WEST PALM BEACH, Fla., March 15, 2014 — “Was it fun for me to lose an election?” asks Colonel Allen West with a crooked grin, “No. Not at all. But if I quit after that loss, I would just be a politician. That’s not who I am.”
Colonel West was referring to the 2012 race in Florida’s 18th District, which saw Democrats taking unusual steps to defeat the one-term incumbent.
A Miami Herald headline on an AP story in April 2012 noted, “GOP Florida Rep. Allen West’s statements have made him a top Democratic target.” West commented frequently on the attacks against him.
“I’m a threat to what the Democrat Party stands for. Why would they want to attack a 51-year-old, African-American who has served in the United States military for 22 years?” AP quoted West as saying in 2012, “Been married for 23 years, has a wife who’s accomplished — an MBA and a PhD — and two very exceptional daughters. Now what the heck do they want to attack that for? I think it’s one simple thing. They fear that. They fear that voice and that’s all there is to it, and I think that’s a shame.”
In fact, Democrats, sensing the swelling national support for West and his no-nonsense message, took exceptional action to ensure he did not win the vote. Not only did the party attack him in print whenever possible, it went to extraordinary lengths to raise money against him.
A Democratic Super PAC invested more than $1 million in ads against West. The PAC, backed by George Soros, hired top Democratic strategist Charles Halloran to oversee the effort. Shark Tank reported that Soros personally invested $5 million to defeat West, significantly boosting the paltry fundraising capability of the Democratic contender, who was able to raise only $507,000 to West’s $2.3 million before the PAC stepped in.
West lost that election, amid allegations of fraud, lawsuits and a recount.
While Democrat’s technically won the battle, they lost the war. As West notes, “They made a mistake. Now, I’m unleashed.”
As a Representative, West was focused on his constituents, which meant he spent his time either in his district or in Washington. Now he’s on the national stage, where he speaks clearly and bluntly without pandering to any single party or group. He is constantly in motion, constantly traveling to deliver his message.
Everywhere he goes, West is treated like a rock star. At the recent Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington, West made multiple appearances to large crowds. People packed rooms to hear what he had to say and to reach out and touch him.
His supporters gush and beg him to run for president, and he acquires new adherents wherever he goes. Ellen Backrock from Northern Virginia posted on Facebook after seeing West at CPAC, “I have finally heard someone who knows what he is talking about, who can lead this country. His name is Allen West.”
Allen West is on a crusade. He says he wants to bring accountability, change and “an image of American strength and exceptionally” to a system that is badly broken.
“I like to use the metaphor of a ship,” West told CommDigiNews, “Right now, we are on a rudderless, captain-less ship, operating in a maelstrom and we are being driven to the rocks. We need someone to steer this ship in turbulent times.”
West believes America needs leaders we can trust, who we can look at and know, “they care about me.” Says West, “We need someone to show us there is a better day, and who can help us see what that looks like.”
West is openly critical of our current leadership on both sides of the aisle, and is not afraid to speak his mind. “I tell the truth. It’s what I do.”
If you don’t live up to his standards, standards of honesty, integrity, and protecting American economic, energy and national security, you are likely to be on the receiving end of West’s ire.
West doesn’t waiver, doesn’t dance. He is not strong-armed by those inside or outside his party, and he remains true to his beliefs.
Although he has not yet shown his hand on his own future plans, one gets the sense something is brewing. West does not come across as someone willing to sit back on his heels or retiring off into the sunset. He comes across as a man on a mission.
Right now, West is disgusted with the system and the leadership and is out to educate the nation on those shortcomings. He also wants to remind America there is a better way.
Despite his harsh criticism of the current crop of leaders, this student of history says he believes we can overcome, we can change. Quoting Winston Churchill, West says, “You can always count on Americans to do the right thing — after they’ve tried everything else.”
And with that, West’s crooked smile breaks into a full-fledged grin.