Former U.S. Rep. Allen West’s prepared remarks for Western Conservative Summit

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Former U.S. Rep. Allen West’s prepared remarks for Western Conservative Summit

Thank you! It is an honor, a pleasure, a privilege to be able to speak to you today! What a rush it is to be with this wonderful group of freedom-loving, God-fearing American patriots. Though only in its fourth year, the Western Conservative Summit has already become the country’s premiere summer destination for Americans who still believe in freedom, family, faith, and the future.

Let us give a round of applause to the men and women who have been working tirelessly behind the scenes to make this summit possible. Where are our veterans? Please stand up and let us recognize you.

Though we came to this beautiful city, high up here in the Rocky Mountains, from all corners of our great nation and from all diverse walks of life, we leave here bound by a unity of purpose.

So here we are, on the Lord’s Day, committed to the timeless principles of conservatism that have made us the envy of the world.

You are here because you believe as I believe – that the United States needs a strong national defense, a robust free market economy and that the individual is sovereign. You are here because you believe as I do that a government keeps its power restrained within the four corners of the parchment of the United States Constitution.

This is the conference of the West. Of the frontier. Of people who hacked a nation out of the wilderness, and didn’t need Washington to tell them how to do it. Of people who put their faith in God, and not the federal government! The West is America’s great bastion of independence and liberty.

My friends, hold that line!

…and live this line, Colorado’s motto: “Nothing without Providence”… Nothing without God!

But above all, believe that this country needs a clear definition of morality – of right and wrong – born out of respect for our nation’s Judeo-Christian heritage. In God We Trust, without hesitation, without wavering, without doubt.

Not far from here, at Fort Carson, the men and women of the Army unit, in which I served and Commanded, the 4th Infantry Division, have a saying: “Steadfast and loyal!”

What an honor it is to be among steadfast and loyal Americans, who love their country with the same passion that they love God and love each other.

Now, loving your country is one thing. But loving government is another. And skepticism of strong, central governments is one of the great American traditions.

Because when you start choosing government, and not God, you start believing some nutty things.

See, if you believe that the words “separation of Church and State” are in the Constitution, but the right to bear arms isn’t – you might be a liberal.

If you believe in the right to choose an abortion, but not the size of your soda – you might be a liberal.

If you believe in getting government out of the bedroom, unless it’s taxpayer subsidized birth control – you might be a liberal.

And if believe that Barack Obama can lower the ocean seas and “heal the planet,” you must be a liberal!

Just because a socialist, secular humanist progressive carried this state in the last two presidential elections does not mean that the people of this state have abandoned conservatism.

Look to 2 Corinthians 5:17: “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”

It is the same in politics, one day soon this old progressive socialist agenda will pass away, as it has failed all over the world. There is a new time for choosing and we must be the messengers.

Secular progressives like Obama, Reid, Pelosi, seek to divide this country along the artificial cleavages that they create.

They want to set men against women, black against white, rich against poor, north against south, east against west.
Divide, and conquer. We saw it in 2012. We’ll see it again.

Don’t be tricked into playing their game. As conservatives, we believe in unity, E Pluribus Unim – we believe that we are all Gods children.

I’m darn proud of my Black heritage and the history of achievement of blacks in America. I’m proud of the way my parents raised me. But, my friends, I am and will always be an American first.

Do you know what conservatives believe? We believe that the colors that matter aren’t on our skin, but on the flag. We believe that the only colors worth an ounce of sweat, a pint of tears, or gallon of blood are red, white, and blue.
We believe in those colors because they unite. Liberals believe in color that divides, as we have seen evidenced in the past weeks.

Take it from this black conservative, my friends. Nothing freaks out liberals more than the prospect of Black Americans and other minorities liberating themselves from years of government dependence.

Nothing spooks liberals more than the idea of a black man, Hispanic female, or young Asian American pulling a lever for freedom, not government.

Nothing sends them into a frenzy more than strong conservative Hispanic leaders like Ted Cruz, Raul Labrador or Susana Martinez.

Nothing makes them crazed than principled black leaders like Mia Love or Vernon Parker.

Take the immigration debate going on in Washington DC as we speak.

Too many Republicans have been hoodwinked. They have been brow beaten into thinking that the Republican Party will be doomed because we lost the Latino vote in the most recent election.

They think that unless amnesty is given to lawbreakers/those who have disrespected the laws of our Constitutional Republic by entering illegally – that their peers will never vote for them.

Remember what Reagan said – Latino voters ARE Republicans. They just don’t know it yet.

From every corner of the world, there are peoples who want their first step on American soil to mark a new beginning, not a broken law. If you are an immigrant who dreams of this land of the free and home of the brave, and wants to come here respecting our laws and way of life, I say to you: welcome!

Now, we should still be compassionate. Conservatives have always been on the side of the impoverished fleeing tyranny and seeking liberty. And I can’t imagine how difficult it is to legally emigrate to America.

Heck, folks, many of us have to spend 3 hours in the seventh circle of Hades just to get our driver’s licenses renewed. Can you imagine what legal immigrants have to endure to earn their citizenship?

But that does not give anyone, not me, not you, the right to break the laws set by the people of this great Nation. Waving the magic wand of amnesty, rewarding lawbreakers and punishing the long lines of freedom-seekers lined up outside our shores is not the American way. That’s not how we do things here.

Liberals pride themselves on some funny things. Like the ability to squeeze 12 votes out of 6 people. Or get a busload of non-citizens past election officials.

I say, let’s stuff it back it in their face. If they pride themselves in getting illegal immigrants to the polls, let’s be the ones standing outside citizenship ceremonies, offering a friendly hand and open arms.

And folks, I don’t want to hear that conservatives can’t compete with liberals who are willing to take your tax dollars to leverage votes.

That’s the height of foolishness. That assumes the government is actually competent!

Government is good at two things, levying taxes against the productive and redistributing it to their cronies.

Conservatives have far more to offer than government cheese. We are people of faith. People of faith are people of love. We are people of community and people of fellowship. Our politics, at every turn and every angle and in every issue, should reflect that.

To be a Christian means walking the path of Christ. We all talk about getting our fellow citizens off the government’s dole. Well, we can talk, or we can walk.

Who here has the courage to act like Christ, instead of simply talking like Christ?

Who here has what it takes to volunteer in an inner-city neighborhood, to help a child out of poverty? Just look at the liberal progressive failure in Detroit.

Who here has the courage to adopt an abandoned infant? We don’t need to go to other countries to find children who need love….who need a loving family…who need a chance to live the American dream.

Who here has the guts to get out into those Latino communities and tutor English? That is how we make English our national language.

I’m an old Soldier, and the only way a soldier knows how to be is blunt. If we can match our actions to our principles, we’ll have a conservative supermajority for decades.

Now, Barack Obama says if you attack government, you attack the idea of democracy and pluralism, you attack the very concept of self-rule and self-governance. Heck, it was liberal progressives and their special interest who fought to overturn the referendum of the people of California with Proposition 8.

Here’s a government that tells us what sugary drinks we can buy, what light bulbs we can have in our house, what kind of doctor we’re allowed to visit, what kind of toilet or showerhead we can put in our bathrooms, what type of business we’re allowed to run.

Oppose all that silliness, and Barack Obama says you hate democracy.

Oppose that, and you might find yourself with an unexpected audit slip from the IRS.

But remember, it was conservatives and Tea Party activists that won back the House of Representatives. Elections have consequences and those conservative Congressmen and women that you helped to elect are now all that stands between the progressives and their dystopian vision of amnesty and a new, imported class of government dependents who will vote for them.

From this State of Colorado, you have some good conservative men representing you in the House of Representatives. I served with them – Cory Gardner, Scott Tipton, Mike Coffman, Doug Lamborn. Tell them that now is not the time to go wobbly – to stand up for conservatism and against amnesty. If not them, then who? If not this fight, then when?

I believe the introduction and growth of freedom loving libertarians is a great thing for the conservative movement.

But we have got to stop attacking each other and start focusing on our common adversary, progressive socialists. There are both libertarians and conservatives in the House who say: “give me 100% of what I want or I’m not voting with you.” I was a Member of the class of 2010 and I saw it all the time.

Instead of rolling up their sleeves and working across every corner of the conservative platform, these members said “my way or the highway.” So they pack up their toys and end up voting with Nancy Pelosi.

So I’ll tell you this much. If you want to roll back the tide of statism and creeping government influence, conservatives and libertarians have to play this game strategically. We have to stop playing checkers and start playing chess.
Let me put it this way. Who here wants to repeal Obamacare?


Hey, me too. We voted dozens of times to repeal Obamacare in the House. Guess what? It sucks, Obama and the Democrats know it sucks but it’s still on the books.

You know how we sweep that terrible piece of legislation into the dustbin? We win back the Senate in 2014 and the White House in 2016.

And we do that the Reagan way. We find common values, we find those common issues, we forge alliances. That doesn’t mean we start bending and breaking our constitutional conservative principles, never. That’s the way to lose an election, not win it. No, it means we start to divide and conquer the progressive socialists.

But it is much easier to advance conservative ideals with friends than it is with foes. So I have a hard time believing that a libertarian can’t ally with a conservative to beat progressive socialism in America.

One of those common issues we cannot ignore is a clear and present crisis, the breakdown of the American family.

In 1964 at the inception of LBJ’s Great Society, only 7 percent of American children were born out of wedlock. Now, over 40 percent of American children are. If you look at the breakdown by race, the results are even more striking – the White out-of-wedlock birth rate was just 2 percent in the 1964. Now it is almost 30 percent. Among Black Americans, it was 14 percent in 1964, 72 percent now. 1 out of every 2 Hispanic children born today is born out of wedlock.

Scholars have looked at the data and come to the inescapable truth that is if you graduate from high school, wait until you are married to have children and hold a full time job, you are significantly less likely to end up in poverty.

There is a direct link between the breakdown of the American family, the increase in poverty and the increase in government dependency.

Reagan said it best when he said “The family has always been the cornerstone of American society. Our families nurture, preserve, and pass on to each succeeding generation the values we share and cherish, values that are the foundation of our freedoms.”

But the progressive, politically correct police do not want us to acknowledge reality. They do not want us to speak the hard truths and encourage our fellow citizens to take personal responsibility for their own lives. They do not want us to promote an opportunity society; they prefer dependency – where a government handout becomes the easiest way to buy the votes of this constituency or that constituency.

We believe in what Benjamin Franklin once said “The best way to help the poor is to make them uncomfortable in their poverty.”

Nearly 50 million Americans are on food stamps. Nearly 50 million Americans need government assistance to do something as basic as feed themselves and their families. That is a 70 percent increase in food stamp enrollment since Barack Obama became president. The worst economic recovery since the Depression. More and more people dropping out of the job market, giving up.

That’s Barack Obama’s America.

…One nation, underfed.

…One nation, under-employed.

…One nation, under-privileged.

And the great lesson of Obama’s two elections, One Nation, under-whelmed.

My friends, how about we bring back One Nation, Under God! ?

Let’s talk about God’s blessings. Here we have a nation overflowing with natural resources, with Americans hungry for both jobs and the energy needed to power this first-world economy.

Here we’ve got millions of people out of work, and energy costs skyrocketing. An abundance of oil and shale and natural gas and unlimited workers ready to pull it out of the ground, all we have to do is take it. We’re not limited by technology or lack of manpower or supply.

You know what’s standing in our way? Barack Obama, and his EPA…and another progressive socialist acolyte his new Head of the EPA Gina McCarthy.

You don’t have to look as far as the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge – which should have been opened for drilling years ago. You need only look at the ground beneath our feet – here in Colorado. There is an ocean of oil here in the Colorado shale; we must not allow radical environmentalists and their sympathizers in all levels of government to stop us from extracting these resources.

Less government regulation allows for more innovation and job creation. Since 2010, oil production is up 64 percent in Colorado alone. This is how the American economy is supposed to work. We develop new incredible new technologies like hydraulic fracking. We create jobs using the new technology, this in turn spurs investment and eases the pressure on families who need to heat their homes and drive their kids to school. They are the ones who truly feel the pain of high energy costs – not the big oil companies. We understand this – the President and his misguided progressive acolytes do not.

This President needs to approve the Keystone XL Pipeline… yesterday. It is a no-brainer. It will create thousands of good-paying jobs for Americans and move us closer to North American energy independence.

Ronald Reagan said “military power wins battles, but spiritual power wins wars.” This old soldier likes both.

Never mind that these days, a high school football team in Texas can’t join hands in prayer before a game without a lawyer from the ACLU running up and suing them. It is fortunate that moral courage, spirituality, the power of faith and ideas and love for Christ cannot be suppressed by the laws of man, no matter how hard progressives try.

But here’s what does worry me the most. Right this moment; we’re witnessing the systematic dismantling of the incredible American military that Reagan built. Barack Obama loves all kind of spending, unless it’s on our Armed Forces.

Oh, he’ll commit them to battle in places like Libya and perhaps Syria, as new UN Ambassador Samantha Power will advise, and he’ll hog credit for the daring and courage of our Navy SEALs, he’ll use the military as a political pawn to force conservatives to tax and spend more, and as a petri dish for every little social experiment he wants, like gay pride parades at forward operating bases in combat zones, or forcing military chaplains to perform same-sex marriages, or women in the Rangers. He’ll do all of that, gleefully.

What he won’t do is give them the resources and support they need to finish their mission and come home to us safe. What Barack Obama is doing to the military Ronald Reagan built is criminal. The smallest Air Force in history, with one third of the fighter fleet grounded. A Navy shrinking to its smallest size since before World War One. The smallest Army since 1940. And a greatly strained US Marine Corps. There are long lines of equipment and vehicles stacking up at maintenance depots, hundreds of thousands of proud Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines being tossed out of uniform and into the Barack Obama economy.

Heck, we are spending $12 million on gophers at Ft. Lewis, Wash., while we are furloughing DoD employees.

When Americans were under attack by Islamic extremists in Benghazi, they called for help and no one answered.

And in these times we must ask, can we even respond? With Russia rising and China militarizing, with North Korea threatening to fire rockets in our direction and Iran going nuclear, with the Middle East on fire and the threat of Islamic radicalism spreading to all corners of the globe – Barack Obama cuts money for our Military, so he can spend it on Solyndra’s, Food Stamps, and Obamacare.

I say, enough of this progressive poison. Enough. It’s time for the next conservative revolution. Once again, it’s a time for choosing. It’s time for that rendezvous with destiny, the destiny that defines the greatness and exceptionalism of this Constitutional Republic, our America.

Let’s bring in a new generation, the next generation, of faith. Of freedom. Of families and friends. And of our cherished Flag.

Let’s stop talking and start walking. Let’s live up to the faith and courage of Psalms and the wisdom of Proverbs, and let our spirits be lifted high, known to all men, all women, all Americans, all of our allies and in all corners of the globe.

Let’s forge a new generation, a new conservative generation that guarantees the American dream for another 200 years.
And when history remembers Barack Obama, let it not remember him, but, this new generation, a generation that guided us out of his darkness, out of his turmoil, out of his despair, and reignited that bright, burning light… that we call America.
Forever remain Steadfast and Loyal……

Thank you all. God bless each of you, and God bless America.

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