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With President Obama having won a second term in office, Democrats and many Republicans said the same thing: conservativism is dead. that’s “marlarkey” said former Rep. Allen West, speaking at the 2013 Conservative Political Action Conference (and channeling a word from Vice President Joe Biden’s vocabulary).
West, who was a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army and whose troops loved him because they knew he would walk through Hellfire for them, is a fighter, not a whiner. He admitted that conservatives lost some battles in 2012. Nevertheless, the war war goes on, and conservatives aren’t even close to losing:
I’ll give it to you straight. Last November we did take one on the jaw. But this movement and this fight is not determined by the punches that we take. We are defined by how quickly we pull ourselves off the mat and our perseverance.
The way to win is to act. West warned that a political party is a winning party only when it stays true to its principles, rather than simply paying them “lip service.”
Importantly, West stressed that the best way for conservatives to counter the Democrat and Progressive claim that conservatives don’t care about the poor is to make the point that the best way for a society to raise up the poor and underprivileged is to embrace pro-freedom and pro-liberty policies. Compassion arises from individual choice, he said, not by turning adult Americans into government dependents.
West reminded CPAC attendees that America has been through hard times before – Civil War, World Wars, and Depressions – but has always bounced back. This time will be no different:
Ladies and gentleman, when Barack Obama packs his bags and beats a hasty retreat back to Chicago, we will persevere.
Conservatives, West promised, have a secret weapon that will raise them up before the voters:
I’m speaking from experience when I tell you that there is nothing on this green earth that a liberal progressive fears more than a black American who wants a better life and a smaller government.
With someone like Lt. Colonel West to lead the charge, and with tried and true values that focus on individual freedom and small government, there’s nothing dead about American conservativism.