my rough notes of the comments from Rep. Allen West (apologies for typos):
(he gets a standing ovation and extended applause as a welcome)
- last year, I thanked you for restoring conservatism in 2010 elections, but new battle looms large in 2012 and we cannot sit on our laurels...we must set our sights on something bigger.
- cannot be satisfied with holding 1/3 of the federal government - we must keep the House, take the Senate and occupy the White House with conservatives.
- hope this is the year of conservative renaissance.
- if that is to happen, it takes each of us doing a better job explaining who we are and what we stand for.
- been portrayed as racists, etc... here to set record straight
- we believe in effective government that is limited in scope - want a return to fundamental American principles our founders dreamed of and established.
- vision of a country in which people would be free - to decide their own lives, make a living, raise their children, choose their leaders for themselves resulting in leaders who were responsive to the will of the population - not the population responsive to the will of the leaders.
- Founders understood that power corrupts and even good men could be tempted to expand their control and today we have a federal government that tries to improve human nature for force and coercion.
- Founders place clear boundaries on federal authority - in no uncertain terms - and codified those conditions in the Constitution of these United States of America.
- in creating clearly enumerated powers...as long as document remained valued, there would be a limit on how much power elected officials could command.
- allowed bureaucracy to bloom out of control until no area of life is free from its dominance...government has shed bonds of constitutional restraint.
- will we stumble blindly down the road to a bureaucratic nanny state or return to the ideals upon which this nation was founded.
Your answer to this question determines if you are a liberal or conservative.
- We believe in you having control of the fruits of your labor - they believe government has first dibs on you and your property
- we believe in the individual - they believe in the collective
- people make decisions how to spend/invest their paychecks. What's right for one may not be right for another, but each family has that ability to make that decision for themselves.
- liberals worry that what's best of the individual might not be good for others and they believe in stepping in to make sure the Marxist maxim is enforced: from each according to his ability to each according to his needs.
- this assumes we won't help those who need it unless forced to by the power of the state.
- liberals charge: have you no compassion? I respond: of course, we just believe the safety net shouldn't be used as a hammock. (huge applause)
- we know people are generous - to think we wouldn't willing choose to look for another misses the true nature of humanity.
- one sides it believes it is our duty to sacrifice what is right for us and our families must be sacrificed for what the government says is best for society...
and they call that fairness/fair share/economic justice...we see it for what it rightly is - legalized plunder that strips us of our dignity as human individuals.
- we recognize that public good is a misnomer - what is public if not the people who comprise it...what is good if not what is in the best interest of the individual.
it's not the public good, but the individual good, the person good.
- it is up to us to make the case for freedom - and if you don't think this is a battle that is worth living, remember history. If freedom doesn't prevail here, expect liberty to fail throughout the world.
- we are best hope for liberty on the planet and we must not allow the liberals to move us away from the policies of the past which can sustain our future.
- are we mindless lemmings following liberals who seek to enslave for their own gain?
- Joshua 24:15 - ... choose for yourself this day whom you will serve ...
The choice could not be any clearer - we will serve God, we will serve this Constitutional Republic and we will serve America.