Paul R. Lehman, Allen West’s ignorance, arrogance and political folly is no laughing matter

April 29, 2012 at 7:48 pm | Posted in Congress, Disrespect, Ethnicity in America, Prejudice, President Obama, Respect for President, U.S. Education Department Office for Civil Rights | 2 Comments
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For people in certain professions an expectation that reflects well on the professions represented is considered normal.  That is, we expect judges, police, doctors, teachers, and others in professions to act in the best interest of their profession. Something happened, however, when Barack Obama was elected President to change the general respectful nature of some American elected officials.  Many became publically disrespectful to the President and therefore, the office of the President. This attitude of disrespect carried over from the president to people in Congress as well as the public. One person who stands out with respect to his comments about President Obama as well as to members in the Congress etc…is Allen West, Republican Rep. from Florida.

A popular adage states that “it is wiser to be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.” When we examine some of the comments made by West we recognize the value in that statement. Two of the things that characterize West are his attitude and belief in his intellectual superiority over anyone he dislikes or with a philosophy that differs from his. He also acts as though his rights supersede those of his fellow Americans. He often tries to garner attention to himself by making anti-Obama statements and uncomplimentary remarks about democrats in general without regard gender or social standing as recorded in an article by The Daily Beast (4/12/12). For example, in mimicking GOP talking points regarding a plan to privatize Medicare, he states “I am sick and tired of this class warfare, this Marxist demagogic rhetoric that is coming from the president of the United States,” and on Fox News (4/2011) he states “Barack Hussein Obama” is nothing more than a “low-level socialist agitator.”In essence, is he calling the President a “Marxist”? What earthly good would his calling the President names do for the country or West other than show his ignorance and disrespect.

In another example West shows his sense of mental superiority over any Obama supporters with the statement: “I must confess, when I see anyone with an Obama 2012 bumper sticker, I recognize them as a threat to the gene pool.” One has to wonder what it is that informs West’s concept of reality and knowledge of self. Evidently, he sees himself as a rational and sensible person; unfortunately, no one else sees him that way. As a matter of fact, he sees himself as a savior of African American people who belong to the democratic party.

The Beast article records West’s self-concept in comparison to President Obama. “Obama is the slave-driving leader of a ’21-century plantation” wherein “the Democrat Party has forever taken the black vote for granted.” So where does West fit into this racial equation? “I’m here as the modern-day Harriet Tubman, to kind of lead people on the Underground Railroad, away from that plantation into a sense of sensibility.”What sensibilities is he referring to? He shows his ignorance and arrogance seemingly every time he speaks. Why would someone want to follow someone who has no idea of where he is or where he wants to go? His only claim to fame lies in his outrageous statements made for the media to carry forward.

The major irony in the character of West is that he is an African American who dislikes the Democratic Party and its members. He either does not know the part that the Democratic Party under President Lyndon Johnson played in the civil rights movement of the middle and late ‘60s or rejects it as insignificant to social progress regarding ethnic Americans. The philosophy he projects through his rhetoric suggests a gross lack of common sense and a realistic grasp of American history. He is seen at best by the American public as a buffoon, clown, entertainer—not a person to be taken seriously. What makes the topic of West the focus of attention in this blog today is the news that he has endorsed someone for Congress.

A headline from the reads “Allen West Endorses Joe The Plumber For Congress.” Yes, West who has not been in Congress long enough to know where the restrooms are, is endorsing Joe the Plumber [his name is Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher] for congress. The article states that “In a campaign video posted Thursday by Wurzelbacher, West says, ‘One of the great things about Joe is that he represents the genuineness of the American people. Someone who has served in the military and now is trying to answer the call to serve at a greater level.’ He adds, ‘I look forward to Joe being a colleague of mine in Washington, D.C.’”

The article notes that “Wurzelbacher is running in a heavily Democratic district against longtime Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio), who beat Rep. Dennis Kucinich after the two were forced to run against each other because of GOP-led redistricting.” Kaptur just happens to be a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus of which West commented “I believe there’s about 78 to 81 members of the Democrat Party who are members of the Communist Party. It’s called the Congressional Progressive Caucus.”

One wonders how West was elected to Congress and for what reason. Surely it was not to try and make sense of what was going on in Congress. None-the-less, he has offered to share some of his superior gifts with Joe the Plumber in hopes of maybe serving with him. Would not that be something to behold! West lives in a world where common sense and logic seem out of place. His words and action certainly prove the accuracy of the adage about speaking to remove doubt, but another is also appropriate when trying to find reason with West is impossible—“where ignorance is bliss, ‘tis folly to be wise.”



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  1. Mr. West is certainly entitled to his opinion and I can appreciate a good argument. But what I hear from him mostly is name calling and political mudslinging. It is reminiscent of the playground bully playing the “dozens” talking about your mother, picking, taunting. There is no substance and therefore no argument, just noise. Mr. West and those like him suggest African Americans who tend to side with democrats on policy issues remain slaves, chained to the myth that racism in this county is an insurmountable barrier, a handicap breeding weakness and mediocrity. There is only one flaw in that reasoning. In order to overcome a barrier or handicap you must first acknowledge there is one.

    • Jim, as usual your comments are right on target. One wonders what West does with his time regarding something productive ro positive.

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