Addressing the Young American’s Foundation National Conference Friday morning, Rep. Allen West, (R-FL) a former Army lieutenant colonel, stressed to the crowd of students and supporters the importance of being philosophically astute, and being a “warrior” for the sake of Conservatism and America.
“Whenever you find yourself in a fair fight, it is because your tactics suck,” West said. He stressed the importance of being articulate and knowledgeable about the philosophical tenants of Conservatism.
West also advised the audience on how to deal with liberal antagonizers and accusations of racism that crop up when conservatives oppose President Obama. “Truth is not on their side… Do not allow the other side to put you in a box,” he said. “They know they can’t defend [accusing Obama’s opponents as being racist] so they have to rely on making you scared. They want to shut you up; don’t let them.”
“One side [supporters of free markets and free peoples] has been very successful,” West commented. “The other side has never been successful whenever they have tried to implement their system. This is what we are facing… a social utopia, secular state.”
He challenged the students, saying, “Go out and talk to your friends who disagree with you about this. Talk to five, then get three to change their minds.”
West stressed five key points to make while defending and defining Conservatism.
- Belief in a limited and fiscally responsible government – This fiscally responsible government is to counter, as West called it, the “intrusive and evasive nature of government.”
- Individual sovereignty- “America is great because we promote the individual. Rights come from our creator, not the government,” West urged.
- Confidence in the free market- “The most important weapon you have is your mind,” which can only be fully productive and fulfilled in the context of the free market, West said.
- Support for traditional cultural values- “My wife and I represent the only 28 percent of the black community with two parents in the household. The family is the fundamental structure of society. If you take the father out of the home, it brings the collapse of the family structure.”
- A strong national security- Citing Ronald Reagan’s “Peace through strength” strategy, West stressed that without a strong national defense we are not able to fully engage in a free market.
“These are the points to articulate wherever you go… I’m not saying you go out and pander, but you take those five points and explain to [people] why this is best not only for them but their children and their grandchildren.”
West has been a staunch supporter of the conservative cause and liberty-minded young people should follow his lead.