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Faker! Republican Allen West’s New Book Uses False Quotes from Founding Fathers

Former GOP member of the House of Representatives Allen West claims to know a lot about America’s founding fathers. His new book “Guardian of the Republic,” in fact, is filled with the sayings of Thomas Jefferson, George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.

The trouble is many of them are fake.

According to George Bennett, a staff writer for the Palm Beach Post, while several of the quotes in Henry’s new book are often attributed to great leaders, historians and researchers agree that the quotes are mis-attributed.

For example, West writes, “Thomas Jefferson said it first: ‘A government big enough to give you everything you want is also big enough to take it away.”

Jefferson, however, never said that, although a quick Google search shows that West is not alone in the mistake. Like many false quotables, it has been attributed to Jefferson before.

West also cites Lincoln, writing that the president said, “America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.”

This line has also entered the popular culture as a Lincoln quote and even made it into the movie trailer for “White House Down.” But like West, the producers should have done their homework first. Lincoln never said that.

One quote West used in his book to prop up his claims even turns out to be an internet rumor of sorts.

In the book, West claims Patrick Henry said, “The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government,” but according to Henry biographer Thomas Kidd, not only did Henry not say that, but no one said it until quite recently, when it starting popping up on the internet attributed to Henry.

While it is likely West did not set out to put words in the founding fathers’ mouths  when West and co-author co-author Michele Hickford used them to support his book on West’s political philosophy, warrior code and experiences as a black conservative, there is a certain intellectually laziness implied when one claims to be a proponent and expert on the founding fathers and then fails to get the facts straight.

“If we admire these people,” Patrick Henry expert Kidd said, “then I think we should represent what they actually said.”

Photo Credit: Official Congressional Photo

About the author

Tamar is a New York based freelance writer and photographer whose work has appeared in over 15 publications. You can catch her work regularly on Issue Hawk, Latest, Jspace, and MediaGlobal.

  • liberalinlove

    Belief perseverance and confirmation bias. Make it up as you go, then quote yourself!

  • dare2speak

    And that is how they want our children to learn–through multiple misuses of facts, statistics, concepts and quotations. No wonder they are anti-education.

  • anglicanusepapa

    The only ones making it up as they go along are the liberal, historical revisionists. The quotes used by West ARE accurate and verifiable. Simply because you (author of this article) quote fake historians (just liberal nuts like those that lie and claim Lincoln was a pervert homosexual, he wasn’t of course) doesn’t make it so. You modernist nuts like to re-write history in order to promote your own twisted agendas.

  • CCurtis

    The idea that a Black Man can be a Conservative, brings to question his/her Moral dimension. I find it difficult to comprehend that ,given the History of Black/White relations in the USA, that this NEGRO,seems to be detached from reality…Are most American Blacks so traumatized, that they seek refuge in Denial..The Stockhausen Syndrome

    • Truth is fact, not opinion

      No, they choose to be strong survivors and not victims.

    • Truth is fact, not opinion

      I think you mean Stockholm syndrome. You misquoted!

    • Ponyhome

      It’s not really surprising at all. I’ve known many people who, when they improve their circumstances and rise out of poverty, attribute it entirely to their own grit and determination, discounting and discarding all those whose shoulders they stood on to get them out of the pit. It’s the typical “I’ve got mine, y’all can go suck dirt” attitude very commonly displayed in the conservative mindset. It’s easy to discard people if you can dismiss their struggles as resulting from moral inferiority. Of course, West was never really poor. His father was career military and his mother was a civilian military contractor. He’s been living off of tax money from the day he was born.

  • Ginny

    Seriously, super conservatives use so many wrong quotes, and still, people listen to them and repeat them. Do they not ever stop to verify this stuff?

  • Truth is fact, not opinion

    This is a scandal, yet what did you report when Obama mislead the nation by flat out lying over 40 times that you can keep you doctor and your insurance? That is the real scandal. Unless you like being lied to and taken advantage of.

  • Ponyhome

    “Only a fool uses quotes from the Internet without independently verifying their validity.” —George Washington.