Col. Allen West is still traveling this week as part of National Review’s annual cruise, but to keep his readers in the loop, he has been sending observations from his stops along the North Sea. Here are two dispatches from Norway:
Bergen (Aug. 3) – Bergen is a lovely city, the second largest in Norway behind the capital of Oslo. Bergen was once the capital of the country.
It is also the home of famous classical composer Edvard Grieg, known for his Peer Gynt suite. We visited the Kode Art Gallery and saw the works of Edvard Munch, who is known for the “Scream” series.
I learned that Norway has a state-sponsored religion, Evangelical Lutheran, and that the head of the state is also head of the church as part of its constitution. However, Norwegians still have freedom of religion.
Our founding fathers did not want America to have a head of state who also leads a religion. This is what “separation of church and state” means.
Stavenger (Aug. 6) – What a beautiful, breathtaking scene this city offers. The port is right in the city center below the old city.
We took a nice cruise through Lysefjord, and the pristine simplicity was spellbinding. We went by a small island where, in 998 AD, King Olaf held a meeting to unify the separate kingdoms into the Norway we know today.
The greatness of America is that those who left Norway came to our shores and found a place to be free, share their culture and be part of the immense opportunities our republic offers, allowing their entrepreneurship and ethic to strengthen our country.
America is exceptional because as a young, inner-city black kid from Atlanta, I got to experience Norway and its history with my wife and our daughters, the next generation.
Steadfast and Loyal,
“You are the swing voters, and you are the folks that move easily back and forth between the parties and have no natural party lines,” the South Carolina Republican said. He added that libertarianism is the growth area of the party, as it was when Ronald Reagan ran against “country club Republicans.”
Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., said the ascendancy of libertarian Republicans is evident in the reaction of House GOP leaders to young lawmakers like him. Their commitment to limited government and individual liberty frustrates the establishment’s desire to compromise, he said.
“The party is changing right in front of them,” Amash said, “and I think that’s why you get a lot of backlash from some of the more senior members who are set in their ways about what the Republican Party should stand for.”
That’s true in the Senate as well, he added, where Republicans like Ted Cruz of Texas, Mike Lee of Utah and Rand Paul of Kentucky take principled stands against the party’s leaders when necessary.
Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho, criticized Republicans like Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey and Sen. John McCain of Arizona for their willingness to align themselves with Democrats. “What you’re looking at is people that are only interested in themselves and not interested in actually promoting the cause,” Labrador said.