Sputnik discussed the midterm elections in the United States with Allen West, an American political commentator, retired US Army lieutenant colonel, and former member of the US House of Representatives. As a member of the Republican Party, West represented Florida's 22nd congressional district in the House from 2011 to 2013.
Sputnik: In 2012 you were kicked out of the Congress by Florida voters, what made you return to politics?
Allen West: I wouldn't say I was kicked out, there were some very interesting shenanigans that happened; there was a 4,000 vote shift a little after midnight and there was some voter fraud in St. Lucie County, but the bottom line is this: I just felt true to the principles and values and the oath that I took as a commissioned officer, and I think that at that time many people did not want to hear that. I think the difference between being a politician and a statement is that a politician will tell the people, the constituents what they want to hear in order to gain a vote, but a statesman, a true leader will always tell people what they need to hear and sometimes people will reject the message that they need to hear.
Sputnik: The recent tragedy in Pittsburgh has seen the President come under scrutiny, has it damaged the image of the party?
Allen West: No, it has not, I think this was an individual that, as a matter fact, when you look at his social media and everything, he was very much anti-President Trump, and he ran into that synagogue shouting 'death to Jews' and things of this nature.
So what it shows is that anti-Semitism is a very true cancer, a very true stain. When you think that you have people like Louis Farrakhan, who is the head of the Nation of Islam here in the United States of America, a very anti-Semitic person and yet he was on the stage with former Democrat President Bill Clinton at Aretha Franklin‘s funeral, so I think we need to stop allowing anti-Semites and anti-Semitism to have a platform here in the United States of America.
Sputnik: You have said the tragedies like this were leveraged for political advantage, in what way can this benefit the Democratic Party?
Allen West: Once again there are two sides of it, they tried to use it against President Trump, again trying to blame him for the fact that we have this person that was anti-Trump and anti-Semite come in and conduct this violence, they said it was part of the President's rhetoric. But that would be just the same as saying that Bernie Sanders was responsible for the gunman, a Bernie Sanders supporter and a leftist, who shot Republican members of the House and Senate, almost killing Representative Steve Scalise while they were practicing baseball. The other thing that you hear a lot of folks from Democrat party or the left saying is that, once again, this shows that we need to have more gun control in the United States of America instead of dealing with the person as an individual.
Sputnik: What challenges will the winning party have to face on Capitol Hill? How can these elections shape the future presidential elections?
Allen West: This is very important because it's kind of like a midterm report card, a gauge of where we see our country going. If you think about this past Friday, we had an incredible jobs report. We had 250,000 jobs created in the month of October, we have our wages increase by a ten-year high, we have consumer confidence that is at an eighteen-year high, we have unemployment levels here in the United States of America that we have not seen in 49 years. We have record unemployment in the minority communities, black and Hispanic. So we're seeing all the right things as far as economic growth and we see our foreign-policy being strong, we see our military's capability, capacity being restored.
We don't hear about ISIS anymore because our commander-in-chief has allowed our military to do what they're supposed to do. So I think that this is going to be a gauge as far as where this country wants to head. If Republicans stay in control of the House and the Senate, then we can continue on with this economic growth and the policies thereof. If the Democrats take over, they've already said that it's mostly going to be about investigations, impeaching Donald Trump; they don't like the fact that we have these tax cuts that have now allowed us to have this economic growth so they want to rescind that, and they're talking about health care, but then they were the ones with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, that we know as Obamacare, they were the ones to put health care in jeopardy in the first place.
Sputnik: Former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has not ruled out her running for president in 2020; how serious of an opponent is she for the Republicans?
Allen West: I don't think Mrs. Clinton would be a very serious opponent, as a matter of fact, there are people in the Democratic Party who wish that she would just go away. And again, this just shows that there is this core elitist movement within the Democratic Party that still wants to have power control. You hear folks on the Democrat side say that it's time for new fresh blood, new fresh faces and that's one of the things that would be very interesting to see, if the Democrats were to win the House of Representatives, how many of them will support Nancy Pelosi as the next Speaker of the House.
Would they just go right back to the same old thing or would they try to turn the page, and bring in new leadership. So I think there's a little internal fight within the Democratic Party as far as: who is their new face? Where do they go from here? And I don't think Hillary Clinton this part of that equation.
Sputnik: This year we have witnessed the social media censoring many conservatives, how does this affect the political opposing speech?
Allen West: I think this is very interesting because in America, in our Bill of Rights, the First Amendment is that we have freedom of speech and freedom of expression. We've even seen this on many of our college campuses and universities where they have these free speech zones which are designated places where you can have your First Amendment right, which is completely absurd.
But when you see what's happening with Facebook or Twitter, or even Google, and some of the other social media platforms, and what they're doing for conservative free speech, it's really igniting people and causing them to understand that there's a whole-hearted effort to try to keep dissenting voices from speaking. I'll come back to something that Mrs. Clinton said recently, about how there will not be civility unless the Democrats are in power and in control. That's called ideological domination, that's called tyranny, that's called totalitarianism, that's called trying to control a message that's getting out to people.
The views and opinions expressed by the contributors do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.
The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.