What is the American Dream?
Florida Congressman Allen West tells his story
- Duration 8:40
- Date Jul 5, 2012
Florida Congressman Allen West tells his story
Also in this playlist...
This transcript is automatically generated
Welcome to this very special independence -- American roundtable.
You're gonna have the opportunity to hear from -- leading members of congress.
And we hear from the American people -- I can have one of these styles.
Maybe you've seen this before this is called instant response to higher that you turn -- -- the more favorable the reaction.
And we're going to be testing line by line word by word what members of congress have to say and what are 28 American people how they respond so let's get started.
It's my pleasure to introduce congressman Alan west welcome congressman expressed.
First I wanna do is I want to understand what the American dream means to you it's a special day so today.
And you served this country well.
Well I tell you when I think about American dream I just had the opportunity to go back to my home neighborhood of Atlanta Georgia.
-- morning in the city and actually just right downstream from where doctor -- -- -- was born race.
And for me the American dream means that no matter where you come from.
-- no matter where you aboard.
There is equality of opportunity here in this country.
Based upon your own drive and determination -- own individual industrialists and that you can achieve whatever heights that you want in this great nation.
You know my father was born in 1920 down to south Alabama my mother in 1931 down -- -- George.
And who would have ever thought when I was born in 1961.
They would have a son that will be retired lieutenant -- from the United States -- They're commanded of the time in combat and is now.
The first black Republican number from the state of Florida since reconstruction.
And -- the American dream and that's what we fight for.
-- clearly the American dream worked out for you.
But it hasn't worked out for everyone well everyone can't say that they've accomplished what you've accomplished and people -- pretty darn hard.
Noticing that the -- the thing is I think that each and every one of us can achieve whatever -- that we want.
You know I grew -- -- inner city it would have been nice to follow six foot to six foot three and I could go shoot three pointers and down but no I did so I have a different path.
-- my father served in World War II.
-- brother served in Vietnam.
So the path for me was to go into the military and they convince me -- a young man in the tenth grade to join high school ROTC.
So that's what I'm saying you know you know will everyone be a millionaire no maybe not but there was a richness that you can have in your life.
Because as I see where I've come from -- around today it's -- about material wealth.
It's about something that is totally different this is about and in -- well that I live in the greatest nation of the world has ever known because my story -- the story of many of you out there.
Could not happening anywhere else but right here in the United States American that's what people -- always wanted to come here.
To be a part.
A part of saying you know when I put my feet on the shores.
No one is -- hold me back when I want to achieve now this is the problem that we had.
If we continue down the path of a government and that this is the philosophical difference that we have in America you keep react to the philosophical differences that there are some people.
They wanna say that is not about equality of opportunity it's about equality of achievement.
Two very different things.
This says that you know we don't want to say how far you can go and what we will provide for you and see that's the difference between economic freedom.
And economic dependence.
Because when I went back to my own neighborhood this past week and I saw the -- of my -- A soft families that have been destroyed I saw dependency unsolved victimization.
That was totally different when -- grew up.
Back in the seventies and that in that neighborhood and so best in the the the simple question that we have to ask ourselves as we go forward.
-- we going to have a government we gonna have people that understand what the American dream is we don't have people that reflect.
Our principles of bodies that make sure that everyone can whatever win whatever parameters they want.
To live that America.
Who's a first time -- here when he first time voters.
First presidential race.
Okay you're the youngest get the first question in I like your story I think it's -- you know it's a true American story.
But I think one of the things that is really ruin our politics is rhetoric.
And I think for a congressman to make the accusation that there are seventy Communists.
In the house -- represented -- an absurd statement and really it doesn't reflect what you put the story that you just told.
Only but it does reflect the story I just told because -- -- person.
That is study political -- -- -- -- -- bachelor's degree in two master's degrees in political science political theory political ideology.
And the thing is you have to be able to understand the two competing principles and philosophies of governance in this country.
You know when I go -- and talk to people what is America.
When people respond America's a democracy that lets -- know they don't on the stand what America is America's a constitutional republic.
When you go back and you read the documents of the declaration in the past the full declaration of full constitution understand -- ago.
You understand fiscal responsibility.
You understand individual solvent free market traditional cultural -- strong national defense.
But there are people on the other side you can call -- whatever you wish you can call it communism progressive as socialism marxism or state because.
They more so believe and they government controlled a morsel believing nationalize and a production.
They believe in creating an expanding an entitlement or welfare state you can't tell me that you are seeing that -- -- some miracle right now.
-- -- Because I think this proves how buys the liberal media is because you come up slowly intelligent in so Smart right now.
And a lot of like let's -- left leaning media -- treat you as some kind of like crazy guy.
So while I a 110%.
-- be with you said.
But this is the point.
There are some people in this country -- afraid of my story.
There's some people in this country that don't want to.
You know let people know that you can have a young black -- from the Tennessee -- a conservative group military veteran they have a family.
You know I'm third -- -- generation of military veterans.
That scare some people.
And understand that and and that's why don't pay attention to and I just have to continue to tell the truth Jackie -- -- -- -- I know how you take your story -- your determination and your drive that she talked about.
And -- it -- still it into.
The kids that are coming up today because they don't have it well and I went and when things of that -- your -- a service yeah.
It's not just about -- toss about serving your country and service about service sacrifice and commitment.
And I think once upon a time when you look at this country.
Coming out -- world war two and Korea.
7580% of the people who -- Capitol Hill who don't want.
Has served in the military they raised their right -- it took a note to that document which is the embodiment of the American people and they're willing to -- their lives now for.
And I think you have a different sense of honor integrity and terror.
Up in Washington DC now when I first retired from the military back in 2004 to twenty years -- high school for you.
And that was such an enjoyable experience that -- volunteered to go back to Afghanistan.
But the thing is this you're right we you know there's a problem other cultures teachers.
And I think it's important to get men and women.
That have been out on the front lines and and truly understand the essence of what America is and has this these these varying different great stores that they can fail.
Because so often are -- -- need to understand not just read and write with but it.
They need to understand courage confidence commitment convictions and character there's a lot of intrinsic messages that we can teach how did you both you guys in the background together -- I I agree with everything you've said so far in fact frankly I improve all of what you just.
I was born in Romania came here penniless and and night now in the 1% and very proud of him.
The 1% is a very fluid one person you're absolutely right.
You know that you know I hear people talk about class you know middle class local.
America is not about class of cas Americas about income levels but the things that you -- -- as -- those levels that are based upon your own -- determination.
Think about the guy you know that you know that cardboard plastic thing that you put on your windshield to sealed off the sun.
And he just came out with a simple -- -- entrepreneurship individual industrialist.
And in it became something that people picked up as he represent the American dream.
Does he represent America.
Coming in this -- would vote for him.
And there are a lot of Obama people in here -- -- west thank you congratulations.