Feisty freshman Rep. Allen West, R-Fla., says liberals have bought into the culture of government dependency, viewing what’s supposed to be a social safety net as a hammock.
“Conservatives believe that every person who comes to America or is born here, they have a ladder that they are given as their birthright or becoming a citizen. That’s the ladder of success,” he said in an interview with The Atlas Society
“Sometimes you fall off of that ladder, but we believe that there is a safety net that is there, and that safety net is to catch you and get you to bounce back up and continue to climb on the ladder. That’s what conservatives believe.”
But liberals see it differently, West says. “[They] tend to believe that the safety net is a hammock, so you can stay there the rest of your life.” It’s a matter of economic freedom versus dependency, West says. “The ladder and safety net are part of economic freedom. The hammock is part of economic dependency. That is the collective versus the individual.”
Much of the interview focused on Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged,” the inspiration for The Atlas Society. West lauded the book for its emphasis on individual freedom, individual industrialism, and individual responsibility. “I think that ‘Atlas Shrugged’ is the most widely read book, second only to the Bible, which is a good thing,” he said.
The GOP is on the right side of the issues explored by Rand, West said.
“Republicans are about the individual, not the collective. I think that’s the incredible choice that the USA has to make now. It’s economic freedom versus dependency . . . If America’s not careful, it can become a socialist state, which some people are trying to create here.”
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