Applause bounced off the walls as Texas Republican Party Chairman Lt. Col. Allen West delivered a message in Paris encouraging political involvement to a packed room of supporters Saturday afternoon.
More than 100 people gathered in the community building at the Red River County Fairgrounds to hear West speak and answer questions. Opening his comments, West energized the crowd, encouraging them not to be dispirited about the outcome of the 2020 presidential election.
“Psalm 11:3. It says, ‘When the foundations are being destroyed, what shall the righteous do?’” West asked the crowd. “And that’s why I don’t want to hear about ‘depressed.’ I don’t want to hear about ‘despondent.’ I don’t want to hear about ‘despair.’ I don’t want to hear about ‘dejected.’ I don’t want to hear any D words because the D words come from the D man. That’s the devil — and the D party.”
Cheers from the crowd bolstered West as he continued with an invigorated smile. He touched on aspects of the last presidential elections, such as elections processes modified for the general election in Georgia, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin and Arizona. Officials in the states allowed for mail-in balloting as a safety precaution to combat the spread of Covid-19, and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and President Donald Trump filed a lawsuit against the states claiming the changes were made illegally.
Citing the Republican Secretary of State in Georgia, Brad Raffensperger, who ruled that signature verification was not necessary on mail-in ballots, West urged members of the Republican party to stand up and object to what he said was a lack of election integrity. As the crowd nodded in agreement, he encouraged the audience not to be discouraged, firing them up to take action to change election procedures.
“You know what the number one priority is? We have to have election integrity. If we don’t fix election integrity in our states, it’s not going to matter,” West said, inspiring the audience to work with elections officials at the local level. “Now everyone is sitting around saying, ‘well, you can’t do anything because of the federal government.’ States run elections, counties run elections. We’ve got to fix it at the state and the county level.”
He said one of his first priorities that he wants fellow Republicans to get on board with is ensuring that undocumented residents can’t vote.
“So number one, we should not have illegals vote,” West said.
West’s main message was “get involved.” He said not only does working to change elections procedures start at the local level, but it begins with throwing a hat in the ring for local positions, like a spot on the school board. An audience member expressed concern about the curriculum students were learning in school and how it didn’t reflect conservative values. West encouraged him to become active in changing that, sharing a story about a Texas high school he knows has a Marxist club.
“The next thing I want you to be focused on is your municipal-level elections. Republicans haven’t really paid attention to the municipal-level elections. But that is where you build your team. It’s kind of like baseball — a single, a double, a triple, and then the major leagues. It starts right here. It starts with your city council, starts with your school board. School board is the most important elected position in the United States of America. School board elections, they have the least amount of voter participation in the United States of America, and then you ask yourself, ‘Well, how can there be a Marxist club?’ That’s what you have to start getting engaged with.”
Audience member Scott Hommel agreed. Speaking from the sidelines after West closed out, Hommel said it’s imperative that voters get involved at the local level because he said that’s where it all starts.
“People should be very, very, very scared as to what’s going on — regardless of political affiliations — with just our constitutional rights as American citizens. That’s scary,” Hommel said. “And it all starts by people being lazy and not caring what goes on in the schools. And now we’re paying the price because they’ve been indoctrinating these kids and everything like that.”
West told that crowd that after getting involved locally, their next step should be to go down to Austin and start lobbying for conservative values.
“Now is the time,” he said.