Rep Allen West – Op-Ed “Critical time for ideological debate” – The Hill

By Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.)– 04/24/12 06:03 PM ET

Much has been made of my recent response to a question from a constituent and assertion regarding so-called “communists” in the Congressional Progressive Caucus. I am pleased it has inspired so much passionate debate, for that was precisely the point.

When I was studying for my two master’s degrees in political science at Kansas State University and at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff Officer College, the very best professors were those who would begin each lecture with a challenging assertion. It engaged discussion and analysis, and was the best way to uncover the essence of the particular subject of the day.

As Americans, we must bring to the fore this fundamental discussion of what we want our country to be. Do we veer from our Founders’ vision of a constitutional republic that preserves and protects the individual sovereignty of its citizens, along with the free market and the rights of the several states, or do we continue to slide down this path of expanding the secular welfare state, nationalizing production and enforcing economic equality?

My colleagues in the Congressional Progressive Caucus have taken umbrage with my equation of their ideals with those of communists. Why? Why shouldn’t we have this discussion? What part of their agenda are they trying to hide?

We must be able to openly discuss how our fundamental freedoms are being slowly chipped away by an over-reaching nanny state that has bit by bit slipped its tentacles into every aspect of our lives, from the types of light bulbs we can use to the size of our toilet tanks.


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