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..."