I first heard Congressman Allen West about a year ago when he was a guest on a local talk radio show. In an election year it might not be too surprising to have someone running for office appearing, but the show originates from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Rep. West was running for office in Florida. The radio hosts; Quinn and Rose, were enamored by West and I soon shared their enthusiasm. His matter-of-fact style and forthright message is, unfortunately, refreshing. It’s only unfortunate that an elected official (he won!) is so open and honest; that he is the exception rather than the rule. Even the politicians that I like often seem to care too much about appearing civil when confronting the other side.
Two things strike me as I write this. The first is that I find myself struggling about what to call Congressman West. I just cannot bring myself to call him a “politician” as if on him it is a pejorative. His constituents in Florida are smart to have elected him and lucky that he settled there after his military service. The second issue was how to whittle the following video clips to the few that I wanted to include to illustrate this man. I planned only two clips, but that just wasn’t enough. The third thing (I know that there were supposed to only be two things) was that I found myself watching and watching and watching the videos. I love his voice. I love his style. I love his delivery. And most of all I love his message. I hope to be able to vote for him someday in perhaps a nationwide election (Ryan/West 2012?).