The ridiculous Allen West has finally played his hole card.
It was always about money.
It’s a game often played by evangelicals. Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell are/were masters. The formula’s simple: Say something so obviously false, wrong, insane, etc., that the general media cannot help but replay and discuss it for all its madness; and then, as the outrage grows, cup your hands and wait for the money to fall, sure in the knowledge that marks (in the wrestling sense) will always be marks, with too little education and far too much base fear ever to question the message, or the messenger. That might sound cynical, but how else to explain Allen West?
Let’s look first at the message, folks. As a teacher and a lifelong reader, I’m always disappointed when obvious examples of error appear in public writing. West probably didn’t write this but it came out under his name; we see one clear example here (caught and cited in the linked text), and in public writing even one glaring mistake suggests the campaign and the candidate are equally flawed.
More to the point, both West’s original text and the campaign response rely on by-now ancient fears to score. “Communism” is an easy term to generalize, but its usage here is simply wrong in a truly arrogant way. The term West could’ve used with more accuracy is, of course, “Socialism.” “Communism,” as West should know but apparently doesn’t, applies to specific political parties, as the term “Republican” refers to a particular American party and not to general rightist ideologies. We would more correctly call them “conservative.”
West isn’t interested in those distinctions. Instead, he straight-up lies, choosing to say that members of the Progressive Caucus are in effect card-carrying members of the Communist Party. Same thing to him, eh?
They aren’t. Not by any stretch of reality.
My question after reading his original statement was fairly simple: Why would anybody say what West said? Well, now we know. It’s that old shell game again. The damage-control/moneygrab statement tries to conflate the two, but that isn’t what West said. He said, “members of the Communist Party,” which is completely straightforward and provable (either those members are or are not), and I hope those 80 or 90 members of the Caucus to whom West may have been referring will stop laughing long enough to properly excoriate this idiot as he rightly deserves.
I said earlier that this is just fearmongering. Here’s one more piece of textual evidence for those who might be wondering: Notice the campaign statement uses the phrase “conservative army.” Get it? Communists plus conservative army equals war.
How better to scare people in his district? Reach the unlearned where they live, where their fear lives.
West should be recalled. Period, full stop.