Allen West (Official portrait)
Speaking to a gathering of Florida Republicans, Rep. Allen West
added a layer of cement to his already solid reputation for right-wing lunacy:
"We need to let President Obama, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, (audience boos) and my dear friend the chairman of the Democrat National Committee, we need to let them know that Florida ain't on the table," West said. "Take your message of equality of achievement, take your message of economic dependency, take your message of enslaving the entrepreneurial will and spirit of the American people somewhere else. You can take it to Europe, you can take it to the bottom of the sea, you can take it to the North Pole, but get the hell out of the United States of America."
Ludicrous macho posturing aside (he followed up with "Yeah I said 'hell'"—ooooh, naughty!), insane characterizations of ideas like tax fairness and promoting American manufacturing aside, the North Pole? Wait, did Allen West just say that Santa Claus is a Democrat?
"America: love it or leave it" as traditionally applied is a noxious enough idea, a defense of the status quo that says the only way to love your country is to defend its every action and that wishing the nation would do better or trying to make that happen is an offense against it. But this is a radical step beyond that, to "love Florida Republican Rep. Allen West's ideas or leave America."
This from a man who in 2010 got not quite 119,000 votes while Nancy Pelosi got just shy of 168,000 and Harry Reid got nearly 363,000. In 2008, of course, Barack Obama got more than 69 million votes. No one is suggesting West should leave, of course, but it does suggest that even if the American system of democracy provided for one individual to say "these ideas and no others define America; leave if you disagree," Allen West would not be that individual.