sunday or Monday. And they said it was the fault of the United States of America for not assimilating properly the Tsarnaev brothers into our culture. (laughter)
Now we laugh but those of you that are from California, here are two professors on a university campus, Uni- -- UCLA. And this is what they're saying. This alliance has to be brought out. This alliance has to be shown to the American people because unfortunately what was the one thing that people believed that Republicans stood for? National security. Defense.
But when you think about this past election cycle, it was the first time in 77 years that neither the sitting president or vice president nor candidate for president and vice president had ever served in the United States military.
And that last debate in Boca Raton on national security was horrible. When our candidate sits up there and just says, "I agree with you," he didn't talk about the enemy within. He didn't talk about Benghazi. He didn't talk about defining and creating the contrast between what we believe in as far as securing the American people. That's what we better do.
How many people here know about the case of Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Dooley? Very few. See, Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Dooley is an army instructor at the Joint First -- Joint Forces Staff College.
But back in October 2011, 57 Islamic organizations to include some affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood, wrote a letter to John Brennan who at the time was our counterterrorism advisor, and telling John Brennan that they wanted any material that they deemed offensive to Islam to be purged from all training materials in all of our government agencies.
And furthermore, they wanted any instructor that was doing something they deemed offensive to be disciplined. And the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey -- and you can look at it on C-SPAN -- publicly excoriated an army lieutenant colonel who had an approved course at the National Defense University.
But what's even worse about Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Dooley, he was, based upon a review board for selection to come -- battalion command kept on that battalion command board. The Vice Chief of Staff of the Army overrode three generals and two colonels, that review board, and took him back off consideration for battalion command.
Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Dooley has six combat deployments. He has an award for valor in combat. And yet 57 organizations said that they wanted his material to be purged and they wanted him to be punished. Why don't we have our leaders talking about that story?
That's what the enemy within is doing. And why would they go to the counterterrorism advisor with their letter? Which you can pull down. It's out there, open source, and read the letter that they sent to John Brennan.
That's what the enemy within is doing. Because if you're not careful, there’ll be another terrorist attack on a military base and what will we do? We won't call it a terrorist attack. We'll call it workplace violence if we don't speak up.
The other thing that they were discussing today, a threatening world. You heard people talk about the Middle East. You know, the Maghreb in Northern African is being taken over by radical Islamists. We totally misread what happened in Egypt. Very much so the same as what happened in Iran.
When we did not support the Shah of Iran guess what we got? We got the Ayatollahs. So we threw Hosni Mubarak, not the greatest of guys, but we threw him under the bus and what did we get? We got the Muslim Brotherhood.
The Muslim Brotherhood, who is now coopting the Provincial Government of Syria because Al Qaeda has already coopted the Free Syrian Army with the Al-Nusra Front. They're the most strongest part of that alliance. Hamas is stronger. Hezbollah is stronger. Islamic jihad is stronger.
We took all of our forces out of Iraq so now there's a power vacuum there so that Iran is extending its regional hegemonic dominance. But yet you heard the President of the United States say, "We're going to pivot away from the Middle East."
So what did he say he was going to pivot to? He said he's going to pivot to the Pacific Rim. Well, now you have China, as you heard in the briefing today. China is really the one backing up North Korea.
And the fact that a 29 year old punk is challenging the greatest nation that the world has ever known should tell us something about how we are perceived in the world right now. China is going after those islands. China is now inside of Indian territory. China is going after Filipino fishermen.
This is a serious part of our history. Because this is a Machiavellian world. And we have President Kumbaya that is standing up there right now. Unfortunately, there are people that don't care about nice speeches and pretty smiles. They need to see forceful, resolute leadership.
When Ronald Reagan stood there at the Brandenburg Gate and said, "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall," guess what happened? I guarantee you that no one is listening to the fact that this president couldn't make any wall tear down. But he can make a red line disappear.
And we are not even talking about what's happening in South America or south of our border. I was not really surprised, I knew it was coming, that IEDs were used there in Boston. Because IEDs are starting to being used down in Mexico. And sooner or later would happen here.
Hezbollah is operating and working with Mexican drug cartels. The Iranian Al-Kuz force, which is a terrorist organization, is in South America with training camps. This is all happening south of our border.
And if you go and you look at the Southern command, US Southern Command, which is headquartered down in Miami, they don't have any forces that are allocated to them. The most major force that we have in South Com is the Coast Guard. Weakness, ladies and gentlemen. That's what we're showing.
And the last thing that you're going to talk about today and I want to bring it to a close on this, five days before that 2008 election the President said, "We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America."
No one asked, "What does that mean?" But now we're trying -- now we're finally finding out. What that means is that we are transforming our economy from a private sector economy to a public sector economy. The public sector's growing.
Right now you've got about 24% of our GDP is spent on public sector, the government. When historically it's been between 18% to 20%. We are transforming America from an opportunity society where government instituted policies that enabled, based upon your investment, your ingenuity, your invest -- your innovation to grow, to a dependency society.
We have more people on food stamps in the United States of America now than the population of Spain. We are moving away from a free market economy to one of nationalizing production. Dodd Frank, finance censure. Health care law, the health care industry.
You know what happened with the automobile industry. Look at what is happening when they could not get [Kappa Trey] through with the legislative process, they're doing it by executive order fiat and the EPA is running crazy.
We are seeing more of our production being nationalized in Washington, D.C. But yet we're not doing anything about it. Look at some of the things that the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau under Richard Cordray is doing. And they are above and beyond the reach of the legislative branch.
The energy security is being lost to a green agenda. But most importantly the number one responsibility of the federal government is to secure the American people. To provide for the common defense so we can secure the blessings of liberty.
But our military is being decimated for this sense of social egalitarianism. I still have friends and I have a nephew that's still serving. And they're concerned. They're wondering who is going to speak out about what is happening to our United States military.
You heard the statistics that was brought out today about how 80% of our navy is not combat deployable. I think he said about a third of our air force is not deployable. Who do you think is paying attention to that which is happening?
This is a repeat. After World War I we decimated our forces. What came after World War I? World War II. After World War II we did the exact same thing. What came? Korea. After Korea, we did the same thing. After Desert Shield, Desert Storm we had a riff.
We never maintained a steady state for our military projecting what the next hot flashpoint is going to be. We're horrible predictors. But this time a lot more is at stake because this time we're decimating our capability at a time when the world is a far more dangerous place.
But most importantly how are we transforming America? We're moving away from individual industrialism to a sense of collectivism. That is the most scary part of this. Now I will close by saying if we don't find the resolute courageous voices to stand up then what are we doing for our next generation?
My daughters, 20 and 16 years of age, that's why I fight. We all have to fight for our children and our grandchildren. We cannot be the first generation of Americans that leave less to subsequent generations. Do I believe that we can win? Absolutely.
But what I know is this. The window of opportunity to cl-- to turn this around is closing. And if we don't recognize that, the next time I ask you all about Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Dooley every hand should go up. The next time I ask you about the Exploratory Memor-- the Explanatory Memorandum every hand should go up.
We spend a lot of time sending around funny little e-mails and You Tube videos of cats playing the piano and things of that nature. Pass on the information that's important for the future and the legacy of this great constitutional republic.
And as Winston Churchill said, "Americans will eventually do what is right. After they've tried everything else." (laughter) So with that being said, what are your questions? (applause)
Well, it's not about talking points.
Unidentified Audience Member: Well, you know what?
Allen West: It -- yes. It is --
Unidentified Audience Member: (inaudible) dialogue, though.
Allen West: It is really about a strategic plan.
Unidentified Audience Member: That's right.
Allen West: And as we talk about attacking on these multiple fronts, I mean, let's look at -- there should be a group of you all that should understand the economy and that aspect. And the energy aspect. And the national security aspect.
Let me tell you the other thing that we've got to stop doing. We've got to stop letting the other side define our message. We've got to stop letting the other side drag us down the little rabbit hole like in Alice in Wonderland. Because you're just going to get lost. You're going to get chewed up.
There really are three basic things we should be discussing. Economic security, energy security and national security. And everything should be tied right back into that. I, you know, look, if someone comes up to me and they say, "Well, what are your stance on abortion?"
I don't think the federal government should be involved in funding abortion because I believe right now that it violates being a good steward of the American taxpayer dollars. $353 million that are going to an organization such as Planned Parenthood who supposed to be not-for-profit but they're running a profit.
So I think that -- don't you think that? I mean, we should be better with the American taxpayer dollars? And they say, "Oh, well, yes, sure." Okay. That's how you flip this thing. And we have to be able to -- how many people here have ever done judo?
Okay, the whole principle of judo is to take a person's perceived strength and turn it against them. And that's what we need to be able to do. Pivot everything back to economic security, energy security, national security.
So what I would love to see is as we go out, you know, we have that three-pronged approach. And with that three-pronged approach you take it into the culture. You take it into the entertainment industry. You take it into all the various communities that are out there.
The Hispanic community loves entrepreneurship. Small business entrepreneurship. So why aren’t we talking to them about that? About how this exorbitant tax rate and what we're doing precludes them from being able to open up their own business?
That's how you start to connect with people. Genuinely, as we say. So, yes, we have to have a strategic plan. And you know what? I always hear people say, "Well, they got the media and we can't do anything about it."
Every single one of you guys out there got an iPad, iPhone, I this, I that, whatever. Every single person is a media source. And that's how you have to see yourself. If you don't see yourself that way, they see the folks on their side that way. And we have got to get to, you know.
Precinct captains. We need to know who our precinct captains are all across this country. When you look at the electoral map, okay, you will see all of this red. Except for very specific places where you see blue. Because they have targeted down to the county level. Am I right, Pat?
They've targeted down to the county level which counties they have to have. And guess what? They will move people into certain urban areas to try to shift it. I was in Charlotte, North Carolina, last week. And they saw an incredible shift in population in Charlotte, North Carolina.
And now the former mayor of Charlotte, North Carolina, is the head of the Department of Transportation. You know, this is the type of tactics that we all -- we can't do the frontal assault anymore. We've got to infiltrate, we've got to penetrate, you got to do turning movement, you've got to envelop these guys.
Stop charging out across the open field. Next question.
Unidentified Audience Member: But when you talk about the five things, about infiltrate. When you ask, well you have to distinguish, I think, between a -- what I think -- and the -- I'd like your views on this.
What it -- what you talk about what I call about majority views. And the fact that there are elements inside your own party on national security and on Islamic extremists and so forth who are, in fact, a counterweight and going along.
And you have to, it seems to me -- what do -- how do you deal with that problem?
Allen West: Well, I have many discussions. You know, I was on the Armed Services Committee and there were a lot of freshmen that ended up being on the Armed Services Committee. And they had this mentality that we just need to cut the military. Military's too big and we don't need this type of military.
Well, that's not the right approach. I mean, you can't go in with this sledgehammer to that which is your number one responsibility as a federal government. So we have got to start educating a lot of the people that call themselves fiscal conservatives to understand that the next thing you know you won't have this military.
Now, is there fraud, waste and abuse out there in the military? Absolutely. Any of us that ever served in the military, we can tell you that. They need to cut down on the conferences. They need to maybe streamline as many generals as they have. You need to look at how many contractors you have out there.
You know, once upon a time, we had cooks. Now when you go to the Kandahar, you don't see guys in the military cooking. You don't. You see contractors. Now, if we are going to continue to go down this mindset of occupation style warfare, guess what happens? You're going to have to have all of these exorbitant types of services and everything for the military.
But if you go away from that and get the strike operations type of military where you find the bad guy, you go in, you hit him, you make it painful for him then you get out, then you don't need to have Kandahar, Afghanistan, which in 2005 when I showed up at Kandahar, just a simple little air base.
2007 when I left, Kandahar, Afghanistan, had gotten so big it needed a bus service. Those of you who served in Vietnam, you remember how big Da Nang got. I mean, we are trying to create cities and everything.
We -- and that once again it's this mentality that we've got to try to make a combat zone like home. You can't. A combat zone is where a warrior goes and kills folks. Okay? Now all of a sudden you want to make it seem like you can go and you can have Burger King and all this type of stuff.
That's nice. But it comes with a price. And those are the type of things we need to look at. So, yes, we need to make sure that the internal fight within the Republican Party is very important. We cannot lose being the party of national security.
Let me explain it to you very simply. Outreach has come to mean that we show up for a lunch in Black History Month or Hispanic-American Month and then we don't come back and see you again. That's what outreach is supposed to be. That's not outreach.
We need to have an inclusiveness in the principles and the policies that we have. The most conservative people in the United States of America on a Sunday are black. Then Monday through Saturday, I don't know, something happens. Okay? (laughter)
But I'm serious. In 2008 two states had ballot initiatives on gay marriage. It was California, Proposition 8. And Florida, Amendment 2. And in 2008 both of those amendments failed. Why did those amendments fail?
You drove out the black community in 2008, they voted in incredible numbers for the first black president. But then when they went down the ballot, they're, like, "No, no, no, no." Okay.
We need to go back -- I was raised by parents who were registered Democrat. But the principles by which my parents raised me were conservative principles. It was faith. It was family. It was individual responsibility. It was education.
We don't talk about that to these communities anymore. Once again, we have ceded over an incredible amount of territory to the other side. And they don't care. You know, how many people came out when the Democrat Party in their convention in Charlotte had to vote to put God back into their platform.
How many folks in the Romney campaign went and asked black pastors, "This is who you guys signed up with?' That would've been a killer. Killer. And then how does Reverend Jesse Jackson and Reverend Al Sharpton come in and follow up behind that? Because now you've put them on the defensive. Okay?
When you have someone such as Reverend Emmanuel Cleaver, who is also a representative, who stands up and says, "You know, this whole black unemployment thing, if there was someone else different in the White House, we'd be marching on the White House. But the President knows that since he's black, we give deference to him."
Now, how many people killed Emmanuel Cleaver for saying that? You know, the black community does not see gay rights as equal to civil rights. Bob Johnson, get the survey that Bob Johnson just did, the founder of BET.
Overwhelmingly they are against that. Overwhelmingly the black community's against illegal immigration, this amnesty stuff. Why? Because that's going to drive their unemployment numbers even higher.
So you're right. We talk about outreach but it just means showing up for a luncheon. We need to talk about inclusiveness in policy and principle. And that's what we need to do. Infiltration, that's it.
Unidentified Audience Member: Last weekend I was at a conference with Freedom Works in Austin. And there was a panel of minorities. And they were talking to us about how we could reach out to them. And for one thing, they don't like the word outreach.
Allen West: They hate it.
Unidentified Audience Member: They hate it.
Allen West: I hate it. Yes.
Unidentified Audience Member: Because that word is just derogatory. But another thing they brought up is not to go in to the communities with a political message. Sponsor a basketball team. Volunteer at the YMCA.
Allen West: Do something.
Unidentified Audience Member: Do something to get involved with the community and not just show up (multiple speakers).
Allen West: That's infiltration.
Unidentified Audience Member: Or knock on the door.
Allen West: That's infiltration. Because the other side doesn't do that. All the other side does is say, "Those folks over there are bad folks. We really like you." But they don't do anything.
I mean, most of the historic black colleges and universities in the United States of America were founded by who?
Unidentified Audience Member: (inaudible - microphone not accessible)
Allen West: White Republicans. Go back and read, okay? The first members of Congress, House and Senate, were Republicans. The civil rights legislation that came after during reconstruction with on a Republican Congress.
At the turn of the century when the Democrats took over, that's who brought back the Jim Crow laws. Literacy tests, poll tests, all of this. The Ku Klux Klan, that's the Democrat party. Go back and really read the great society programs, what Lyndon Johnson did. And then look at the unintended consequences of what has happened in the black community.
Daniel Patrick Monahan who said that if you award a young lady a paycheck for having a child out of wedlock, you're going to destroy this community. And guess what has happened? My wife and I are 28% of the black community. Mother and father in the home with the children. 28%.
Now, why don't we beat them about the head and shoulders about that? That's what David is talking about here. Making the emotional argument to talk about the failure of their policies and what it really does to people. Not sitting back and you're just a bunch of mean old white people.
And then you're on your heels. Then you're defending. Remember what I said, you don't win on defense.
Unidentified Audience Member: (inaudible) Colonel, thank you for your exemplary leadership.
Allen West: The -- he tried to bring up Gettysburg. It--
Unidentified Audience Member: Let me ask you to really -- (laughter)
Allen West: Hold on. Let me -- hold on. Let me bre-- the only reason they won at Gettysburg, Pat, is because the cav-- Union Cavalry Commander Beauford fought an incredible operation -- covering force operation where it was -- he covered the terrain back and got them to high ground. That was the only reason they really won on defense.
Unidentified Audience Member: But as you know, in almost every replay of that was the -- in one battle I believe was almost numerically equal (inaudible).
Allen West: Sure.
Unidentified Audience Member: And every--
Allen West: I had to get that out there. I mean, come on. (laughter) I love Pat. And guess what? Pickett used the what? Pickett used the what?
Unidentified Audience Member: Frontal charge.
Allen West: There you go. You always lose with a frontal.
Unidentified Audience Member: Let the record show I'm for offense. A couple of quick points. You have made a very powerful point here. And we heard it several times in the morning about the essential character of national security to our brand. And to I think frankly of being deserving of leadership in this country.
Would you talk about two things. One is the relevance of that brand to some of the minority communities that we're supposedly trying to enlist. And the possibility of doing so on some basis other than trying to out-pander the Left in their space.
Allen West: Sure.
Unidentified Audience Member: That's point one. Point two, we heard again I think it was Pat this morning talking very powerfully about Benghazigate as an opportunity to have a real teaching moment about the failure of national security under this administration. And again, make the case that there is a better alternative. Thank you.
Allen West. Well, one of the things that I will bring out in your first point when you talk about national security to the minority community, I believe the recent numbers between 30% to 33% of the United States Marine Corps is Hispanic.
Okay. You know, when you talk to people in the military, people in the military irregardless of color pretty much, they're conservative. Because they understand what they d-- and they want to have people that are going to give them the right type of strategic and operational guidance to go out and be successful on the battlefield.
And I think that we have missed that mark in talking to people about the fact that we want to keep you safe. You know, one of the big lessons that came out of 2012 that I don't think a lot of people are talking about is you had one of the worst economic situations this country's seen in quite some time. And you had someone running that was a businessman. And he couldn't win.
But if you start to talk to people about their own personal safety and security, if you start to talk to the mothers and fathers, especially the mothers who have young men and women in uniform and how you're going to lead them, how you will not abandon them in a fire fight what would -- happened in Benghazi. Then you start to make that connection.
Which comes back once again to what David is saying, to make that emotional connection of leadership. That's not what we're doing when it comes to national security. You know, not talk about numbers. Not talk about budget.
But show that image of a person that will keep you safe at night. Show that image of a person that when your son and daughter raises their right hand that you know that that person making the call out of White House is going to have their back. That's what we have to be able to do.
And like I said, the first time in 77 years, no one had any type of military experience. That's not good. That's not what -- and I think that this election showed that even if you try to run with a guy that's an expert on the budget and a guy that's been a private sector businessman and one of the worst economies ever, didn't make a difference if you can't connect with people.
Okay. National level elections come down to two things. And I'd like to hear if Pat agrees with me. Now in this modern day era it comes down to image and message. The other side wins on image. That's what they focus on. And they make the image so strong and so powerful that they don't have to play around with the message.
What do we do? We don't -- we disregard the image and we try to go right to the message. We never make the emotional contact. And that's where we continue to lose. If we can find the image that draws people, we win forever.
Because the message resonates. The message is powerful. The message cannot be defeated. The message is successful. It is rooted in the fundamental values and principles of this great nation. We just need to have that image that can --
You know, no one heard about Jimmy Carter. No one knew. But the image was the nice little Southern guy, peanut farmer. No one knew who Jimmy -- I mean, Bill Clinton was. But the image was he was cool. He was on Arsenio Hall with the shades playing the saxophone. He was on MTV. Everyone fell in love with him.
No one knew about Barack Obama. But once again, he's out there texting. He looks cool. He's big smile and everything like that. Everyone likes him. Why can't we get someone to like us? That's the whole point.
And especially when it comes to connecting with those men and women in uniform, because they got parents, they got aunts, they uncles and all this thing. And every person wants to feel safe and secure.
Unidentified Audience Member: If you look in the crystal ball, what are your future plans? Because you're a great spokesman for--
Allen West: Well, I mean, you know --
Unidentified Audience Member: --conservativism.
Allen West: You know, this is what I learned when you read in Proverbs. It says, "Trust in the Lord in all thy ways and lean not upon your own understanding." So I don't sit around and try to plan out where my life is going to be.
When I was in Afghanistan, I never thought I'd come back and run for Congress. And I certainly would have never thought that I'd be standing for I think the third or fourth time in front of such an august group.
The most important thing for me is to be obedient to God's will. And to be ready if He calls upon me and the people of this country call upon me. So I'm not trying to plan where I'm going to be. So no crystal ball here.
The other thing that you bring out is again we have to challenge them on who they are and their principles. One of the things, if you really study political philosophy and ideology, are liberals true liberals today?
Allen West: Then why don't we challenge them on that? I mean, if you go back and read the father of classical liberalism, the true liberal thought, John Locke, the things that he believed in is totally contrary to what, quote-unquote, liberals believe in now.
So put them on the defensive. Define yourself. Really it's more so a progressive socialism. Now, progressive socialism has never been successful anywhere in the world, so why are we trying it here?
As a matter of fact, let's look at some examples of long-term progressive socialist policies in the United States of America. Bring up the Detroits, bring up the inner cities, bring up these failing states that are not economically strong.
Look, Scott Walker, God bless him, he took it to the people. And he said, "Here's your choice." He won in the election and he won by an even greater percent in his recall. Because when people understand the glaring difference, they make the right decision.
When Jimmy Carter was there and Ronald Reagan came along, it was night and day. But when we today just think we can tweak it a little bit and just be less a person on the side because we want to read the New York Times and see that they like us. We want to read the Washington Post or the L.A. Times and they're saying nice things about us. Then you're going to lose.
How many of you all had Democrat friends that said, "You know, if you guys pick Mitt Romney, we'll get behind him. He's a nice, likeable guy. We gon--" Yeah, right. That's the set up. That's that U-shaped ambush, okay, that they use on you.
You know, that's just drawing. It look nice and easy. The next thing you know, everything comes in on you. Okay, stop allowing the other side to define who we are to include defining who we should have running for us.
Let's make that clear contrast and let's go on the offense and let's stop doing the frontal assault. Because as they say, failure is not an option. And always remember in closing the words of Alexis de Tocqueville.
"That a democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exit until the point when the voting electorate realizes that they can vote their own largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the electorate will always vote for the person that is promising them the most ven-- benefits with the result being the collapse of a democracy over loose fiscal policy followed by a dictatorship."
That's how you explain it to the American people. Thanks so much. God bless you. (applause)
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