By Sue Machetta
Lt. Col (Ret) Allen West was the most recent speaker and candidate to appear at the Republican Women of Wood County monthly meeting. The meeting was well attended but a challenge was presented by the candidate to all – register to vote! Additionally, he challenged those persent to remember that our faith matters and that it should vote as well. He provided statistics to show that during the last couple of elections, 25 million Christians didn’t vote – and in the last non-presidential election, 65 million Christians didn’t vote.
He spoke of Martin Luther King and the fact that he, himself, was born in Atlanta and that a critical lesson he learned from Dr. King was that the content of your character matters.
When asked why he stepped down from the Texas Republican Chair position, he said this was so that he could provide better service to the State of Texas by being governor and helping to get important work done. He said that service is the reason we should be elected.
When asked about possible casinos in Texas, he said that first we must get better control over problems with sex and drug trafficking in the state and so many problems with border control. Our sovereignty as a state and as a country depend upon solving these problems first, then giving consideration to matters like casinos.
A prime concern of his in this election is passing things like school choice and giving parents the ability to decide what’s best for their children and not let government agencies make those decisions. Examples he provided included teachers being allowed to keep information from parents – including telling young children not to speak with their parents about struggles with gender which recently occurred in a Texas community. He said that without school choice, our young people may suffer.
Another major issue he hopes to address as governor is reducing property taxes and making the process fair and equitable for all. He noted Texans have a right to determine how their tax money, including property taxes are spent. He said organizations using those monies improperly need to be stopped. He sees the new tax structure as being based on consumption or purchases made by the individual, not on a process that could cause an individual to lose their home.
In closing, Lt. Col. West reminded those present of a Mark Twain quote: “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” His first date was being born in a “blacks only” hospital in Atlanta, Georgia. His second date was the day as a soldier when he passed through CheckPoint Charlie into Berlin. He said that all in his group were affected by seeing how different things were from what we take for granted – full shelves, money to purchase necessary items, etc. It was a stark reminder to him and his fellow soldiers that this view was something that we never want to see in the United States. He said, “Taking a stand is sometimes required. Free does not equal freedom. Vote in the primaries to have a choice that matters in who will represent you and your voice – and remember just how important school board elections are because they help determine the future your children will have.”