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Allen West: America needs leadership

Congressman Allen B. West

(Wilson County News) – “You can’t have a sovereign state if you don’t have a secure border,” said former U.S. Rep. Allen West, adding that the right resources for border patrol must be on the border to prevent “seepage,” not 60 to 70 miles back.

“Illegal immigration is very simple; it’s illegal,” West said, adding that the United States shouldn’t give taxpayer-funded benefits to people who are here illegally.

The current president and CEO of the nonprofit, nonpartisan National Center for Policy Analysis spoke with the Wilson County News in an exclusive interview ahead of a speaking engagement in San Antonio. His comments largely focused on the nation’s need for good leadership.

“… I’m appalled at this sense of sanctuary cities, where they are flaunting the federal law and putting our citizens at risk … We’ve seen that with Kate Steinley of San Francisco and many other places.”

National security is a primary responsibility of the government according to the Constitution, he said. He also commented on President Barack Obama’s Oct. 15 announcement that the United States will maintain 9,800 troops in Afghanistan, a turnabout on the drawdown of troops originally planned.

The Obama administration realized, he said, that sticking to the original strategy and drawing down to keep a campaign promise wasn’t feasible.

The retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel added, that with combat operations, “… you cannot unilaterally make the declaration that you’re ending it unless you win or lose.” That’s telling the enemy your plans.

Only Republican Lindsey Graham and Democrat James Webb, among the presidential hopefuls, have military experience. This lack of experience concerns West, a 22-year Army veteran.

“The most important title of the president is commander in chief,” he said. In January 2017, the global security situation will be horrific, and only someone who has been at the receiving end of an AK-47 or an RPG will be able to make decisions from that perspective, he said.

“The United States needs to restore its respect and regard on the global, international stage,” West said, adding that some foreign policy and national security decisions made in recent years will come back to haunt us.

Concerning domestic issues, West said a good leader, someone who can restore the legislative branch, is what he’s seeking in a new Speaker of the House.

He’s not interested in that body’s internal politics; he wants to see Congress legislate, not the executive and judicial branches.

Issues facing the country, such as immigration and growing the economy, were not addressed during the Oct. 6 Democrat debate, West said.

“It seemed as if everyone was trying to ‘out left’ each other and talk about how much more public largesse they can give to people for their patronage, their vote,” he said.

Leadership is lacking in the Democrats vying for the presidential nomination, who evaded the critical issues in the debate.

“You heard nothing about debt, nothing about restoring the economy,” he said. “It was basically we’re going to go after these people and we’re going to tax them, and we’re going to give you more stuff. That’s what I heard — free education, free family leave, health care … That’s not leading, that is patronizing.”

The nation needs a commander in chief who can restore the nation’s credibility, he said.

But he didn’t hear this in the debate.

For the new president, the first order of business is to get oriented, read reports, and gather their thoughts, transition from campaigning into governing and leading. They’ll have to make some very important decisions very quickly, he said.

The Democrats who debated, he said, were patronizing with their “black lives matter” statements.

The president, West said, should be protecting everyone.

“… not Republican lives, Democrat lives, not black lives, white lives, but all lives,” he said. We need “… someone who will unify us and … restore that ‘Shining City on the Hill,’ and American exceptionalism and pride.

“Hopefully, we can find someone who can step into those shoes and take this country to even greater heights.”

In the military, West learned leadership, courage, competence, commitment, conviction, and character to do what’s right when no one is watching. Leadership “… is about bringing together a diverse organization to get them focused on the accomplishment of a singular goal. That’s what we need to see.”

Some think West could be that leader.

He lives his life, he said, according to Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the LORD with all thy heart, lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.”

“God knows where He wants me to be, and what He wants me to do to serve Him and to serve this country,” West said. “And I’ll be obedient to His will.”

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