Reflections on 2020
Howdy everyone! I pray y’all had a very Merry Christmas and that Santa granted you your wishes. As for me, I got exactly what I wanted: a new pair of running shoes — ASICS GT 1000-9 — and a Glock 43 9mm. Yep, Santa knows that I am all about runnin’ and gunnin’!
But, we must always remember that Christmas is not about the earthly gifts we give to each other. Christmas is about the gift that God gave us all through the birth of His only begotten Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ: eternal life.
And so, as I bid farewell to 2020, I am reminded about life.
My life could have easily ended on May 23, 2020, Memorial Day weekend. I was returning from an “Open Up Texas” rally at the State Capitol in Austin on my motorcycle. We were in the city of West, Texas, traveling north on I-35, and it happened. I had been riding motorcycles since 1985. But, as the saying goes, “there are two types of riders, those who have been in an accident, and those who will be.” On that day, I was cut off by a car to the front, and hit by the motorcycle rider from behind. I went down at 75 mph on a major interstate on the Saturday of a holiday weekend at 5:04pm. It was a sunny, hot day, and as I came to a stop from flipping and skidding, I felt every bit of the heat on the pavement.
I was air-lifted back to Waco, to Baylor Scott and White, where I received superb care. But my upper body was changed forever. Eventually, I underwent a Latarjet procedure to repair my shoulder, and I am forever scarred on my arms and shoulders. My face miraculously healed, and I had to learn how to use my right shoulder all over again . . . Yes, it was painful. Yet, as I write this missive I just finished a five mile run and knocked out sets of pushups. I am a walking miracle, saved by God’s grace.
My body has been restored. And, even my motorcycle was restored, customized, and went for a nice price at an auction to benefit the faith-based organization, Mighty Oaks Foundation, that supports our warriors struggling with Post Traumatic Stress. It is well.
The year 2020 has affected all of our lives in one way shape or form.
I remember sitting in our home on a Sunday evening late March and hearing that we were going into a “shutdown” because of COVID-19. At the time, we all were willing to do what was necessary to “flatten the curve.” We were told two weeks, and, that has extended to nine months for some.
I must somewhat sarcastically ask, what was our response for COVID 1-18?
As the year went by, we came to learn that there were some medical protocols that reduced the effects of COVID, but some denied its use. We experienced elected officials who claimed upon themselves the enumerated power to declare who or what is “essential.”
This past fall, the CDC released a report that articulated some 94 percent of deaths “related” to COVID were based upon existing co-morbidities such as heart disease, hypertension, obesity, and diabetes. At the time of the report’s release, the United States listed 160,000 deaths “due” to COVID, but if the CDC report is applied, it meant that some 9,700 deaths were solely due to COVID in America. There is a difference between dying with something, and dying because of it. We also became aware of a Johns Hopkins report that stated, for some reason, there was an amazing decline in reported deaths due to other health conditions, like the aforementioned. Yet, somehow there was a direct increase in the reporting of COVID deaths.
We mourn the deaths of our fellow Americans, Texans, but we must also be rational, reasonable, and come to the realization that this virus has a 99.93-99.96 percent recovery rate.
We have seen small businesses decimated. In Texas, almost 9000 have closed, permanently. We have increased our debt due to “stimulus” spending instead of assessing means by which businesses can open and follow common sense guidelines. We do have a vaccine now, but we could have also understood the targeted demographics of COVID and focused our efforts.
This year, 2020, has also seen a rise in fascism and censorship. Certain media outlets believe that they are the deciding entities as to what the American people can know. When information and truth are withheld by a few — to the detriment of the many — nothing good comes from that.
This year we were once again told that America is a racist nation. Heck, some even asserted that COVID-19 was racist, instead of understanding that there are serious genetic health issues in minority communities. Groups like Black Lives Matter took center stage, but they never addressed the real issues facing the Black community — fatherlessness, education opportunities, gang violence, and lack of small business entrepreneurship.
Lastly, we are now grappling with the issue of fraud in our electoral system, something I am personally familiar with from 2012. Either we are a nation that abides by the rule of law, our Constitution — and that means all States in our Republic — or we are not.
How interesting it is that in this year, 2020, those who believe in our Constitution are deemed “fringe” and “extremist,” while we condone the abhorrent behavior of those who disregard our Constitution and its enumerated roles, responsibilities, duties, and powers.
Yeah, 2020 was a rough year. But, just as it was rough being thrown from a motorcycle at 75 mph, I see a restoration for our America. I see people all over Texas, and America, rising to the occasion, refusing to surrender, acquiesce, and be subjugated or relinquish their freedom, their liberty. I see the Vietnamese community of Houston holding rallies every Sunday since the election of November 3rd. I see more people reading and comprehending the Constitution. I see young people that do not think socialism is cool. I see Blacks and Hispanics who no longer want to be part of a 21st century economic plantation. They want to be victors, not victims.
As I reflect on 2020, I am reminded of one of my favorite Bible verses, Romans 5:3-5 (New International Version):
“Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”
Yes, 2020 was a tough, challenging year, but as Friedrich Nietzsche once quipped, “that which does not kill us makes us stronger.” I am stronger in my faith and commitment to service to God, country, and Texas because of May 23, 2020. We who will bid farewell to 2020 must press on, stronger, and committed to this Constitutional Republic, America. And, we Texans must realize that in these troubling days, America will gaze upon the Lone Star of Texas to find hope . . . just the as the wise men followed the star that led them to the birth of Jesus Christ, in whom we have real hope.
Happy New Year!
Steadfast and Loyal,
LTC Allen B. West (Ret.)
Republican Party of Texas
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