Former Rep. Allen West has no plans to run for reelection -- but he wants to help conservative minorities and military veterans win seats in Congress.
"I asked myself, 'How can I help the next generation of minority conservatives?'" West told TAS in an interview. "I could go back and try to get back into Congress. But it’s not about ‘I.’ there’s no ‘I’ in team.…If you’re going to do what’s right by ‘Team America’, it means getting constitutional conservatives, getting people that can make a difference -- especially when the other side is saying this is just the party of old white guys.”
West's Guardian Fund politial action committee aims to raise $5 million to help 12 conservative candidates running in 2014 -- specifically, minority candidates or ones with military backgrounds, groups that West says are severely under-represented in the legislature.
“This country used to look to the military for elected leaders,” West said, “and we want to help change that again.”
The Guardian Fund takes off from West’s earlier contributions that helped 13 military candidates win in the 2012 election.
West, who served in Congress from 2010 to 2012, hopes to open up the electoral map “with the right type of people in the right type of places” -- though it is still too early to put his finger on any specific race. And Congress is only the beginning, as West is also eyeing candidates to push conservative agendas at the state level.
The Republican National Committee announced that they will be devoting $10 million to minority outreach. These funds will be focused on community engagement using paid party members as opposed to actually finding candidates and helping their campaigns.
At the Conservative Political Action Conference last week, West urged students and party activists to get their hands dirty in politics: “Let us not continue with lectures because liberals are better at lecturing; let’s be the party of action," he said. "Let’s be a group of people that look for deeds. Deeds and not words will paint this country red from California to the rocky shores.”
West cited Margaret Thatcher as an inspiration of this -- “She never blamed her woes on the 10 years of prior Labour Party rule. With that indestructive spirit, Lady Thatcher got Britain working again,” -- and argued that America is in a similar situation to 1979 Britain: “Patriots, in this 237th Year of our republic, on this day, liberty once again needs giants. When our freedoms are quietly and peacefully rubbed out. When the darkness of statism creeps into our lives."