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Radio interview
Alan Keyes on the KYAL 2K Show (KTKK)
June 21, 2006
Salt Lake City, UT

KYAL: . . . we have an invasion taking place, and we have a surprising approach by a president who took a hard line on the War on Terror, but pretty much the appeasement approach on the war within our borders.

We are really privileged, and I am excited to have Alan Keyes on our line. Now, we have Alan Keyes. Alan Keyes, you are an example of what's right with the Republican Party, and thank you so much for taking out a couple of minutes in your busy schedule for us on the KYAL 2K Show.

KEYES: I am honored to be with you. Thank you for having me.

KYAL: We have . . . you know, I'll never forget, Mr. Keyes, the first time that I saw you is when you were running--it must have been '94 or maybe it was '95 when you first ran for president.

KEYES: Uh huh

KYAL: And I was over to pick up my girlfriend. We were going to go out to dinner and you, you were . . . It was the first time I saw you. You were on C-SPAN.

KEYES: Uh huh

KYAL: And I walk in, and Patrice, she's ready to go, and she says, "Kyal come in here and listen to this guy." And I remembered going over, and I saw you. You were speaking forcefully about conservative values. I'm not sure if I'd ever seen a black conservative before.

KEYES: [chuckle]

KYAL: And you . . . we were riveted. And I sat down, and I remember, I don't know, five or ten minutes went by, and I looked at Patrice, and she had tears coming down her cheeks.

KEYES: hum

KYAL: And it was . . . you spoke forcefully, unapologetically about conservative values--things that touch us all. And yet it seems like so many of us . . . too few of our Republicans or conservatives or Americans have the courage to say it--just to come out and say it. And I want to thank you for being one of the people who inspired me. It was something I'll never forget--the first time I saw Alan Keyes.

We are today in the middle of a huge issue. Can you tell us what you're . . . we know that you're going to be at the Provo Library this evening.

KEYES: Right, and I'll be talking about an issue that I think is often treated now in the media now and elsewhere as if it is just kind of anecdotal. It's about individuals and their particular situations, or even about this family or that looking for a better life. The truth is, though, that it's an issue that involves the whole future of our country. That will effect the nature of self-government here. The nature and ability of Americans to sustain our Republic, our Constitutional system.

In addition to, of course, in the context of the larger threats we face in the world, we're talking about an issue of physical survival. And that is not what I would call just issue of immigration the way they talk about it. No. In the first instance, it's an issue of our national identity, and of one of the prerequisites of that identity which is our borders--because how do you know what you are as a nation if you don't know how far your authority extends and who to encompass within the boundaries and territory of that nation? We're talking about one of the physical prerequisites for the self-consciousness of the people, about of whom and what they are.

Are we are, now, in the midst of dealing with the consequences of several decades of willful and shamelessly incompetent neglect by our political elites of the security, in particularly, along our southern border. And the results have been, I think, have been a human tragedy that have attracted a lot of people here in various ways looking for economic betterment. They have had to go through terrible exploitation.

Meanwhile, they have created a situation in our country and community that is overburdening, both our culture and our resources and our institutional infrastructure and posing, I think, great challenge and, indeed, a threat to the future of the country. This is something that affects us all, as Americans, and that will affect the whole future of the Republic and the legacy we're supposed to leave to our children.

So, I think it's time we dealt with it and what it is--a crisis of the nation that has to do fundamentally with how we understand, define, and defend the identity of our people and our mission in the world.

KYAL: Exactly, and you mentioned our national identity. This is about who we are. Our identity starts where we draw the line. This is where our jurisdiction begins--at our borders. And we don't seem to be learning from our past mistakes. Do we?

KEYES: Well, we seem at the moment, by the way, and here's one of the things I've been trying to challenge people with. We need to look at the "what's wrong." Right? In terms, of what we know we have--a lot of . . . millions. A matter of fact, we don't even know how many. The problem is so bad that we don't even know how many illegal immigrants there are in the country. So, that tells you right there that we have lost control.

We have a president, who has looked us in the eye--five and half years into his term of office just passed--and tells us we do not have control of our borders.

KYAL: Exactly.

KEYES: Now, excuse me. He's the head of the federal government. One of the prime, clear unequivocal responsibilities of the federal government is to maintain and defend our borders. And the president is telling us that he hasn't done his job. And he did it in almost a casual way like we're not supposed to be worrying about this.

And finally, you have the fact that this takes place in the context of the so-called situation of terrorism. Where not only would we have people coming across following their economic aspirations as they trek out, but terrorists could be coming across, and they could bring with them the tools of their trade aimed at killing us. And if we don't know what's going on along the border, how do we know who's coming in, where they're setting up, and what's going on? And if we're not enforcing the laws in terms of the interior, once people get into the country, then we're not keeping track of happens to the folks who are entering illegally. So, if folks can come in looking for economic opportunity, and they're wandering about without anybody keeping track of them, what about people who are looking for opportunity for terrorism? We have to fear that they are walking about without anybody keeping track of them either, in that same gray netherworld of illegal immigration.

So, we have to ask ourselves why on earth is this going on?

KYAL: What a sobering thought.

KEYES: How can we keep neglect something this important? That's the key question. And the explanation, I think, is disturbing, because it means that somebody has betrayed our interest. Doesn't it?

KYAL: It is a sobering thought. We have a president who says, like you said, in a casual way, we don't have control of our borders, and the next sentence he calls our Minutemen vigilantes.

We are with Ambassador Alan Keyes. Stay tuned.


KYAL: Thank you again, Alan Keyes. Ambassador Alan Keyes is with us here on K-TALK on the KYAL 2K Show. You've been such an inspiration to me, Alan, and I have many people who call in and they're frustrated with the Republican Party and with conservatives in general. And I always use you as an example. I say, you know, Alan Keyes is a Republican. There are conservatives with . . . in . . . unapologetic conservatives in the Republican Party.

KEYES: I will have to tell you, though, Kyal. It's a struggle, and I think that one of the reasons I remain a Republican is because there are a lot of decent-minded people, especially at the grassroots in the Republican Party, who were attracted to the party because people who were in it were willing to stand for the values that built this country, stand for Declaration principles, stand for real self-government, stand for free enterprise, and other things that, I think, are very valuable about our liberty.

And now a lot of those people are expressing great dismay at the fact that so many of our leaders seem to have forgotten what it is that the Republican Party has been offering to America really since its inception. And I just try to keep that in mind and try to work for it on behalf of all those people, because I think that the people of this country built the country, and it's only the heart of our people and their true beliefs that are going to build the strength of any political party. And the Republican leadership needs to remember that.

KYAL: I saw . . . after I first became aware of you, as a force in the Republican Party, I always saw you as the future, as hopefully, one day America would reach a point in our Republican Party, our conservatives, would reach a point when we can elect Alan Keyes to lead this country.

One thing that really impressed me, as I had just accepted a sales position right after I became aware of you, and it took me all over the southwest United States, in a lot of southern parts of Texas, and New Mexico, and a lot of really rural "hick red neck" towns, and it would impress me is that when I would talk to people who would just barely becoming aware of you. It was amazing. When I went out to redneck, hick redneck America, I'd see the rednecks, the bubbas out there, and they'd be driving around in their pickups trucks with Alan Keyes bumper stickers.

KEYES: [laughter]

KYAL: I saw more Alan Keyes bumper stickers on the pickup trucks. Howard Dean says he'd like to appeal to the guys with the Confederate flags and the shotguns in the back. We'll those guys have Alan Keyes bumper stickers.

KEYES: Well, you know, the truth is, and I'm not given to any kind of, I guess, [...] of dealing with folks, but I often tell people that there's no incompatibility between a redneck and a true American heart. And I find it all over this country. You know, we might have our differences in skin color and all this, but there are a lot people in this country who believe in the principles of self-government, believe we're all created equal, believe we have to base ourselves on respect for those truths, and respect for God Almighty, who is what made it all possible. And once you start from those same premises, then you're going to reach a lot of the same conclusions. And that's what creates a community. And I believe that's what we have. You know, we have a community that starts with a faith in this creed, and then extends to respect for one another in the things that we can achieve as free and responsible human beings. And those are the kinds of things that I find that a lot of people share, and they are dismayed because we have leaders that don't trust that.

This notion, for instance, that the Minutemen are vigilantes. Right?

KYAL: Right. Right.

KEYES: It reflects an arrogant distrust will use their freedom. Why should you assume that people who are decent American citizens, many of them who, by the way, are ex-professionals who have been in the police force, been in various and assorted areas of law enforcement and law and government. Why would you assume that people, who want to defend America's borders and make a contribution in a lawful way, why would you assume that there's something wrong with that? Only people who have forgotten what self-government means . . .

KYAL: That's arrogance.

KEYES: . . . would reject out of hand the volunteerism of such fine human beings. And this is part of the problem with our leadership right now. They've become so professional minded, where government is concerned, that they forget that this is the government of the people, by the people, for the people. It's not a professional government.

KYAL: You are such a dynamic force within the Republican Party, Alan Keyes, and I want to mention your website. It's

KEYES: That's right.

KYAL: You can hear this man, Alan Keyes, this evening at 6:30. Go to the Provo City Library Ballroom. And I feel, Alan Keyes, that you are . . . you represent . . . what you represent to those of us out here in America, but particularly white America is you . . . people, as Americans, want someone to speak for their equal rights, and their Constitutional rights, and they appreciate hearing and seeing a Black American speak forcefully about our equal rights and our Constitution and our rule of law. And they can't play the race card with you. I think that's why so many people respond so passionately to your message, because they see someone, hear someone, that too few of our white conservatives, trying to prove their compassion and trying to prove that they're not racist, kind of cut back their message a little bit. And you don't do that.

KEYES: You see, I think, two things are true about what you said. One, it's a very heartening comment on people in this country that you have so many folks who value Constitutional self-government. Who understand the self-respect, if I can put it that way, that is involved in our way of life and our way of governing ourselves and want to keep that. And they also understand, I believe, and this is the other side of it, that you're not showing true compassion for somebody if you don't show respect for that moral dimension of their humanity. If you're just thinking about what clothes they wear, what food they eat, what job they have, what material circumstances they live in, and you're not concerned with their dignity as responsible human beings who want to be able to take some pride in what they do and some pride and responsibility in what they achieve for their families and for their communities, then you're not really showing compassion. You're showing disrespect, and I don't think most Americans are confused about that. They want folks who, yes, want to work together with people to better life, but want to do it in a way that respects real full, true humanity. And that requires that you respect freedom and responsibility and what people can and ought to do for themselves in a society. And I feel that a lot of Americans feel that way, because that's the way they live.

KYAL: You know what comes to my mind, Mr. Keyes, when you say that is when I saw George W. Bush in one of his good speeches when he first addressed the NAACP when he for president in 2000, and he had a very short speech, he said that ownership . . . home ownership is great. Everybody should own some property, and he said that we needed to address the issue of soft bigotry in the form of low expectations. When I saw that Black audience, they were sitting there . . . they were physically . . . you could look at their body language. They were disarmed, because they were being spoken to not as Black people or minorities or African Americans. Somebody was speaking to their personal interest, to them as individuals. You could look at that crowd and see no one had talked to them that way before.

KEYES: Well, you see because they have been so used to people who, though they profess all kinds of compassion, are really treating them without respect.

KYAL: Without respect. Individually.

KEYES: That's right. And I think that one of the things that attracts people--and you know I'll be talking about immigration today--and one of the things that attracts people to America . . . well, you know, we have all these sort of politicians and people act like it's just greed and come to American for a job and that we should then treat people like they're factors of production or something and that's all they are. Theodore Roosevelt had the sense to understand that it is wrong to ever treat a foreign immigrant coming into this country like they're just a tool of labor . . .

KYAL: Right.

KEYES: . . . an instrument of production and to look at people that way degrades them in an un-American fashion. He was right about that, I believe, and I think most Americans know that. I think most Americans want to be looked upon as people who deserve respect and to have self-respect and who are going to be treated accordingly.

And a lot the folks who have been dealing with the Black community, I think, over the years have completely abandoned that approach. They've been very patronizing and as a result, I think, they've really demeaned the community. And Americans really don't want to be treated that way.

So, you were looking at an audience that was listening to somebody deal with them in a way that respected their full humanity, and they've just been following folks who don't do that enough.

KYAL: Personal responsibility, as you say, is the key. And that's what we've got to get back to is personal responsibility, personal accountability.

We are with Ambassador Alan Keyes. You can go to his website. It's

You want to get down to Provo by 6:30. The Provo City Library Ballroom, and Alan Keyes will be discussing, among other things, mainly the immigration issue, which is, I think, poses the biggest, current threat to our national security and our well-being.

Would it be possible for you, Mr. Keyes, to hold through for a couple of more minutes?

KEYES: Actually, I going to have to run. [...]

KYAL: Okay. I know you have a busy schedule. Thanks so much for your time.

KEYES: I appreciate you taking the time with me. God bless you.

KYAL: God bless you, sir.

Alan Keyes. We'll be right back.

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