African-American Conservatives and Allen West Raise Hackles
Last week, I had the privilege of interviewing LTC Allen West, a candidate for the US House of Representatives from Florida’s 22nd Congressional District. Allen is a frequent guest on the show and contributor to this blog (thank you, Col. West!).
As our name might imply, we are conservatives, and we espouse a conservative viewpoint. One of the issues we decry quite often is the tendency for those who do not agree with our political ideology to take the easier path of slinging mud, calling names, hijacking the conversation by trumping that old race card, and any number of tactics to stall or sideline the real conversation….one based on the substance of an issue.
Thus, it comes as no surprise that as Allen continues to make gains in funding and in poll points, his opponents get more desperate in their attempts to discredit him. Regardless of anyone’s political persuasion, I think impugning someone’s service record (without cause) is a deplorable thing. Now before my critics trot out the old, “Well, he “tortured” people (did we quote you correctly this time, Thomas Francis?), you need to hear the whole conversation in context (yeah, that context will trip you up, every time!).
LTC West’s service is being maligned by the Klein campaign, and by the mainstream media. Allen has been up front about this incident in his service to our country. In fact, it came up in our very first interview with him months ago — long before it was seized upon by the Klein campaign! When this story re-surfaced, Allen launched a preemptive strike and released a statement and video explaining his actions. We then asked Allen to appear on the show to discuss this topic yet again.
I will state openly right now, as a pro-life conservative, I have long grappled with the issue of the death penalty. It is alluded to in Scripture, and whereas I don’t feel I could ever be the one to enact the actual taking of life from another, I accept that in some situations it is a form of punishment our laws allow.
However, militarily, what occurred in this instance is quite a different case from the death penalty debate. Regardless of where you may land on the subject of “enhanced interrogation,” waterboarding, and the like, shooting a gun over someone’s head ain’t it. As I mentioned on air, as a girl who grew up in inner-city public housing, walking through gang territory with turf wars brewing and gunshots ringing out was a fact of life, and not unlike a war-torn country at times. You knew your life was at risk every time you opened your door. Combat is much the same. You know the risks when you sign up. “Torture” is what John McCain endured as a POW. Giving a known enemy combatant a “bloody lip” or shooting a gun over their head is very different.
This is the context in which we discussed these events in the interview. We stated that in this day and age, we read Miranda Rights and grant civilian trials to people (people who are not citizens of this country — did I mention that yet?) who smuggle bombs in their underwear and mastermind plots to kill our fellow countrymen. Yes, these people are granted all the “niceties” our government can heap upon them at our expense. Meanwhile, our servicemen and servicewomen were languishing under laborious rules of engagement that endangered their lives.
We no longer have the luxury of a pre-911 worldview. We now live in an era where we have come face-to-face with the fact that there are people with an evil agenda, who frankly, don’t like us and want to bring us harm, in some misguided interpretation of their religion.
Thus, when there are servicewomen and servicemen in this world like LTC Allen West, and John McCain protecting me, I do sleep better at night, and thank them for their service. Further, I resent anyone who would speak critically of the choices made by people of integrity like Col. West, merely for political gain. Mr. Klein, your freedom to speak so uncivilly is something men like your opponent, Allen West, fight for!
As someone with absolutely no military experience, I cannot know the harrowing experiences our men and women in uniform endure daily to protect me and my freedoms. Mr. Klein, as far as I can tell from his online biographies, also has no record of military service. Thus, it behooves us to trust those with the requisite experience to know what to do in such circumstance. We always have the luxury of saying, “Well if someone broke into my house and threatened my spouse and kids, I would do thus and so…” but until it actually happens and we are confronted with evil face-to-face, we really don’t know, do we?
Since Mr. Klein is a fan of the show, I would direct his attention to the 18:52 mark in the interview and ask him to address the substantive issues discussed! Further, I would thank him, the Broward Palm Beach New Times, and Thomas Francis (Thomas, ya might wanna check your comments…some are pretty “racist” and it’s not coming from the Tea Party crowd!) for allowing me the honor of some criticism. It’s the highest form of a compliment to me, because it means I’m doing my job and doing it well! Thank you!
Having said all that, let me now dismount my conservative soapbox and get to the meat of this blog, and that is the response to all this from Allen’s Campaign Manager, Josh Grodin:
(Deerfield Beach, FL) “The Allen West campaign would like to take this opportunity to point out the duplicity of the Florida Democrat Party. All attempts to assassinate the character of Col. Allen West, an American soldier, are in consort with the national Party’s decision to personalize elections where incumbents are in peril. The problem for Democrats in general and Congressman Ron Klein in particular, is that if they want to continue to indulge in the luxury of racial politics when it comes to their leader, President Obama, then they are going to have answer this tough question. If attacks against President Obama’s policies are “racist” by the American people who disagree with them, are attacks against Col. West’s ideas, which mirror the conservative people of this country, “racist” as well?
Democrats had better be careful of their hypocrisy. The party of social engineering which has helped decimate the black community, the party of segregation and the party of the late Senator Robert Byrd of Ku Klux Klan fame, had better beware. It is unfair to castigate the opposition when the person is a liberal black American, unless the same rules apply to attacks against a conservative black American.
Rev. Jackson, Rev. Sharpton … we’re waiting for your arrival to demand equity for Col. Allen West. Something tells me we will be waiting a long time…”
Admin: You might want to do a little research on your IP rant. You’ve got about a dozen facts completely wrong in that, but i’m sure the admin of a site as important as this one doesn’t have time to get facts straight about IP tracing, tracking, and proper spelling in posts.
Hi Marie. I happened to bump into this thread during a Google search and thought I’d drop you a note. I’m not Tom Wilcox. So if you’re blocking that poor fellow’s comments on the basis that he is actually me, I suggest you set him free.
As to that detective work, I’m afraid you allowed your imagination to get the best of you. It is not a suspicious coincidence that I would write articles about Pompano Beach, since that city is within the paper’s coverage
area. Nor is it fishy that Tom Wilcox would have a Broward County residence and an interest in Allen West — after all, Allen West was running to represent part of Broward County.
Not that your research was completely wasted. I believe you succeeded in proving that among the 1.6 million people in Broward County, there are at least two people named Tom.
Nice, negative postings get deleted. It’s funny that you and Allen compare the MSM to Joseph Goebbels, then you proceed to delete any negative postings. Why are you so hypocritical?
Tom, your comment was not deleted. We held it in queue because we wanted to respond to your concerns. And we still intend to….
Before you go and say that Ron Klein has attacked Allen West’s military record, you might want to provide an example of when this has happened. If you tried to do this, you wouldn’t find one, because he has not.
The problem with Allen West is not his military record-like all military veterans he should be commended for his service to our country. The problem with West is that he lies and it starts with him saying that certain people, like Klein, are attacking his military record when they have not.
Also, Allen West did not provide one example of the Florida Democratic Party or Ron Klein attacking him or saying anything about him related to his race (or even expressing concern that critics of President Obama are racist. For the most part, they are not.) This statement is not based on any facts and is just another example of Allen West trying to divide people. Why does West criticize people for playing the race card, and then say that no one can criticize him because it is racist to do so? It is just so hypocritical and really makes no sense for him to bring race into this, when nothing has been said about race by anyone other than Allen West.
On your show, Allen West has lied numerous times. See the most recent example, the part about him claiming he did not call for the end of the Department of Education-he clearly did. Whether you agree with his proposal or not, he did make the proposal, so why try and say you meant something else?
West should not be elected, not because of his race and not because of the incident in Iraq, but because he is a staunch ideologue who is divisive. What have “pure” conservatives like Bachman and Jim DeMint actually accomplished in terms of legislation, besides saying no to everything. West says he will bring change to D.C., but how will he be any better than those two?
What would be really interesting, Tom, is if you “de-cloaked.” Why would you come and post on our blog as “Tom Wilcox” and “Tom” instead of standing behind the “nom de plume” (Thomas Francis) you use on your blog, if you have nothing to hide? I find that exceptionally disingenuous, and totally strips you of any “street cred” as a journalist to impugn what I say as a talk radio show host, when you hide behind so many names. I can express an opinion, and I make clear in the outro to every show that these are my opinions. You wear the guise of a legitimate journalist (by any chance have ya heard about that JournoList, Tom?? Or is it Thomas?), yet you play games here.
How do I know this, since you ask for “facts?”
1) WordPress and many things on the “IntarWebz” have this liiiiittle thing called an IP address. Your IP address, Tom (or is it Thomas, I get so confused!!!) is located in Florida. In Pampano Beach, FL. I find that interesting, because your “alter ego,” Thomas (or is it Tom?? Boy, I’ve just gotta get that straight in my head!!!) writes quite a bit about this town, as evidenced by this article!
Further, you use different names (Tom Wilcox, Tom) & different email addresses (one from gmail, one from yahoo). Again, disingenuous. Obviously. we do not agree politically. That’s okay. Our comment policy encourages civil discourse even if we disagree. However, in the style that has come to typify the Left, you are resorting to games, name calling and the like. I thought you prized facts? Tell us this fact, “Tom” or “Thomas:” Who are you, really? Do you want to have a genuine discussion about what is best for this country, or do you want to be snarky, as your previous & pithy “oh you never post anything negative” comment would indicate?
2) Now before you go and rip me about how big your town is, and how many guys must surely be named Tom (or is it Thomas???), #1 above is hinky enough. My map shows the close relation of your IP to where the paper is published. The article by “Thomas Francis” doesn’t link to my blog post directly; however, understanding the nature of pingbacks and trackbacks, it would make sense that the author of the blog I referenced would quickly sniff out our response before the general public at large. Otherwise, our blog is a lot more popular than even we knew! Sweet!
3) Also compelling is how what you state in this comment matches your written “voice” in style, tone and repeats some of what I saw online. Yes, I know about tone, written “voice,” and the like….I even have a copy of CMOS (15), that perhaps I should pull out and use — when writing a letter to the good editors over at the Broward Palm Beach New Times about ethics in journalism! 🙂
When you decide you would like to have an honest dialog about this, please let us know….until then, allow this to serve as your notice that future “snark” will be deleted, as will duplicate sign-ups and false names.
(signing my (real) name because I expect that another admin here at AACONS will jump in and respond as well, and I want to distinguish who wrote which reply)
I think you should listen to the Allen West interview again. Neither AACONS nor Allen West has said that the attacks on West’s military record came from Ron Klein personally. In fact, West said that the release of the video that dealt with the Iraqi incident was a response to “the liberal blogs that are emanating out of South Florida, and they’re just a mouthpiece for him. They’re kinda of like his little snippy Chihuahuas that he sends out, and they are starting kick up and talk about Iraq and what happened. We even had a person that called in to a local radio station call me a common criminal, so we knew this sort of thing was going up…We had to get ahead of this thing before Ron Klein and his cronies could do it as we go into the final 90 day push. “
We at AACONS said that the attacks came from “the Klein campaign.” Now, whether these attacks are coming from people on the official Ron Klein campaign payroll or from people unofficially associated with the campaign, we don’t know; nor do we see the significance of the difference. The people who blog and call local talk radio in order to paint West as a war criminal as a tactic to garner support for the Klein campaign are part of the Klein campaign, in our opinion – at least for the purpose of this discussion.
As for your statement: “Why does West criticize people for playing the race card, and then say that no one can criticize him because it is racist to do so? It is just so hypocritical and really makes no sense for him to bring race into this, when nothing has been said about race by anyone other than Allen West,” you are clearly either misinformed, or are attempting to misinform your readers, or both. Allen West has never and would never make such a ridiculous comment that “no one can criticize him because it is racist to do so.” Furthermore, if one reads the comments posted after the Broward Palm Beach July 19th 2010 blog, “Allen West Outrage by Suggestion He’s Racist Against Himself,” we see him called “a Steppin Fetchit,” “a self-loathing black man,” and “the new Uncle Tom.” So for you to suggest that “nothing has been said about race by anyone other than Allen West” is completely disingenuous.
As for West’s “lying”, listen to the interview. West has always been clear about his view that education should be a state issue and the Department of Education is a bloated, dysfunction federal bureaucracy that should no longer exist in its current form. As he said to us, “it’s not about eliminating the Department of Education but getting the Department of Education back in the right proper mandates.” If this is the best example you have of West having “lied numerous times” to us, I can only imagine how compelling your other examples must be.
I will agree with you that West is “a staunch ideologue” like “Bachman [sic]” and “Jim DeMint.” Good for West. Like West, both Bachmann and DeMint are former guests and favorites of AACONS. In our view, both have stood up for the conservative principles our country needs; and both have stood against the progressive, socialist agenda of this White House and Congress. Despite what the media says, Conservatives are not bereft of ideas. Rather, they are having their voices stifled by an overwhelming majority in both the House and Senate, and an extremely partisan president. However, I feel optimistic that come November, Allen West will be part of a wave of reinforcements for these lonely warriors of conservatism. It is for this reason I support him, and pray for his election.
As a veteran and someone who served in OEF, I hold no ill regard for what Lt Col West did on the battlefield. As a matter of fact, most airmen that I served with thought of the guy as a hero. To find out he is a principled conservative and dedicated to liberty on top of being a true American Hero was icing on the cake.
luv this man !! we need more like him! black white red or blue its his ideals and character!! wish he was in our state!!!
We’re right with you, Johanna! We can all volunteer, even if we don’t live in FL, because like Star Parker says, “You may not be able to vote for me [being out of the district], but I will vote for you!” Allen *will* vote for us!
The left cannot help but attacking the messenger over the message. It’s a Marxist tactic, yes, but it’s also a juvenile response that is not only ingrained in these people, but comes very naturally to them. What’s good about this is that they have long since ceased being conscious of it, and now they don’t even notice they’re doing it, or the negative effect it is having on their credibility, even among people who used to be fooled by them on a regular basis.
You’re so right about that, Erik, as we discussed on the show with *you!* But, like flies buzzing at an outdoor picnic when you are trying to eat, it gets *annoying* after awhile. The good thing is, as people like you, Kevin Jackson, Niger Innis, Lloyd Marcus, Zo Rachel, Angela McGlowan, Star Parker and Allen West continue to point people back to the substantive portion of the discussion, America realizes, like those flies at the picnic, that it’s an annoying distraction and they begin to realize what you’ve been saying all along is true!