Can someone please explain to me why the Republican Party in Florida allowed Rep. Allen B. West to be gerrymandered out of his congressional district?
Mr. West is the most prominent and best-spoken elected conservative in the United States. He's a motorcycle-riding war hero, a passionate Christian and a patriot. He's the first black Republican member of the House from Florida since Reconstruction, and he is as strong a vice-presidential candidate as anyone else. But now he might not even have his seat in Congress next year. Why do we want to take one of our best players out of the game?
It would make sense if this were Massachusetts or California: If a Democrat-majority state had tried to force out Mr. West, we could easily see why. But this is a battleground state, and one whose Legislature is run by his fellow Republicans. While some might think that it might be better to have someone safe, someone timid, in such an environment, I disagree wholeheartedly. It is precisely in such tight races that we need someone who can motivate the base to show up on Election Day and someone who can get people excited. If our candidates don't look any different from the Democrats, what would be the point of voting for them?
Florida is going to be perhaps the most important state in this year's elections. It is the fourth-largest in the union and a swing state where Republicans have a huge majority of the congressional delegation. Its only rival in electoral significance is Ohio. Do we Republicans want powerful voices, or weak ones, representing the party in these states?
Mr. West's only fault is that he didn't embrace the powers in the Republican establishment when their views were contrary to those of the tea party.
What makes Mr. West different from other Republican lawmakers is precisely what makes him a rock star: his courage, his eloquence and his integrity. The mighty Establishment can't control him; they fear him.
In his own words: "Take your message of equality of achievement, take your message of economic dependency, take your message of enslaving the entrepreneurial will and spirit of the American people somewhere else. You can take it to Europe, you can take it to the bottom of the sea, you can take it to the North Pole, but get the hell out of the United States of America."
I guess the Establishment just couldn't stand someone with passion and conviction. But what does our party need right now? Do we need another Laodicean? With as many deep problems as we have, do we want our leaders to be milquetoasts? In case you need reminding, our nation is in crisis.
Our president right now is violating the First Amendment rights of the largest religious denomination in the country and in the world. Someone needs to stand up.
The Democrats in the Senate have not passed a budget in more than 1,000 days. Someone needs to stand up.
The federal government is spending $10 billion per day. Someone needs to stand up.
Taxpayers give millions of dollars every year to Planned Parenthood, our nation's largest abortion provider. Someone must stand up.
Lt. Col. West is a hero to millions of tea partyers across the country. He has already raised millions of dollars for his re-election campaign, getting donations from people outside his district and even outside of Florida who just want to have him in office even though he won't be representing them. That says a lot about what kind of an error the party is making.
The tea party movement began precisely because of the failures of GOP leadership. It's no surprise that they are fighting back against its more conservative members. America didn't reach crisis overnight - it is the result of a long series of defeats going back decades. And everyone who allowed our country to fall into such a state is complicit, is guilty.
Now, more than ever, we need leaders like Allen B. West. The fact that party elites could so callously allow one of our finest representatives to be put into such a situation is an indictment of them. This is nothing less than a betrayal.
Go to saveallenwest.com to make your voice heard in favor of an American hero.
• Armstrong Williams, author of the 2010 book "Reawakening Virtues," is on Sirius Power 128 from 7-8 p.m. and 4-5 a.m., Mondays through Fridays. Become a fan on Facebook at www.facebook.com/arightside, and follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/arightside. Read his content on RightSideWire.com.
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