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    Alan Keyes announces his break with the Republican Party - April 15, 2008 [transcript]
       Other Endorsed Independent Projects -> Alan Keyes is Loyal to Liberty

    Alan Keyes

    Hazleton, Pennsylvania

    April 15, 2008

    Praise God. Thank you. Good evening.

    It feels good to be in Hazleton. I had many thoughts as I was coming here today through this part of western Pennsylvania, looking over an area that in many ways represents one of the important roots of America’s strength, in terms both of its industrial might, the might that helped to build this nation, but also the strength of faith and the strength of family, and the strength of folks who had come to America from places of different heritage in order to seek a better life for themselves and their families, but also in order to find here the dignity of their liberty.

    This was dignity of a way of life in which, though there would be those who sought to exploit them, yet there would also be opportunities for them to come together, to know their strength, and in the end to build an economic future that was based upon greater justice and respect, both for their needs and for their capacities, and for the justice that is due to each and every human being.

    This part of the country reminds us of the deep and solid roots that America has, and that those roots extend to places all around the world.

    It seems, then, in some ways incongruous that Hazelton has come to be a symbol of what is regarded these days as our great crisis of immigration. But I think that is at least in part because of that very way of understanding that misunderstands what really is going on. That misunderstanding, and part of the effort to set it right, is why I have chosen to come to Hazelton this evening — in order to talk not only about that crisis and what it represents, but about the larger crisis that it manifests.

    This is a crisis that goes beyond this or that issue of the day. It goes beyond our borders. It goes beyond the issue of immigration. It goes beyond the question of the impact that that is having upon our communities and upon our nation. It touches, indeed, upon the deepest question that confronts us as a people in this time, and that is the question: What has become of our liberty? What has become of our Republic?

    What has become of that government of, by, and for the people, for which so many have given their all — have shed their blood?

    I think it’s time we understood what I have tried to get across in many statements and speeches. I don’t think that what is concerning so many people in America right now is that folks are coming from elsewhere, seeking a better life in America, seeking jobs, and so forth and so on. C’mon. We all know that in many ways the very community in which we are gathered here today is the result of that self-same movement of peoples toward the light of better hope and better opportunity. But that light of better hope and better opportunity was a light held aloft by a nation that respected the simple principle that, at the end of the day, government is the servant and instrument, not the master of the people.

    And what is so disturbing to Americans throughout our country right now as they look at what has been going on with our borders, at the impact of uncontrolled illegal immigration on our hospitals, on our schools, on the safety on our highways — they look at this problem, they express their concern, they manifest the different ways in which it has affected their lives, and time and time and time again, those they have elected to represent them have ignored their heart, ignored their concerns, ignored their feelings, ignored their plight.

    I think that what concerns us in the issue of immigration is not that people are coming, but that the people are not being heard. It’s not that we wish to slam the door in the face of hope and opportunity, but that the door is being slammed in the face of our concern that we should have secure borders and policies that are governed by our interests, not by the interests of others.

    I have tried to express what I call the crisis of our sovereignty. I will spend some time on this evening — and it’s not that I want to be pedantic or in any way academic, no — but I think we are faced with a crisis of discourse in America because we have allowed people to deprive us of the words and terms we need, in order to talk about the situation we are in.

    When people are trying to take something away from you, one of the sure and effective ways in which they can do it is by removing the understanding that allows you to see how valuable and important it is, so that you won’t recognize what they are stealing.

    I use the word “sovereignty” because it’s one of those words we don’t employ enough anymore. And yet, the government of, by, and for the people established by the Constitution of the United States embodies the concept of the sovereignty of the people.

    It’s not the sovereignty of judges or governments or others. No. The sovereignty of the people that’s what Lincoln meant when he referred to this government of, by, and for the people.

    It means that, at the end of the day, the folks who are sitting in the great offices of power in the presidency, in the Congress, in the governorships, the legislatures, they are chosen by and answer to the people.

    It means that, at the end of the day, the very documents we refer to — even the Constitution, the supreme law of the land, is not the sovereign of the land, for it is ordained and established by we the people, and derives its authority from our will.

    We have come upon a moment where something that is very important and of great concern to our people, like our borders, is not only being neglected and ignored but is in various ways abused to such a degree that some little cliques of power who benefit from cheap labor, who promote ideologies of internationalism seem to be having more control over the situation than the folks in our communities who must live day-to-day with its consequences.

    And this is natural in America. People raise their voices and they want some response. But it is interesting to me that on this issue, really for the first time consistently in my lifetime I have seen an issue where the overwhelming majority of the American people have expressed their will for secure borders, for the enforcement of our immigration policies, and yet time and time again, we have had lip service, we have had gestures, and they have continued the inexorable movement toward the destruction of our borders, and with it, the destruction of the physical identity of these United States.

    What is happening? What is happening?

    What is happening is that, on an issue that is of deep concern to people, the people are being ignored.

    As I wrote once in an article, if the folks who are responding to us in this way are no longer listening to the American people, if they are no longer representing the American people, then who do they represent? Who are they responding to?

    More and more, it seems as if we have drifted away from that paradigm of republican self-government that our founders established in this land. And instead of a government of, by, and for the people, where, by constitutional means, we can achieve representative government that reflects our concerns, our priorities, our faith, and ultimately our will as constitutionally-determined, we have a system more and more catering to the few, based upon the manipulation of our electoral process to such a degree that these days, it seems more and more as if, though we have choices, yet we have no choice.

    All of this suggests that somewhere along the way, our system of self-government, our regime supposed to guarantee the liberty and self-government of the people, has been hijacked. It has been subverted. It has been taken over in some respect by forces no longer responding to our people.

    They follow their agendas of globalism and internationalism. They cater to the interests of foreign nations and leaders. They will not listen anymore to the voice of the people who have chosen them and who, under our republican system of self-government, they are supposed to represent.

    That means that the reason that we don’t hear much talk anymore about the sovereignty of our people is that there are amongst our elites and amongst our leaders now, it seems, a preponderance of forces who no longer believe that the people are, or should be, the sovereign people of the United States — the ones who, at the end of the day, represent the authority for the law, derived not from human power and strength or even their own numbers, but from the simple principle set forth in our great Declaration of Independence: that government must be upon their consent, in order to respect those unalienable rights that come to them by the will of Almighty God.

    Now, the other purpose that brings me here today, though, is very much exemplified by this issue in the sense that, over the course of the last several years, as you know, there has been a great debate over our borders. Some of us have been fighting to get a priority attached to securing those borders, to doing what is necessary to restore the control of the American people over the precincts of our own nation.

    And yet, there have been forces in the Congress of the United States who seem more interested in making life easier for those who are violating our laws, easier for those who are seeking to exploit cheap labor, easier for those who are burdening our social system and our health system than they wish to respond to the American people.

    Now, I will have to say, if you were to point out to me, as someone who has been a lifelong Republican, a bunch of Democrats and say they have been doing that, I wouldn’t be surprised. I would probably try to get you to understand that long ago, under the influence of leftist Marxism and other ideologies, a lot of the elites in the Democrat Party abandoned their allegiance to the Constitution of the United States, abandoned their allegiance to the idea and ideals of self-government, abandoned their allegiance to the Republic. They manipulate the forms, they abide by the rules in order to gain power, and that is their only objective, not to represent the people nor to pass on our heritage of self-government.

    So, if you had pointed them out to me and said, “Well, that’s what they are doing,” I would not be surprised at that. That’s what they will pursue.

    But, it has over the course of the last couple of months been increasingly clear that the Republican who represented the greatest disregard for this deep concern of the American people, who stood as the greatest champion of the amnesty bills and those who were indifferent to the concerns of the American people for the sovereign control of their own borders, that that Republican who, time and time again, has sought to revive these notions against the will of our people, is now considered by the media and the process that has been presented to us as the “presumptive nominee” of the Republican Party.

    On the day that I realized that John McCain was now going to be presented to the American people as the one that everyone wearing the Republican label has to back, that’s the day I had to start thinking about taking that label [Applause overwhelms audio].

    Some folks will say, “But Alan, that’s drastic. A drastic reaction. This is just one issue, after all.” But I think that that’s because they fail to understand that this issue of our sovereignty is the issue of the future of our freedom, of our liberty, of our Constitution, of our Republic itself.

    Now, you tell me. Do you think it’s an accident that the self-same individual who has been in the forefront of championing the policy that essentially effaces our borders, who shows no respect for the desire of the American people to reassert their sovereign control of their own territory — do you think it’s an accident that that self-same individual was in the lead in authoring a piece of legislation that in its consequences was a deathblow aimed at the political and grassroots activism of the American people?

    Is it an accident that the same man who ignored the requirements of sovereignty with respect to our borders is the man who ignored the prerequisites of the capacity of the people to organize and mobilize in their political life when he sponsored the McCain-Feingold bill and put those regulations that were aimed at destroying the possibility of grassroots politics in America?

    People want me to believe, “Well, that’s just a coincidence. See, that’s one issue over here, that’s the borders, and the other issue over here is McCain-Feingold.” The common thread that unites them is that both represent an assault on the sovereignty of the American people — the one in its manifestation, the other in its possibility.

    What better way to destroy self-government then to erect a system in which you have burdened the people with such trammels that they can’t get their business done?

    See, I have to be suspicious anyway of politicians who believe that it is their right and business to regulate the association of the people when it comes to political character. I don’t see how this could possibly be, because the people we elect to the government are the folks for whom politics exists to oversee and constrain. How could we then allow them to write the rules on the basis of which people can associate, fund, and otherwise express themselves in political life?

    The business of politics is not under the authority of the politicians. It must remain directly under the authority of the people, or those people will have no way to control their politics.

    I find it intriguing that as you examine the way in which these various measures supposedly aim at cleaning up our politics — and let’s make a parenthesis here. This is a very interesting situation, in which you have politicians who see the world so burdened by the possibility of corrupt influence among politicians that they want to take away all of the fundraising mechanisms, all of your organizing mechanisms, and so forth, from the people themselves. So, corruption among the politicians results in the destruction of the right of the people to organize themselves for politics. Don’t you find that a little convenient?

    That’s like somebody lighting a fire in the backyard and then showing up at the front door with a fire extinguisher. “Here, let me put that out!” You are the cause of the problem, and you’re telling me that you’re going to solve it by making it more difficult for people to oversee what you do?

    That doesn’t make any sense.

    The telltale signs of this were the provisions of the McCain-Feingold bill that were actually aimed at preventing people in an organized way from communicating to one another about the record of their representatives in the three weeks before an election.

    Somebody had probably told the authors of this bill that it’s only in the last three weeks before an election that the American people pay attention. Therefore, if you keep the grassroots organizations from talking to them in that time, you’ll get away with anything you please.

    Now, I can believe many things, but you’re not going to get me to believe that I can trust the same individual who is trying to destroy the ability of the people to oversee abuses, when that individual happens also to be one of the people in the lead in perpetuating one of the greatest of those abuses, which is the destruction of our sovereign control of our border, and the unleashing and entrammeling of a wave of immigration aimed at utterly subverting, in a demographic sense, the sovereign people of the United States.

    This, of course, confronted me with a great crisis. It brings me to a crossroads. But I guess in some ways — I’m like a lot of folks in America — it’s been coming for a while. I don’t want to give the impression that it has come to this point for me where I really must look for an alternative just because of the incidents and episodes of this election year, though I think it is a particularly crucial one. No, I have been watching with greater and greater dismay as all of those things that are essential to the maintenance of true self-government for our people are systematically destroyed.

    I will tell you, as I have been clear everywhere I can, that my main concern in that regard, and the one that I believe would have been the main concern shared by our founders, is the assault on the character and the moral capacity of our people to govern ourselves.

    The fact is that we are being severed from the fundamental principles that establish our right to government by consent, beginning with the great principle that those rights come from Almighty God. Why weren’t we suspicious when a people whose rights are based upon an appeal to God found themselves confronted by courts telling us that we could not teach our children the name of God, could not mention in schools the authority of God?

    Why did they wish to separate us from this fundamental and most vital element of the argument on which our liberty is built?

    We should have known that something was in the offing — when these self-same courts had driven God out of our precincts then usurped to themselves the power of our people and our states and our legislatures to decide the great moral issues that confront our country, including the issue of how we shall regard the innocent life in the womb that has as much claim to be respected by the authority of God as the life that He has given to each and every one of us — when they told us that it would be by the fiat of these self-same judges that the marriage issue would be decided, not by our understanding, not by those things that reflect our heart and our faith as a people, but by an understanding imposed upon us by elites that no longer share that faith, but instead seek at every turn to subvert and destroy it.

    This is a crisis that has long been coming to a head.

    And it has come to a head, as McCain-Feingold suggests, in our electoral system as well.

    It’s been a long time that I have watched American politics and wondered. We blame the media for this in great part, but I wonder if we shouldn’t just blame them. We blame them because certain voices weren’t being heard, and certain voices were being suppressed, and so forth and so on, until we finally got to a point — which is a point, sadly, that I reached this year. It will come to a great surprise to many of you who are watching this over the internet and here in the audience that I actually ran for president in the Republican primary. But I was systematically barred from the debates. That is, the individual who was widely acknowledged to have won every debate in the year 2000, was not admitted in the debates in the year 2008.

    The one that was standing up to speak unequivocally for the heart of the people on immigration, on life, on the need to return the judges to within the boundaries established by the Constitution — on all these issues, speaking from the very place that the Republican Party platform says is the place on which the party stands — barred from the discussion.

    And I mention this, not so much because I suffered by being excluded from debates, being falsely and fraudulently kept off of ballots, not having votes counted in Iowa and elsewhere. I mean, these are the things that can, of course, happen in the course of politics, but you know, y’all, it’s time we began to realize that when such things are done in order to exclude voices from the political arena, the people excluded may seem to be the ones hurt, but the truth is that it is the people who never hear it, the people who are never aware of the choice before them, they are hurt in the most fatal and vital way by such exclusions.

    Because eventually we reach a certain point, and who is deciding your elections? It will be just like the old Soviet Union. They used to say they had free elections in the Soviet Union. They did. Of course, every slate of candidates was meticulously predetermined by the politburo, by the party bosses and others. People appeared to have a choice, but in point of fact, all of the “choices” had already been made for them.

    My sense during the course of this primary season was that that was exactly, sadly, what is happening in the United States: a combination of the media oligarchs and the party bosses now deciding what is best for the American people.

    Now, I say again: Did I expect this from Democrats, perhaps? Well, maybe, because this whole notion of despotic paternalism has been very much at home in the Democratic Party for a long time — the idea that the way you justify yourself in government is by telling people, “Well, see how well I’m taking care of you?”

    Did you ever watch the gangsters movies? That’s what the Godfather always says to somebody asserting a little freedom: “Why are you getting so upset? Don’t I take good care of you?”

    And this is what the government now, and these elitists like Obama, that’s what they want to turn and say to us. When we start standing up for our Second Amendment rights, and we start standing up for the rights of our faith, and we start standing up for those things that constitute our liberty, they say we’re “bitter” because they are not taking good care of us!

    But this is what I would like to remind them of, and remind you of, and remind the Republican Party which once had such allegiance from me of: Every official in this country does not swear an oath to “take good care of us.” They swear an oath to uphold, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States!

    Their first responsibility, by sworn oath, is not to “take care of us,” but to take care of our liberty, to take care of our system of self-government, and to take care of all of those things which must be preserved in order for it to be perpetuated in strength.

    That’s their job. But that’s not the job they are doing.

    Instead, they are acting in the very much in the spirit that our great first president and founding leader, George Washington, warned against in his famous farewell address. Unaccustomed as I am to reading anything during my speeches, I did want to do justice to Washington’s words.

    So, I want to read these words verbatim from the farewell address, because I think that they are very instructive in our time. He said, “I have already intimated to you the danger of parties in the State, with particular reference to the founding of them on geographical discriminations. Let me now take a more comprehensive view, and warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the spirit of party generally.

    “This spirit, unfortunately, is inseparable from our nature, having its root in the strongest passions of the human mind. It exists under different shapes in all governments, more or less stifled, controlled, or repressed; but, in those of the popular form, it is seen in its greatest rankness, and is truly their worst enemy.

    “The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries which result gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of public liberty.”

    I have read and reread and pondered these thoughts over the course of the last several weeks, as I have listened to the growing chorus of argument being made, particularly on the Republican side — folks who are heading us toward a general election in which we will have a choice between the anti-Republicans of the Democrat Party and the anti-Republicans of the Republican Party.

    They are more and more telling us that we’ve got to choose the lesser of evils, we’ve got to have that Republican victory, we’ve got to have that Republican Congress. They even went so far during the course of the election in some of these places — like Virginia, I noticed — to propose that before people be allowed to vote, they take an oath of party loyalty.

    They apparently haven’t read Washington’s address.

    They apparently don’t understand that parties are to be tolerated only insofar as they are the instruments of the people, only insofar as they are instruments aimed at combining our deliberations in the public good. When they become an end in themselves, seeking to serve the elevation of this one or that one, this group or that group, factionally based to political power, then they are destroying the liberty that each and every one of these politicians is sworn to uphold, and those such parties should be abandoned.

    I sadly conclude that both the Democrat and Republican parties in this country have degenerated into factions — factions understood by our founders to be combinations of individuals for political purposes that do not encompass the public good, that do not respect our common good of liberty.

    I think that’s clear, even in the way they talk about politics now: “coalition-building.” See, you get together a bunch of people who happen to be traveling in the same direction, farm out to them some benefits and all so they will support you and put you into power. Is that what our politics is now about?

    It has been, I know, the understanding of things on the Democrat side — the New Deal, and all of that. Sit around the table, deal out to each participant just enough to keep them at your table, so that you can win your party victory. But you know what that’s forgetting? It’s forgetting the heritage of America.

    It’s a heritage, by the way, that respected the idea I’m about to articulate, at great cost, because it was the idea that motivated and animated the discussion and actions of so many people in those first years and decades of our Republic — and that was the idea of our Union.

    The wonderful thing about the word “union” is that it suggests that great phrase on our coins, E Pluribus Unum, “Out of Many, One”: that, yes, we are many, but that in some sense we come together, we covenant in such a way that we can stand together on a common ground, on a common principle that transcends all those differences and that forms of us one nation, one people, one community, capable of respecting together the principles of justice and right that make us free.

    I listen to the things that are now being lauded in our media from the mouth of people like Barack Obama, the empty phrases of “hope” and so forth and so on, and I say to myself, “What lies. What delusions.”

    We have come from a heritage that offers us a solid ground for hopeful community, because it is a heritage that offers to each and every human being God-ordained and authorized respect for their individual dignity, their worth, their responsibility, their aspirations, and their capacity responsibly to govern not only themselves but their community as a whole.

    This is a basis for hope, and it is what has bound Americans together in the face sometimes of terrible challenges — challenges that led to the battlefields of the Civil War, that lead to the sacrifices of World War I and World War II; challenges that have given to the great words of our Declaration, the great words of our Pledge of Allegiance, the notion that we are nation about more than our selfishness and our lust and our greed, that we do as the founders said, representing human hope and aspiration that governments can be based on something other than accident and force and fear, but can be based upon the deliberate choice for justice, of people who were willing to make that choice, so that they can be treated with justice by all.

    That’s community. That’s people who have come together, not because of some physical accident, and not because of some momentary selfish interest, but because, acknowledging the truth they see in the God-ordained moral equality of all humanity, they are happy to be part of a land building up an example of what can be done when that moral truth is respected.

    As I was coming along, this is what it meant to be an American. And I took it seriously, even though these were the days, as I was growing up, of the civil rights movement and the great efforts that were needed in order to achieve equality and to banish racial discrimination. All those things were possible because great leaders could appeal to these common principles and move the conscience of our people, as Martin Luther King did, with these common ideas and ideals.

    But today we are engaged in a kind of political sham. I find it incongruous, for instance, now that folks wish to tout somebody like Obama as somebody who represents “transcending race.” And yet, I go on the Mike Schneider program, and this guy looks at me, this news fellow, and he says, “Well, don’t you feel proud that somebody like Barack Obama is being treated seriously for the presidency? Because, after all, he’s of the same race as you are.”

    I tried to explain to this man that when you look at me or anybody else and expect behavior and action and opinion based solely on the color of our skin, what you do epitomizes the worst kind of racism.

    I think it’s time we told Obama and all these people in the media and everywhere else: You won’t transcend racism until you have realized that the very notion that physical characteristics determine human groups and communities is a fatal lie.

    Communities are built upon our common moral ideas and premises, like our common commitment to that justice which the Declaration of Independence outlines in its understanding and which our Pledge promises to all Americans. Because we are committed to these things and care about these things, we can stand together as a people.

    But you see, I had thought in my naiveté that that’s what the Republican Party is about. Maybe I’m the only person in America who was a Republican because I believe in the Republic. Isn’t that odd?

    Now, you might say that’s a coincidence of things. No, it’s not. The founding president of the Republican Party, Abraham Lincoln, who was willing to see this nation endure a terrible Civil War — why? For the sake of making sure that the hallowed moral principles of God-given human equality would be respected as the very foundation of our community as a people. That is why he felt that slavery had to be abolished. It wasn’t because he opposed racism and all these other things we talk about these days. It was because he loved justice, and justice required respect for the God-given moral equality of all human beings.

    And I have thought that the Republican Party would represent and did represent these great principles down through the years. While the Democrats were wandering about building coalitions, appealing to selfishness, dividing us by class and race and creed, Republicans were calling us to respect our national ideals, were calling us to be courageous in the defense of those ideals in the world, not to abandon them in the face of communism, not to abandon them in the face of fascism, not to abandon them in the face of terrorism or any other threat, because what we do is important not only to ourselves but to all human beings, because it is evidence of God’s providence.

    I was a Republican because being a Republican meant standing firm for all these things, and also understanding in the end that there was a deep connection between our allegiance to these principles and our respect for the human capacity for true freedom.

    You don’t want to stand in somebody’s way when they are building up a business enterprise. You don’t want to sand in their way when they are finding a better way to grow our food and to put our buildings up. You don’t want to stand in the way when they are trying to advance the horizons of our scientific knowledge because you have respect for the truth that in each and every human being, there is a kernel of God-given dignity, of God-given mystery, of God-given capacity, and we should not put it out, but rather let it shine so that it can benefit us and all the world.

    That, to me, is what it meant to be a Republican. Sadly, that sense that it wasn’t just about greed, it wasn’t just about money, it wasn’t just about serving the corporate moguls so that they would promote your campaign, and build you up in power — no, it was about things that would be true, whether the moguls liked them or not, about things that would be vitally important, not because they led us to great wealth, but because they respect our great dignity. And that’s why I was a Republican.

    Over the course of the last years, and especially the last couple of years, I have just seen too much that suggests that though the Republican Party of today still pays lip service to these things, they now are much like the Democrats, caring only about power, caring only about success, caring only about victory for themselves, and their friends, and the little cliques that sponsor them — not for that great victory for America, which is the perpetuation of our freedom.

    And I look at this, and I’m afraid I’m feeling an awful lot like Ronald Reagan said he felt about the Democrats years ago. I am still standing where I was — standing where I stood as a result of the years when I tried to understand the terrible injustice of slavery and came to the conclusion the best understanding of it is based upon our founding principles, and the best refutation of it is based upon living out our American creed.

    I’m still standing there. I’m still standing for the America that was not afraid to shoulder the burdens and the responsibilities that came with that providential success which God gave us in the world.

    Now, I know there are people right now dissatisfied, I guess, with some of the things that I believe because I won’t go along with the Clinton/Obama-like desire to withdraw America from engagement with the world, and they think that this is evidence of some terrible design. No. Do you know why [I think the way I do]? A couple of reasons. Step number one: We need to remember that there are two sides to sovereignty.

    That’s why I wish we would reintroduce this term into our understanding. Sovereignty isn’t just about having your way. No. The sovereign is the person responsible, the one responsible, for making decisions that affect the whole people, the whole community, the whole nation.

    I wonder if Americans think about that when they look at the way these politicians — McCain and everybody else — panders to them now. “Wanna win votes? Promise them a tax cut!”

    I tell you, I have always been irritated by Republicans who stand up and act like if they give us a tax cut, they are doing us a big favor by letting us keep some of our own money, and therefore we should vote for them.

    We have been so debased, so degraded that we can be bribed with an offer to keep what is already ours. They have falsely asserted that somehow it belongs first and foremost to the government that is supposed to serve us.

    And of course, the Democrats are bribing us with our own money in programs that they filter through bureaucracies where the effects don’t even get to the people that they are supposed to help.

    That understanding, that you come before the people and say, “I’ll take care of you! I’ll let you pursue your lusts! I’ll you let you pursue your greed! I’ll let you pursue your selfishness! I’ll let you make your choice! I’ll relieve you of the burden of defending yourself and defending your country and defending your community! You’ll live in safety and security and prosperity! I’ll feed you and shelter you and clothe you! I’ll do all these things for you!” — that’s what they want us to believe.

    Is this the way to speak to the sovereign? To speak to the sovereign as if the only thing that sovereign should care about is to cater to its own appetites, its own lusts, its own passions, its own greed?

    Sovereignty involves responsibility. We do not show respect for the sovereign people of the United States if we are not willing to remind them that they have a responsibility for American freedom. They have a responsibility for the future generations who are supposed to enjoy that freedom. They have a responsibility before God to respect the right which is the foundation stone of all our rights.

    And if they don’t, then we will lose it all.

    But we don’t have leaders anymore willing to say these unpleasant things. I’m taken to task for this all of the time. See, I will not treat the American people without respect. And you treat people without respect when you act as if all they are about is their own mortal and vital passion, that they have no aspiration to live in some way for that which shall outlast us all, because it reflects the permanent will of our Creator, God.

    I long for such a politics again, for we have had leaders who understood it. But now we have parties that have degenerated below the level of that kind of statesmanship.

    I long for a time when we will come together again as a people — we can call it a party if you like, but it will really represent an community of principle — and will challenge each and every person and each and every group and each and every community to outdo the others in making sure that the great principles that strengthen our liberty and our institutions are respected, not destroyed, so that they can be served.

    I long for a party that will, in giving priority to those great principles, restore both the form and the policy content that must go along with our rights as a free people, and not let abusive judges usurp the rights of our legislatures, not let abusive legislators destroy the rights of our people.

    But where shall we find it? I am pondering this question.

    I think there is some hope. I have been looking at a party that bears a good name — the Constitution Party.

    But I think there are challenges no matter where I look, because, as I just said, I will neither abandon the great moral principles that make us free, nor will I abandon the practical application of those principles that requires strong and secure borders that reflect the sovereign control of our people; that requires judges who have been put back into their place to judge according to, not make, the laws; that require legislatures that respect the prerogative of the people not to be “cared for” by a despotic government, but rather to care for themselves as they use that government for the limited purposes for which it is the proper instrument.

    I long for this. But I also long for a people that will not shrink from its responsibilities in the world, will not hide behind some words spoken in a different time by our great founding president. When he cautioned against entangling of alliances, in order to keep a young, fledgling country from involving itself in the great disputes of the greatest powers in the world which could gobble that little country up — you all have noticed, haven’t you, that we are now the greatest power in the world?

    We cannot shrink from that engagement! We cannot shrink from the responsibility that goes along with that great blessing!

    Sometimes I wonder, the very same people who say, “Oh, no! We’ve got to get out of Iraq tomorrow! We’ve got to do this and we’ve got to do that, because we shouldn’t be involved anywhere doing anything!” — and I’m thinking to myself, “Wait. Where does this come from?”

    Is it a coincidence some of the same people dislike the idea of universal service to our country, the draft and all of that? “Oh no! Don’t do that to me!” These are people who forget that liberty is not about the individual doing what he pleases. It’s about giving to every individual the opportunity to do what is right, so that in doing what is right, they have the right to what they do.

    See, but we forget this. We want to have licentiousness instead of liberty. We want to have despotism and a government that cares for all our needs, rather than a liberty which leaves us responsible not just for our own welfare, as some conservatives would say, but for the welfare of our whole nation and its impact upon the world.

    That is what it means to be part of the sovereign body.

    The other day, I was looking at a book title by a fellow I know, Grover Norquist, who has many good campaigns to keep our taxes down and other things, and the title of his book was Leave Us Alone, and it seemed to be referring to people in America who want the government to leave them alone.

    But I ask you to consider this question: If the people of the United States are the sovereign here — they are like the king or the sultan and so forth and so on — and they have ministers who are the president and the legislatures, do we really want the ministers to leave us alone? When they come in to tell us about some great problem that confronts the nation, do we want to say, “No, I’m too busy fornicating. I’m too busy pursuing my interests. I’m too busy pursuing money. Don’t bother me with the public business!” is that what we say? Because, I’ll tell you, that’s not the characteristic of a good sovereign, that’s the characteristic of a bad, soon-to-be-deposed sovereign who is refusing the responsibilities of his great office.

    If we want to be the sovereign people of America, if we want this to be a government of, by, and for the people, then we should not ask the government to “leave us alone,” we should have no intention of leaving them alone with the power that they can abuse against us, and against right.

    It’s in that spirit that I come to my final point tonight. What does one do? A lot of people in this country are pondering this right now.

    I know that there are a lot of Republicans and others trying to give the impression, “No, everybody is going to jump on the bandwagon,” but they are wrong. It’s not going to happen. I went around this country for the longest time, talking to all kinds of audiences — especially audiences in the black community that are traditionally Democrat — trying to point out that, look, you can’t sacrifice your allegiance to God and right and justice and all these things you profess to believe for some party label!

    And then God, in His providence, as if to put me to the test, now confronts me with a situation. What am I to do? Am I or is anyone like me who has stood so long and fought so hard for these things that we believe to be right for our country, to be right in the eyes of our God, can we put it all aside for the sake of a party label, in order to back someone that we believe will be ultimately destructive of our liberty, of our rights, and ultimately of the moral foundations of all our freedom? No, we cannot. Not if they are Republican, not if they are Democrat, no matter what label they wear, for our allegiance is first to God and our country, above every party whatsoever.

    There are many people in this quandary, and they keep saying, “Well, what are we going to do? We don’t have a choice.” [Keyes: Sighs.]

    Because a manipulated system has failed to offer people a choice that corresponds to their true desires for their country, their true principles, people are now saying, “We must choose the lesser of evils.” You do realize that if you choose the lesser of evils in that way, you’re making evil your standard. You also realize that if you get to a place where the only choices you have for people to represent you in our country are evil, then you must be in the wrong place. And you ought to wonder how you got there.

    See, I don’t think we are in that place. I’ve met too many good-hearted Americans, people of good conscience, people who share and deeply believe in — and indeed as our young people are proving this instant in far-flung battlefields in Afghanistan and Iraq, people who still will risk and give their lives for the things that do not die, though they do; for the things that make death noble, because through them we join with the deathless glory of our God.

    There are still many people like that. We know them as our spouses and our children. We know them as our fellow citizens. We know them, I dearly hope, as we know ourselves.

    What shall we do now? Throw up our hands and let our country be taken to the devil — the lesser of evils? Or shall we do what people had to do in the past, when they stood up to make a revolution, when they stood up to make a country — not because it was the lesser evil, but because they sought a better destiny and a greater good?

    Can no one offer this true hope to America? Will no one back it up?

    I don’t know the answer. I look at all these folks out there, with their lies and their delusions. They are raising money, hand over fist. It’s almost as if all the good people have decided they are not going to bother anymore, they’re not supporting, they’re not giving, they’re not sacrificing. Do you think that’s how America was built, because all the good people sat on their hands and didn’t give their effort and didn’t make the sacrifice, but instead took the easy way out and said, “Well, let’s go with the lesser of evils, because that’s all we’ve got”?

    If you don’t see a better choice, make a better choice! Build a better choice! Be part of the movement that will offer a true, better hope for this country!

    If there are people out there who have this on their hearts, who have it in their will, if they are willing to reach into their pocketbooks, reach into time, reach into their lives to make it happen, then their will and their fervor and their hearts and their conscience will call forth a leader who will stand with them, no matter what the sacrifice! No matter what it costs! Because this country now, as then, is worth the commitment that will pledge life and fortune and honor and all, so that the good that it represents may still survive for all humanity.

    If you wish to be part of that kind of an effort, then I would say and hope that you would give a thought to what could be possible in November if someone stood forward representing the things you truly care about, and instead of listening to the sham and phony arguments that seek to manipulate you into choosing those who do not represent you, you instead make every sacrifice to back that which you believe represents your wholehearted desire for America’s freedom and America’s good.

    If people can do that, then I think hope revives, liberty is restored, and we shall once again get past this dark place of a politics of pandering, and come to a true, free politics that once again corresponds to its right meaning.

    For, politics is not the work of those who seek office for the sake of their ambition. It is in the truest sense the business of the citizen. Don’t let them turn it into a dirty word. For, then we are put off of that without which we cannot sustain our liberty.

    Instead, by your faith, and by your actions, and by your will, and by your sacrifices, and ultimately by your prayers and your reliance upon the God Who has so blessed our nation build a politics of true citizenship in which this government of, by, and for the people will once again have in its midst the shining truth of that people’s sovereignty.

    Their freedom, yes — but also their responsibility. Their satisfaction, yes — but also their willingness to satisfy the obligations of their justice and their leadership.

    If we can be such a people, then I think God will take away the clouds that now darken our vision. He will show us again the light of that destiny which shone so bright in Reagan’s eyes that he could ever see us ever as a shining city on a hill.

    But from whence the light? I think the light that shines in that city is the light that shines from within the hearts that have admitted their allegiance to the will of God for justice. And by opening themselves to all that is needed to satisfy that allegiance, they share His light with their country and with the world.

    God bless you.

    Posted 2008-10-14 6:58 PM (#2007) By: EternalVigilance

    Part 1
    Posted 2008-10-14 7:26 PM (#2011 - in reply to #2007) By: Philomena

    Part 2
    Posted 2008-10-14 7:29 PM (#2012 - in reply to #2011) By: Philomena

    Part 3
    Posted 2008-10-14 7:31 PM (#2013 - in reply to #2012) By: Philomena

    Part 4
    Posted 2008-10-14 7:33 PM (#2014 - in reply to #2013) By: Philomena

    Part 5
    Posted 2008-10-14 7:35 PM (#2015 - in reply to #2014) By: Philomena

    Could someone post the direct youtube links to Alan Keyes speech listed above, without those direct links Some people using non-microshaft software can not play them
    Posted 2009-04-07 7:19 AM (#10930 - in reply to #2015) By: forJustice

    Posted 2009-04-07 7:25 AM (#10933 - in reply to #10930) By: Philomena

    BTTT for reminder

    Posted 2010-03-28 10:14 AM (#35226 - in reply to #10933) By: Philomena

    Someone has asked if there is an audio of this speech available anywhere.  Anybody know?
    Posted 2010-03-28 7:57 PM (#35251 - in reply to #35226) By: Philomena

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