OPINION — In my 22 years of active duty service in the US Army, I learned many lessons in leadership. I would be happy to share them with you, as they are enshrined on the 3×5 cards I carry. Having served in combat, my first combat tour was 30 years ago in Operation Desert Shield/Storm. It became very apparent that when bullets begin to fly, it is the resilient, resolved, and focused commander that inspires victory. I have always stated, “no one follows a Frantic Fannie into combat.”
At this tumultuous time in our American history, I must reiterate this leadership maxim: “Cool Heads Always Prevail.”
This past week, after the disturbing events of Wednesday, my cell phone blew up, and it continued through the weekend. The prevailing question was, “Colonel, what do we do now?”
As I drove home after our Republican Party of Texas Legislative Priorities Rally on Saturday in Austin, I had to make that “pause for the cause” in Hillsboro. I decided to fill up the gas tank at the 7-Eleven there off I-35, and a young black man from Arlington, who was at the rally, came up to me. He asked, “Sir, can we stop the communist takeover of America?” I looked at him resolutely and told him that we sure can, and that was why we were at the Capitol building rallying.
Having been in combat, I know the prudence of being calculating — yet swift to act — when engaging your adversary. I would recommend y’all read about the battles of Alexander the Great. I have had folks ask me when will President Trump enact the Insurrection Act and deploy the military? To that I respond: I pray he does not. Now, to the anxious, angry, frustrated, and upset, that is not the answer they desire.
The Army taught me the five forms of maneuver against the enemy: infiltration, penetration, turning movement, envelopment, and frontal assault. Thirty years ago, our forces in Kuwait and Iraq conducted what is probably the largest envelopment operation in military history since Hannibal’s successful double envelopment of the Roman legions at the Battle of Cannae. The problem with Republicans is that we often choose the worst form of maneuver, the frontal assault. Just study Pickett’s charge on the third day of the Battle of Gettysburg.
Therefore, here is my response to the question of what we should do now:
The real issue from the 2020 election cycle has less to do with mythical beasts — like the Kracken — and, more with the understanding as to how the left enveloped Republican State legislatures. The left targeted and encircled key Republican State legislatures in places like Georgia, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Arizona, among others, and changed election law by way of governors, secretaries of state, and judicial activism. They relied on the belief that these State legislatures would be slow, or even reticent, to respond. They implemented such unconstitutional actions such as universal mail-in ballots and changing ballot signature verification standards.
Governors enacted emergency declarations to deal with a “pandemic” that has a 99.96 percent recovery rate. These executives made us believe that this “pandemic” suspended the rule of law, election law. As well, the left has been incredibly effective in preventing the review of voter rolls in states all over the country.
State legislatures need to reaffirm their enumerated legislative powers and erase dictates that say only a governor can call them back into session.
They need to refine the meaning of an emergency.
The number one Legislative Priority for the Republican Party of Texas is Election Integrity. We need to tighten up our election laws, enforce voter registration roll reviews, disallow the registration and voting of illegal immigrants, ban the use of universal mail-in balloting — which is not the same as absentee ballots — and reduce the time for “early voting.” Heck, we even had the County Clerk in Harris County expand “curbside” voting into heavily Democrat precincts. But, not only here in Texas, this has to be a priority for Republican-held State legislatures across the nation. There was a reason why Eric Holder was targeting state legislatures.
Lastly, there have to be real penalties for enacting voter fraud and conducting illegal voting activities. It becomes rather Pavlovian if there are not.
Next, on the first Tuesday in May of 2021, we will have municipal level elections in Texas. Let’s be honest, these elections are not “non-partisan.” We must focus on winning elections for City Council, School Board, County Commissioner, County Clerk, heck, Water Management District elections. If we want better election activities in our respective counties, that means controlling more county commissions in the state of Texas.
I know, everyone says that it is too hard. Do you want to know what is hard? Try changing the engine out of a US Army M1 Abrams tank in the middle of winter in South Korea. I watched that back in 1995. Getting off your keister and finding good quality candidates that can run in local elections, where often the turnout is less than 10 percent ain’t hard . . . but it is vital. I want you to think about who is making the decisions about elections at the local level, yet another way leftists have penetrated and infiltrated our cities, schools, and county-level administrations.
The next vital play comes with the redistricting of political office districts that only comes every 10 years. Since we maintained a strong majority in both the Texas House and Senate, we control this process. This will shape the political landscape of Texas, and other states, for the next 10 years. This was the main reason why Eric Holder, Michael Bloomberg, and Barack Obama dumped some $25 million into Texas.
Texas Republicans control this process and must realize this strategic opportunity, and not concern themselves with “fairness” to the progressive socialist left. I think we are getting a lesson right now in the ruthlessness of the left. We can ill afford to be Neville Chamberlains and believe that appeasement, compromise, and acquiescence to the leftists are viable courses of action.
That brings me to this final point, as I know there are still those doggone hot heads out there who want a “revolution.” Just remember, when you read the Declaration of Independence, that our Founding Fathers sought every possible manner of petition to King George. But our history, both as a state and a nation, evidences the one thing that we will not tolerate: disarmament.
In America, we have always recognized that an armed individual is a citizen, and an unarmed one is a subject. This is why another of the Republican Party of Texas Legislative Priorities is Constitutional Carry.
Remember these dates in our history: April 19, 1775, and October 2, 1835. These are two dates where the Sons of Liberty in Massachusetts and Texians in Gonzales responded to the threat and imminent objective of a tyrannical government to disarm them. In both cases, the actions on Lexington Green and the field of Gonzales spurred forth movements toward independence.
If the progressive socialist left — aka the Democrat Party — seeks to pursue a “mandatory gun buyback” initiative, then they will have followed suit with the previous tyrants who dared the same. They will have, indeed, doused themselves with gasoline and struck a match.
The way forward is not to conduct a frontal assault, but envelop the left, outmaneuver them, play chess, not checkers, and anticipate their next move and block it. If the Bidenistas want open borders, we say no! If the Bidenistas want the Green New Deal and decimation of our oil and gas industry, we say no! If the leftists believe that they can mandate equality, we say no! National lockdowns, the decimation of our small businesses, and mandated mask-wearing, no more, unless government officials want to stop being paid. The best stimulus for our economy is small business.
The government does not exist to protect our health, that is our responsibility. Government exists to protect our rights . . . and that is not defined as the ideological agenda of the progressive socialist left.
We must be resolute, forthright, and stand like an immovable rock. We must school the left on the concept of federalism. After all, they believed that they could declare themselves “sanctuaries” for illegal immigrants. The left must be taught a firm lesson in the 10th Amendment.
However, what this will require is that Republicans can no longer be “Quislings.” One thing the left, like any bully, relies upon is the lack of intestinal fortitude from us, their political opposition. Their use of fear, intimidation, coercion, threats, and violence (to which they never admit) are the means to their end. The left is playing a very dangerous game of duplicitous hypocrisy. It is evident and unacceptable. We can borrow a page from their Saul Alinsky rule book and let them see what principled American resistance looks like.
No, I am not scared. God did not give me, or you, a spirit of fear. What we do need are leaders who are calm, cool, and collected under fire, and who will not cower to the left. Yes, I am gonna be talking to someone about communication platforms. But, what we currently see from the left is abject totalitarianism, targeting members of the Trump administration to undermine their future livelihood. They are censoring conservatives, which is true fascism. But, with all of this, we must keep a cool head as our planning and execution must be flawless, as we frustrate the left into making tactical, and strategic, errors . . . causing their implosion.
A final word to bolster your spirit:
“THESE are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.”
Summer soldiers and sunshine patriots stay out of our way. We will let you know when it is safe to come outside. It is time to carpe diem!
Allen West is the Chairman of the Republican Party of Texas.