One man, so much awesomeness.

Critical time for ideological debate — Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.)

Much has been made of my recent response to a question from a constituent and assertion regarding so-called “communists” in the Congressional Progressive Caucus. I am pleased it has inspired so much passionate debate, for that was precisely the point.

When I was studying for my two master’s degrees in political science at Kansas State University and at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff Officer College, the very best professors were those who would begin each lecture with a challenging assertion. It engaged discussion and analysis, and was the best way to uncover the essence of the particular subject of the day. […]

Specific “party” affiliation is not the point of the discussion — it is rather affiliation with a set of ideals. Conservatives adhere to the ideals of individual responsibility and freedom, limited government, a free market and a strong defense. Those on the liberal left adhere to a collective ideal, directed and controlled by a centralized government to guarantee and enforce social and economic justice.

You can call this what you wish. The esteemed scholar and author Mark Levin calls it “statism.” In our lifetime, the unpalatable and pejorative brands “socialist” and “communist” have been replaced with the more user-friendly “progressive” term.

But this is not a discussion about labels. It is a discussion far more important and grave, for it affects our nation’s future, our security and each and every one of us. The dialogue must be about the future and direction of these United States. It is about the choice between two futures:  a constitutional republic or a bureaucratic nanny-state.

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