When Allen West ran to be the Chairman of the Republican party of Texas, he committed to making sure that the agenda items that Republicans ran on and won on were kept front and center during the legislative session. On this first episode of season one, it is my pleasure to welcome Chairman West to the Elephant Herd to discuss our Republican priorities.
Chairman Allen West:
It’s good to be with you, Jonathan. Thank you so very much.
We are almost halfway through the legislative session. Lot of stuff has happened. What are the Republican priorities? Well, first off, how did they come to be the Republican Party’s priorities, and what are they?
Chairman Allen West:
Well on every one of the even years, that’s when the Republican Party of Texas meets in their state convention and this is a bottom-up process. This is a process that comes up through the state Senate districts, there’s 31 of those, and then they select their delegates who will bring to the floor all of the recommendations that they’d like to see as the priorities for the Republican Party of Texas. Now, of course, we have a platform and we have the planks in the platform and you’re talking about over 300 planks in that platform, so if everything is a priority, nothing is a priority. So, what they really do is they vote to neck it down to those eight or so critical topics, critical issues that they want to see resolved from a Republican state House and state Senate. It is a bottom-up process, that’s one of the great things about this party, and actually our convention is larger than the National Republican Convention.
I’m proud of that as a good Texan. That’s good to know that we’ve got more Republicans participating here in our state. Well, what are our priorities and why are they so important to you as the Chairman, and I think, for so many Republicans?
Chairman Allen West:
Well, they’re important to me because I’m the Chairman and I’m supposed to be the voice of the members of the Republican Party of Texas. I’m supposed to be the voice for those constitutional conservatives and the grassroots movement that are working so hard to get Republicans elected and they’re the ones that voted on these priorities. So, it’s just the same as when I was in the military and I was a commander of the battalion. The most important thing for my soldiers was to keep them alive, and so you want to get out there, you want to work with them and talk with them and get to understand what their cares and concerns so that we can be successful on the battlefield, as I was planning any of those operations that they would have to execute.
So with these legislative parties, we have the very first one is election integrity and I think that’s pretty easy to understand, because we don’t want to see a repeat of November, 2020. And furthermore, when you read H.R. 1, which is really the nationalizing of elections under federal control, we need to have strong election laws and we need to have consequences around with ramifications. So, that’s why election integrity is number one.
The second one is monument protection. I tell people that history is there for you to learn from, not for you to like and dislike or to cancel out or even eradicate, but that’s what we see the progressive left doing. So, monument protection is important so that we ensure things like the Cenotaph just don’t get moved away from the battlefield because someone wants to reimagine the Alamo. We’re supposed to remember the Alamo.
The third one is religious liberty and religious freedom, and if you have read HR 5, you can understand why religious liberty and religious freedom is so important, and I often ask people when I’m out speaking about these priorities, what is their very first right in their bill of rights, in the Constitution? Well, it’s the freedom of religion and the free exercise thereof. But when you look at the agenda of the progressive socialists left, they’re trying to make our Judeo-Christian faith heritage subservient to the LGBTQ agenda and other of their social justice agendas.
The fourth thing is constitutional carry. I always ask people, Jonathan, do you have to get a permit for your freedom of speech? Do you have to have a permit for your freedom of religion or your freedom of expression? No, so why do you have to have a permit for your second amendment right, a constitutional right? 16 states already have constitutional carry, to include Vermont, Bernie Sanders’ state, Vermont. And so, we need to have constitutional carry. Why is that important? Look at what the left is trying to do to undermine our second amendment rights. Sadly, our own Sheila Jackson Lee, Democrat of Texas, has proposed H.R. 127, H.R. 130 at the federal government level. So, we have got to have strong legislation to protect our second amendment rights.
The next one, the fifth priority, is to end the murder of preborn children. This is something that I think is so important and I don’t use the word abortion because, in the military you abort a mission, we’re talking about killing a preborn, unborn baby. And we know the science, since the left likes to talk about science, the science says that a heartbeat starts at 18 days, we need to go back and we need to correct this incredible blight. And I will tell you, the minority community is the one that is most adversely affected. Over 20 million black babies had been murdered in the womb since Roe v. Wade in 1973. 54,000 babies were murdered in the womb in Texas last year, we’ve got to do better.
The sixth legislative priority is to end the practice of child gender modification. If you’re noticing that even down to, I think six year olds, they’re being told that they don’t have to be a little boy, they don’t have to be a little girl. When you look at some stores now, they’re talking about suing stores that they have boys section and girls section. We’re starting to give puberty blockers and hormonal therapies to our little children. We’re not allowing them to grow up and be kids. So, we’ve got to stop that practice here in Texas.
The seventh legislative priority is school choice. I think that’s so important when you look at what is happening with the lockdown of our schools. Parents need to be able to make the best possible decision for the education of their child, and when you look at how we have elevated the teacher’s unions over our children, yes, we need to pass school choice here in the state of Texas.
And the next one is taxpayer funded lobbying. This is a very interesting practice in that the taxpayers’ monies are going to lobby organizations that are lobbying against the citizens in some of these cities and counties here in Texas. So, we want to end that process, and the great thing is you can go to our website, Republican Party of Texas website, and download under the legislative priorities tab, the digital playbook, where we take each and every one of these legislative priorities, we break it down for you, we show you the bills that have been filed against those legislative priorities, the committee chairs for those legislative priorities so you can keep track and you know who to call and contact.
And then, another priority that we brought forward, because I think this was so important, and we have seen that, is executive overreach. In this past year with the COVID crisis here, we saw a lot of unconstitutional orders, edicts, mandates, and decrees coming from the executive branch of government here in Texas. And if you have read HB 3, which is still pending in the State House Affairs Committee, we don’t want to see an expansion of powers for any executive. We want to make sure that our legislature, they’re the ones that are passing laws, amending laws, or what have you, not ruling over us and not any one person deciding who or what is essential. So, those are our eight legislative priorities plus one.
I think it’s so true that those really came from the grassroots, I’m sitting here and listening to it and I feel like I’m just one of those grassroots person. I mean, every single one of those things, I have seven kids, two of my daughters are in their 20’s and they’re in college. I want them to be able to carry a firearm with them to protect themselves. I’m a direct descendant of Davy Crockett. Maintaining those monuments, maintaining those historical markers, religious freedom, I mean, just down the line. And I really do thank you for what you’re doing to keep these front and center. There’s other things that are going on, certainly ERCOT and everything that happened with the freeze is getting a lot of attention, but these are fundamental, critical issues that the legislature needs to deal with and thank you so much for helping to make sure that these stay top of mind while our legislature’s in session.
Chairman Allen West:
No, I was just going to say, I love college football, we’re talking about blocking and tackling. We’re talking about those fundamentals, and that’s what these eight legislative priorities represent.
Absolutely. Well, we’re going to take a quick break, but when we come back, step back for a little bit, I’m going to ask you, what keeps you up at night? So when we come back, I’m going to have Chairman West, with what keeps Chairman West up at night.
From the capital of the Lone Star State, welcome back to The Elephant Herd.
Welcome back to The Elephant Herd. We are here with Chairman West. Now changing the subject a bit, as Chairman of the Republican Party of Texas, what are the things that keep you up at night? Either the coming apocalypse that scares you, of the zombies, or the things that you were so excited about that you just can’t sleep because you’ve got so much energy wrapped up. So, what keeps you up at night?
Chairman Allen West:
Well, I’ll tell you, is goes hand in hand. Because one of the things that I am concerned about is the fact that our electorate has to become more engaged and understand that we live in a constitutional republic. Our electorate has to understand that we should be advancing them to be victors and not victims, especially when you look at some of the things that are being pushed down from government. But the good part of that is that when I travel around the state, I do see people that are coming out.
I see people who have never been involved in the political process ever before, that are stepping out of their comfort zone and saying, “I’ve got to get engaged. I want to make sure that I pass on something better to my children and grandchildren.” So, I am seeing that concern take hold and take root and people are awakening. And look, you just got to thank the progressive socialist left and how they’re overplaying their hand. When all of a sudden the suburban soccer mom realizes that some gender dysphoric biological male is going to be on the soccer field with their daughter, now they’re involved. Now they’re engaged, because that’s not what they voted for.