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Speech
Constitution Party conference
Alan Keyes
December 2, 2006
Concord, New Hampshire

MC: . . . is our speaker. Our next speaker this afternoon. I know that in many respects that Dr. Keyes doesn't need any introduction. You all know him well, and know his reputation. But just a couple of things I'd like to mention. He has spent 11 years in the U.S. State Department. He was appointed by Ronald Reagan, President Ronald Reagan, as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Economic and Social Council.

He had many years of public service. Served as president of the Citizens Against Government Waste. He put himself in the firing line in several runs for U.S. Senate--1988 for U.S. Senate in Maryland, again in 1992, and again more recently in 2004 in Illinois. And in every case he upheld the cause that we all believe in.

He's had a syndicated radio show called "America's Wake-Up Call." TV commentary on MSNBC. He has his PhD from Harvard and he lives with his wife, and I guess three children--maybe not there anymore--but his wife and he have three children. Great family man.

Dr. Keyes has been an inspiration to the pro-life movement. He been a pro-life champion in so many different ways.

And it is my distinct pleasure to invite him to the podium today, and just thank him for coming. Let's give him a big round of applause as he comes.

[applause]

ALAN KEYES: Thank you very much. Well, good afternoon. I can't tell you what a great pleasure it is for me to be here amongst folks whom I know and believe to be my spiritual colleagues and brothers and sisters. And every now and again, I find it refreshing to return--or come over, should I say, to the fold. And I shall do so today to give you a report as to what is going on in the ranks of the party that I still belong to--I have to make that clear to all concerned--the Republican Party.

But also I want to talk to you today about what that portends for the work that you have been valiantly doing on behalf of this nation and its principles. Because I think we are just shy of the decisive crisis for the future of our republic. And I don't say those words lightly. In one respect--and I could go through it in detail, I'll go through it a little bit in a minute--I would have to give you a report, if I were just speaking as a political theorist, as someone who has spent a good part of my life studying and thinking about the roots of self-government and the American Constitution: I don't see a single area required for the perpetuation of liberty in which today the United States of America satisfies the requirements of that perpetuation.

That means, y'all, that the republic is not in danger of collapse, but has already begun to collapse. And what we shall decide in the course of the next couple of years is whether or not that collapse shall move along to an irretrievable conclusion. I believe that this is going to result in a great crisis of our nation and of our political institutions. In the past election this November we saw the beginnings of that crisis for one of our major political institutions--the Republican Party.

The Republican Party, as you probably noticed, was just driven out of control of the Congress of the United States. Having held control of both houses for 12 years, they were removed from that control. Did this come as a surprise or shock to me? I'm sad to say that it did not. Why? Because, over the course of those dozen years, the Republican Party had only sporadically remembered its commitment either to its founding principles as a party, or to its proclaimed promises to those people who had helped to create the opportunity for Republican control of the Congress and the White House at the same time.

Republicans were removed from office not because many, many folks thought the Democrats, who long since abandoned the Constitution of this country, are the better alternative, but because the Republican leadership insisted after a dozen years on acting as if the only reason they had been put in place was to retain power, and not to retain our liberty.

[applause]

Now . . . now, here's what's interesting. I have said that for a long time, that I thought those were the priorities. Have you noticed, though, since the debacle in November a lot of people have been saying, "The Republicans lost because they didn't respect their principles." I have actually been hearing this and seeing it written by folks who wouldn't know a principle if it dropped out of the sky and whacked them in the head.

[laughter]

But suddenly all around you have folks who are stepping forward and saying, "I'm for principles. We need to see a revival of principle," and so forth and so on.

Well, I think I want to spend the next few minutes, first of all, revisiting this question of principle, so that just in case we need to do it, we can hold up some of these, now, I think, phony politicos to a real standard of what the principles of this nation are all about.

And from the point of view of the party in crisis, the Republican Party, it would do well for them simply to remember the real meaning of their name. They are the Republican Party. That would seem to suggest that they are party committed to the perpetuation of the republic. You hardly know it, though.

I was thinking about this the other day, because there we have our Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, who is out there attending a conference right now. And what does she talk about? She talks about democracy, as if somehow or another, what we are here to uphold in America is democracy. Now, I'm not saying she's absolutely wrong. I'm just saying that sometimes a partial understanding is worse than no understanding at all. See?

Lincoln, I think, gave one of the best definitions of our republican form there is. He said it is of the people, by the people, for people. The word "people" in Greek is translated as demos. So, obviously Lincoln understood that our republic had a democratic element. But he also knew that that democratic element, which in some cases would mean government by the people, in our case also means government of the people, which has two meanings. Government that comes out of and from the midst of the people--that is to say, government conducted by their elected representatives, but it also means government of the people in the sense of self-control and self-government, which must come from the people themselves, and not from the coercive force of government.

[applause]

He understood, therefore, that the key to our form of government was to recognize first that it must be rooted in a character that makes it possible for the people to discipline themselves and therefore to be capable of recognizing what is necessary in order to maintain a decent and orderly way of life in their community.

He also recognized that it had to be a government for the people. But sometimes, I think, we don't bother to stop and ask ourselves what that would mean. It's translated in our times, too often, as government for the persons, meaning to say that it's government that's about what this one or that one or the other one is going to get out of the situation. That's not really true. Government for the people means just that. It means government on behalf of and for the benefit of the people as a whole. Is it always the case that what benefits this or that individual is going to benefit the people as a whole? Well, obviously not.

Sometimes an individual might consider it highly beneficial to go out and act in an undisciplined way that allows them to satisfy every passion and every predilection that they might have without respect for the institutions that are required to perpetuate decent and orderly society for all of the people. It might mean sexual indulgence and licentiousness. It might mean an understanding of human sexuality that entirely reduces it to the pleasure and self-satisfaction that we derive from it, rather than including our dedication to our posterity and to the future that through them we are supposed to serve and represent.

Would government for the people, in that sense, represent anything but chaos and disorder? Obviously not.

All of this is meant to say that in its proper understanding, there is a clear element of moral character--what I will call, for today's purposes, moral sovereignty--that is included in our understanding of what it means for the people to govern themselves.

Well, let's pause at that. If that's part of our principle as a republic, where do we stand on it today? Well, I think most of us would have to agree, we stand in desperate trouble. Every possible assault against the moral character of the people in this country is well under way. The assault against our discipline for the sake of our posterity is well under way. We can see it in a whole range of issues, from the promotion of gay marriage to the destruction of innocent life in the womb.

We have gone so far that even a salutary commitment that was made by our founders in the beginning, so that in each generation we would understand that this republic cannot forget the debt that every generation owes to the next, has been utterly erased and forgotten--under the influence of mindless and licentious judges, who have disregarded the words of the Constitution in order to impose upon us a regime of moral self-destruction that must, in the end, result in its demise.

Because it's true. Right there in the Constitution. People often will try to argue in the context of the pro-life effort, for instance, that no mention is made of the unborn in the Constitution of the United States. Indeed, if you go look at Roe vs. Wade, this turns out to be one of the key premises of the Roe vs. Wade decision.

Now, how did Blackmun go about demonstrating this? Well, he went about demonstrating it by having his clerks or somebody, I guess, go through the Constitution and they pulled out every use of the word "person." And they found that in no context did the word "person" in the Constitution refer to children in the womb. And he concluded from this that the Constitution doesn't say anything about children in the womb. Isn't that fascinating? Of course, if you use that kind of logic, the Constitution doesn't say anything about eight-year-olds, either. So, I suppose we can kill them at will, too. No. It doesn't make any sense, of course.

But aside from the fact that in the negative sort of way it makes no sense, it also is not true. The problem, of course, is that Blackmun approached it the way, I don't know, a sophomore in some college class might approach it, instead of sitting down and actually reading the Constitution and seeing what was said.

He wouldn't have had to read very far: "We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare," and to, what? "Secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and to our posterity. . . ."

Gosh, that's a fascinating word.

Posterity--what does that word mean? It literally means the heirs or issue or offspring of this generation. Yes? Now, that would include, wouldn't it, people whom we couldn't even imagine. People who might walk the earth a hundred or a hundred and fifty years from now, who would be in a line that sprang from the womb and the loins of folks who sit in this room. They are your posterity. But if those shadows of a shadow of our imagination are our posterity, then surely those children who are sleeping in the womb are our posterity, as well.

[applause]

And the Constitution of the United States says in its Preamble--which the judges have long acknowledged to establish the governing guidelines for the interpretation of the document--it places the claims of our posterity on an equal level with our own. By what right, then, did Blackmun disregard those claims? By no right, whatsoever, except that he disregarded the Constitution.

I make this point, though, today, not just in order to satisfy the requirements of a pro-life logic, but in order to remind us that right there in the Constitution the founders of this country reminded us that in our citizenship, and in our leadership, we are not allowed by our Constitution to think only of ourselves. Those political leaders across the board in either of the two major parties or anywhere else who stand before the people of this country, acting every day as if the only question they have to answer is what they are doing for us, what they have done for us--they are not only betraying us, they are betraying the oath that they have taken to the Constitution of the United States, which requires that they profess and serve our obligation to the future.

But that obligation to the future is an obligation that reflects an order of things that was not put in place by ourselves. And this is where we encounter the other moral challenge that we face as a people in this republic. For, the true principles of the Constitution itself, the principles that allow us to understand the why and wherefore of the structure and organization of this form of government, those principles are not stated in the Constitution any more than the laws of the thermodynamics and engineering that govern an architect's drawing are stated in the drawing itself.

Those principles are stated and were acknowledged by the founders to have been stated in the document wherewith they proclaimed the independence of this nation in the first place. And that document not only set forth, in clear terms, the political foundations of this nation's life, they set forth, as well, the moral authority by which the people of this country claim to govern themselves. And that is not the authority of the Constitution. It is not the authority of successful military enterprise. It is not the authority of successful economic endeavors. It is the authority of the Creator, God, that we claim as the basis for our rights!

[applause]

That was said then, but what are its implications for our present situation? If "we hold that these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights," what shall happen to our rights in a land where the name of God can no longer be mentioned in our classroom? How shall we teach these principles to our children in a land where the teachers can be called on the carpet for even suggesting that God has some relevance to the lives of their students?

We have witnessed a wholesale campaign in the course of the last several decades to drive God out of every aspect of American public and political life. Some see in this some service to a regime of "toleration" for different religious views, but we all know that what has in fact resulted is a regime of the utmost intolerance for that religious view that acknowledges the supreme authority of the Creator, God.

But if we deny the authority of the Creator, God, then we deny the first principle of this nation's existence. For, if God has no authority, then it matters not whether or not He endowed us with rights--and no authority, therefore, exists to support the claim of the people to govern themselves.

It's interesting, because we talk about issues like this--for instance, of the separation of church and state and all that--as if the only thing that's involved is whether someone's going to worship here or hear somebody else praying or see the Ten Commandments displayed somewhere. No. If you assail the right of the people to honor God, then you assail the first principle of their self-government, which is that we are endowed by our Creator with unalienable rights leading to the consequence that the only form of government that is legitimate is a form of government that respects those God-given rights. No God, no republic. No God, no representation. No God, no due process. No God, no sanctity of individual rights, liberty, and life.

The denial of God is an assault not only upon the people's conscience, but upon their claim to have from God the right to govern themselves through representative institutions.

The triumph of this false doctrine of separation, therefore, portends not only the persecution of our faith, but the destruction of our liberty. This is what happens when you back away from the moral premises of your way of life. And it is but one symptom of this nation's loss of that moral sovereignty without which the people cannot sustain their right to govern themselves.

But, of course, even as I mention it, we are reminded of the other element of sovereignty that has also been lost by our people, and that is the element of constitutional sovereignty, whereby a government was established that would guarantee that the liberties and prerogatives of the people would not be trampled upon, because the power of government so easily subject to abuse would be placed in different hands in such a way that the possibilities of such abuse would be checked through that distribution of power.

Now, I have to pause here for a second in this little lecture. Why? Because these days it seems like we have to be reminded of so many things. For instance, I used the word "oligarchy" the other day to an audience and had several people come up to me afterwards and ask, "What's that?" And I've to tell you, my heart sank within me, because you're not going to be able to defend the good, if you don't know what the evil is. And if we're forgetting the terminology that allows us to recognize the forms of government that are not legitimate, then we won't know them when there have been imposed upon us. And they are, by the way.

But, so, I stopped for a minute in order to consider the meaning of this word "check." What does that mean? See, because, we use the word now--you check up on something, it means you find out about it. But that's not what the word "check" means in the Constitution of the United States. When that generation used the word, they use it the way it is used in Chess. When you "check" the king, it means you put him in a position where he cannot move, because you're holding him down and then he's got to find an open space to get away from you. You stop him.

So, the system of checks and balances was a system in which you distribute power in such a way that every power is balanced by another, so that the whole cannot move forward without the agreement of at least two of its parts. And second, so that no one part can, by itself, exercise the whole power of government in an unstoppable fashion. That's what it's about. It means that each of the branches hold, each of them in their hands, the ability to stop the other branch from taking action.

Now, it's pretty easy to see these days how the power of stopping, say, the president has been used. We actually had a salutary reminder of that. I wish it had gone a bit further than it did. But the Congress of the United States actually found the gumption to exercise the impeachment power not long ago. Pity they didn't exercise the removal power, but we'll forget that at the moment. [laughter]

They still reminded us that that power is there, and that it can be used. And we know, almost through daily repetition, who reminds us of this check except the courts and the judges constantly telling us that they can stop the application of law in any individual case that comes before them, that they can put it aside in the name of their higher obligation to the Constitution of the United States?

But here's the question on which the future of our republic now depends. The constitutional future of our regime hangs by our answer to this question. If the judges can check the legislature when the law is applied to the individual, who is to check the judges when lawlessly they apply their opinion to the society and to the nation as a whole? That is the question that is left hanging in our times. But why?

It is left hanging because of the cowardice of our political leaders--left hanging because they are no longer willing in the legislatures and in the governorships and the presidency of the United States to exercise the power that the Constitution clearly places in their hands to say, "No!" to the judges and to the justices when they overstep their constitutional boundaries.

And that has been in evidence in so many different places. I remember participating in the sad and willful tragedy of Terri Schiavo in Florida, and going down there and talking to folks and trying to get in to see Jeb Bush. He wouldn't talk to me. He sent out his legal adviser to chat with me--young fellow who scoffed at the idea that the Federalist Papers had anything worth considering in them. That's sad, isn't it?

But why did I want to talk to Jeb Bush? Because I wanted to explain to him that he was in an especially favored position in Florida. The constitution of Florida actually states explicitly that every citizen of Florida shall have an unalienable right to life. Unalienable. Isn't that wonderful? Even the Constitution of the United States isn't that explicit in terms of quoting the Declaration of Independence.

Unalienable means that you can't give it away, and it can't be taken away. Often we remember the second part. You can't take it away, but it also means that you can't give it away. It is literally a word taken from the old aristocratic privileges that attached to rank--so that when you became a duke, there were certain lands and then pertinences that attached to the dukedom, and though you could buy and sell land on your own account as a private person, you could not sell the land that attached to the title. It was unalienable. It could not be given away to another.

We are considered under our regime to have unalienable rights as an endowment--the word again used--from Almighty God. We cannot give up those rights. That is a restriction. That is a discipline upon us in the name of our liberty. And that, of course, means that some judge cannot transfer it to another party.

I tried, I wanted to explain to Jeb Bush that what all that means is that the constitution of Florida forbids the judge from transferring the right to life from Terri Schiavo to her husband or anybody else. Can't be done. Can't happen. He didn't want to hear it. Why? Well, because that would have implied, given his oath of office, that he could not allow that decision to go forward.

See, the governors and the president--the executives in this country--they too take an oath of office to preserve, uphold, protect, defend, support the Constitution of the United States and their state. Like the judges, if they see a conflict between what is demanded of them and what is their constitutional duty, they are to follow the constitution, not the demand.

If that is true of the judges, and I believe it is--I will give them that right. When the judge is sitting on a particular case and he conscientiously believes that some element of the law in front of him is in contradiction with the Constitution, he must follow the Constitution, which embodies the more permanent will of the people. That's a true argument. Hamilton made that argument in Federalist 78. I think it's correct. It's logical. It's clear.

But just as it is clear of the judges, so it is clear of the governors and of the president. And if a judge demands that a president or an executive in this country does that which is contrary to his oath and obligation to the constitution of this nation or his state, then that governor is required and obliged to his oath not to say, "Yes," but to say, "No." If he does anything else, then he does not uphold the law, he destroys the constitutional system which is for us the foundation of all legitimate law. And when Jeb Bush failed to intervene on behalf of Terri Schiavo, he betrayed his oath.

Another egregious case exists just to the south of y'all here. Mitt Romney is now pretending to run for president of the United States as a pro-family, pro-life candidate. I hear the chuckles in the room. I would chuckle, too, except for the tragedy that there are actually people believing him. It is a laugh when somebody does that, which is ridiculous. It is a tragedy when others purporting to be of good sense and decency follow that individual. Some are trying.

When you look at the Massachusetts case, though, two things are true. First, it is actually true under the decision that was made by the court in Massachusetts that no change in the law was affected or even by pretense affected by their decision. They simply sent it back to the legislature and said, "You must re-write the law."

Now, you and I would recognize, wouldn't we, that the judges don't have that right. The judges can refuse to apply a part of a law or refuse to take an action which they believe is contrary to the higher law of the constitution. That they can do. They cannot dictate to the legislature what is to be in the law. For by that dictation, they make themselves into the legislature, and that would violate the separation of powers.

So, the Massachusetts court was trying to do what it has no constitutional right to do. And it is proper and indeed it is necessary in such a case for the legislature and for the executive, joining forces, to turn to the judge and say, "No, there is no law and no provision of the constitution that supports your unlawful demand." If they do anything else, then they have destroyed the law by destroying the constitutional basis for law in our society. And that is what has happened in Massachusetts.

I go through this because, to the crisis of our moral sovereignty, we must add this crisis of our constitution's sovereignty--a crisis that represents, my friends, not just a little fight between the branches, but an entire change in the nature of our form of government. As long as this supremacy, the so-called supremacy of the judiciary, persists, we do not have a republic that is based upon the self-government of the people. We have, instead, an oligarchy based upon the dictatorship of the few. That change has already occurred. And the question is, shall we work to restore our republic, or shall we sit quietly by while it is destroyed?

Now, sadly, the answer to question number two about our constitutional sovereignty actually depends on how well we address the first problem, which is the assault on our moral sovereignty. And I say this advisedly to y'all today. Why? Because I think that sometimes we have a tendency to act as if the Constitution of the United States is just about institutions or just about arrangements on paper somewhere--and we forget, don't we, that the founders themselves told us quite clearly that the Constitution can only work if the individuals who man the posts under the Constitution have the necessary character, vision, understanding, and moral courage to make it work.

What does this mean? It means that if you destroy moral courage, the moral character of the people and its leadership, then you effectively destroy the Constitution.

And this is not an academic point! What is it that kept Jeb Bush from doing what his oath required? What is it that kept Mitt Romney from doing what his oath required? What is it that keeps our legislatures in the Congress and in Massachusetts and elsewhere from doing what is required to stand up to abusive judges who make themselves into our dictators? It is a lack of moral courage. It is a lack of understanding. It is the result of decades of mis-education and destruction in our schools and through our films and, in every respect, in our way of life. The moral collapse of the nation bears fruit in the paucity of moral vigor in its leadership, and the two combine to the ultimate destruction of the republic.

The moral sovereignty goes, the constitutional sovereignty follows. But wait, it's worse than that in one respect, or at least it's more immediate. It doesn't get much worse than that, but it's more immediate than that. Why? You see, because we sit here all peacefully thinking that the other consequence, the one that can really move a lot of people--it's so sad that in some ways what's happening in America reminds me of a story that is told in ancient times about the fall of Babylon. Apparently, Babylon was such a big city--big for its time--that Babylon's walls had been taken and the city had fallen to the enemy, and it was actually weeks later that people in other parts of Babylon realized that they were done for. That's how big it was. You see, Babylon was gone, but they didn't learn until a lot later that it was gone.

You can sit in peace and quiet and not realize that your physical destruction has already been decided. Now, I'm sorry to tell you this, but I think we're very close to that point today in America. Two respects: first, having to do with this so-called War on Terrorism, and second, having to do with what has happened to the borders of the United States.

But sometimes I think--to start with the border question--now, we're a little narrow in our understanding of that, because this border issue right now is of two different sorts. First, it is a question of physical security. Understood in the context of the situation of potential terrorist attack, I have never been able to understand how, out of the same mouths I can hear one day that we must risk our liberties in order to fight the terrorists, and hear the next day that we don't have to secure our borders. [laughter]

I am hard pressed to understand how we can go to airports and wait in line so that we can be frisked, and go through all kinds security checks and so forth, because there's this terrible danger that terrorists will try to infiltrate the planes, and infiltrate the country, and do nasty things to come kill us, and meanwhile we have left the southern border of this country wide open. You can literally drive trucks through it, and nobody will mind the store.

How can we believe these two things at the same time? If the threat from terrorism is true, then border security is imperative. And if border security is not imperative, then the threat from terrorism would not true. Ah! That's heresy in our times, so I won't go there. [laughter]

But let's try on the latter for size. The first one is not heresy. The first one is logic. It is common sense. We cannot declare this country safe from any terrorist threat whatsoever while, literally, thousands upon thousand of unknown individuals cross our southern border every day without let or hindrance. We will not be safe until that border is secure! [applause]

That is not a question of demographics. That is not a question of economics. That is a question of survival. Why isn't it being treated as one? Well, because, again, of the moral collapse of our leadership.

Why do I put it that way? Well, we see this phenomenon in several areas, and I'll be talking about it in another area in a minute. One of the areas that we see it--it's a phenomenon that reminds me of "Braveheart." Have you seen the movie "Braveheart?" Has anybody here seen it? There are sequences in "Braveheart" with a very important theme in the movie, in fact, about the Scottish nobles, and the King of England successfully manipulates the Scottish nobles so that when they might provide the decisive support to the claims of Scottish independence and liberty, they are being bought off. One of them promised some lands here, another one promised a title over there, and so forth, and before you know it, they've cleared the field under the ministrations of the King of England. Why? Because they placed their ambition, and they placed their greed, and they placed their lust above the common good of their country.

I have to tell you, I think that's exactly what's going on on our border. I think we have leader after leader, political interest after political interest, group after group being bought and sold by those who benefit from the virtual enslavement of illegal immigrants, and who do so at the expense of the American people and the American economy and the American future. They are being bought and sold by these interests, because they have not the decency, have not the integrity, have not the moral courage required to defend our nation as a whole. The border issue is, therefore, not just an issue of physical security. It is a symptom of moral collapse.

And final point, that moral collapse not only affects our physical security today, but the security of our sovereignty as a people in the very near future. More and more folks coming to America . . . and they admit it. Everybody who talks about this--the president and all these people who are advocating amnesty and guest worker programs--what are they telling us? "These people are coming for their economic future. They are coming to find jobs. They are coming to make money." They tell us straight in the front, that the people coming to this country are not coming to find self-government. They are not coming to find liberty. They are not coming to pursue the real dream of human dignity that is offered by our Constitution and by our form of government. They are governed by only one thing, and that is their lust for the dollar, their desire for economic betterment. Such a people may be excused in their desire to improve their lives, but from that desire can also come the ability to manipulate them to the detriment of our liberty.

Does such a mentality lead to good citizens--to citizens who will risk and sacrifice their economic well-being for the sake of their institutions of liberty? Or does it simply mean that we allow into the country thousands, who become millions, who will exist at the beck and call of whatever interest titillates them enough with this or that economic advantage, regardless of its effects upon our Constitution and upon our capacity for self-government? The true implication, therefore, of the issue of border security and immigration is that it portends the effective destruction of the political sovereignty of the people in America.

So, there we have it. We live in a time when our moral sovereignty is threatened, when our constitutional sovereignty undone, when our physical and political sovereignty is under assault and will soon be no more. Every pillar of our republic, threatened now with destruction. Who can believe that it will survive that destruction? You may. I do not.

I guess that's one of the reasons--because some people chide me sometimes--I do find it difficult these days to make happy-face speeches. [laughter]

I'll grant you, I do. I begin to understand why it is that all the photographs--or, the paintings, rather, and later the photographs of our politicians in the 19th century. They didn't smile. No. I kid you not. I think it's time we return to this tradition. I used to remember watching Jimmy Carter up there talking, and I remember the speech he gave when he announced the debacle in Iran and the capture of our hostages and all of this. And he's sitting there telling everyone, looking like this. And I'm sitting there looking at him and thinking, "What is this jerk smiling about?" [laughter]

He's telling us about the destruction of our capacity to defend the people and interests of the United States, and then he punctuates it with a smile!

We have come to the time when everybody expects our politicians to smile their way through the destruction of our Constitution, the destruction of our liberties, the destruction of our moral conscience, the destruction of our piety, the destruction our allegiance to God Almighty. I will not smile, and I will not be silent! For, until we are angry enough, until we are frightened enough, until we are concerned enough to stand up and do something about this, that destruction will be certain, and our future generations will be deprived of the legacy that by our Constitution and by our conscience, it is our obligation to hand on to them!

You may smile while it dies, but I have had my liberty for too short a time to hold it so lightly, as some do.

And we are now at the moment when that liberty must end, if we do not act and act sacrificially.

And here's the final point I'd like to make, too, to you especially. See? [sighs] I have heard today some folks say that labels don't matter--conservative, liberal, and so forth. I'm not absolutely sure I agree with this, because when all is said and done, you can't communicate without words, and you can't communicate with integrity unless you defend the integrity of the meaning of words.

Let a persistent assault upon words go unanswered, and you will lose the capacity to persuade and to communicate in any meaningful way whatsoever. And this is what we have done all too often. So, I'm not sure I ready to give up the meaning of the word "conservative." It has a proper and decent meaning, if you think of it in terms of principle--not to conserve a time, not to conserve a status quo, but certainly to conserve our allegiance to the truths on which this nation was founded and which alone can make us free. That principle I will dedicate my life to, as I have done, as I am determined to do for as long as God gives me breath. To conserve those principles is a right and necessary vocation for all our citizens.

I'm not too sure we should just give up too lightly the meaning of words, because words can be terribly important in our battles. But that sense that what we are about is not just a matter of some label, that's a good sense, but it also ought to be clear that the sense of what we are about is not just a matter of some party either.

And I guess that's what brings me here today. The crisis that we face will manifest itself as a crisis of party, but in truth the survival of our republic is an issue that transcends every label, transcends every party, that ought to challenge the heart and conscience, allegiance, and virtue of every decent American. And it ought to challenge our heart and conscience as it did in the days of old, when people had to stand not knowing what the outcome will be to face odds that the world deeply understood to be against them in order first to assert and then to defend the right of the people to govern themselves.

We are surely living in a time when such sacrifice is needed.

It was this kind of thinking that led to something the other day. I was actually on a conference call with some folks who are good friends of mine and one of them whom I have known for a long time actually couldn't forebear to express his dismay in the question, "What on earth led you to go into Illinois? Were you crazy?" [laughter]

And I have a feeling that's a question . . . in our society worships success. So, if you go into a situation where you're doomed to fail, people think you're nuts. And therefore, I imagine, no matter if they profess Christian belief, all of them would have deserted Christ at the crucifixion. They wouldn't have been standing at the foot of the cross, because He didn't look like a success that day. They probably would have been out carousing with Barabbas. After all, he won the election. [laughter] See?

But I've got to tell you. We have so many people in this country now who are out there professing this principle and that belief. It tells you a lot about the true nature of our electorate--that across the board now, people are doing their commercials, sitting in churches, pretending that they somehow or another understand and believe the tenets and principles of the Christian faith. True believers, those who profess belief, they are going to decide the future of this country. For better or worse, they will decide it. And all the politicians know it. That's why so many of them are lying about it.

But then there's a question. What constitutes, anyway, a true commitment to these things that we believe? I've got to tell you what I think constitutes it. It's what challenged me when . . .

[gap in audio]

. . . to stand against America. When they told me that this man [Barack Obama] had actually blocked a born alive infant protection act in Illinois, that's not about--some people say it's about partial-birth abortion. No, it's not. That's about infanticide. That's about whether children fully born and capable of life will be set aside to die, like in ancient times when pagans exposed their babies on the hillside and let them die because they were not fit to live.

Tell me which part of our Christian belief that corresponds to. Tell which part of our America conscience that does not violate. And one who can countenance that kind of evil, I don't care what the rhetoric is. I don't care what the smiles are. That heart is evil and I will fight it!

But I have said so . . . [applause] . . . wait, wait . . . how many times did I go before audiences declaiming no matter what the cost, we must answer the call to stand up, win or lose, under the banner of truth against those evils that will destroy our society? And when the call came to me, what choice did I have but to respond and not to count the cost?

It is that response, alone, which shall now save our country.

And we see it all around us. I see so many of these so-called Christian leaders and moral leaders now, you know what they're being lost by? They're being lost by their desire to calculate, by their desire to see what the balance sheet of results is going to lead to for their empire, for their ambition, for their future. The count the cost, and, therefore, they will not stand firm for the truth.

Well, I will tell you this. Whether it's among our leaders or among the people themselves, only one thing will save the republic, save the Constitution, save the liberty of our country, and that is those who are willing to stand for the truth, to stand for the values, to stand for the character, to stand for the liberties, to stand for the security of this nation--no matter what the cost, no matter what the loss, so that some day we can win a victory for truth and for our posterity. That is what will save us.

And when people come before you offering themselves for leadership, do not ask, "What is your position on this issue and that?" Ask them what people would ask the veterans of old who stood in ancient times offering themselves for the leadership in the defense of their city. They asked only one question: "Where are your means? Are they in the front? Or are they in the back?" Don't even look at them if they've got none at all.

That, of course, is the reason why people shouldn't even be looking at Mitt Romney. This is a guy who lied every chance he got, apparently, in order spare himself wounds. And if people are being so busy being expedient to spare themselves wounds, how do you know that when they come tell you they've changed their minds, they're not still being expedient in order to spare themselves wounds? You can't possibly know. There is no mind. "There is no art to find the mind's construction in the face," the Bard wrote. And that is why our Savior told us to look to the fruit, not to the faces.

Final point. What are you all going to do in this critical time? Because I have to tell you, I believe that the time we are facing is the time for which God has set you apart. I don't exactly know what's going to happen in the Republican Party. But I can tell you what is liable to happen. What is liable to happen is, in 2008, under the pressure of all kinds of phony nonsense, including the betrayal of principle by well-named and known so-called leaders of moral groups and faith, a pro-abortion nominee or ticket will be placed by the Republican Party before the American people--pro-abortion, either in fact as McCain and Romney are, in fact, or in profession, as Giuliani is. But it doesn't matter, does it?--the betrayal will be the same.

When that betrayal occurs--and it will occur, I would hope, after a bitter fight--and for those of you who are constantly asking yourselves, "Every time Alan says anything to us, it sounds to me like he's one of us," don't worry. On every issue, as I often tell Howard Philips--he's a good buddy of mine from quite a ways back now, and who is one of my sterling examples of that character which is otherwise missing in American political life.

Well, I'm often heard to say, I'm staying in the Republican Party. There are good people in the Republican Party. You know this as well as I do. There are decent folks just like yourselves--people who want to see the right things happening in this country--large numbers of them. They keep voting, hoping first, and now hoping against hope, now listening to these phony arguments, where people say, "The lesser of evils. Got to vote for the lesser of evils." They don't bother to tell them that we rigged and manipulated the primaries, so that the only choice you'd have would be the lesser of evils. They don't tell them that. Karl Rove doesn't announce that in the newspapers. I don't know why. [laughter] He just does it.

But that being the case, you have to ask yourself, which part of the scriptures is it where Christ says, "Do the lesser evil?" [laughter]

Where is it?

Where is it in the prophets that it says, "Cease to do evil. Learn to do lesser evil"? [laughter] I don't think it says that. It says, "Cease to do evil. Learn to do good."

As Christian people, some folks woke up. Some folks stepped forward for leadership. Some folks moved into positions where, in this party or that, they were championing, in a difficult environment, things that were needed for the moral heart and conscience of this country. They did it in order to do good, not to do a little less evil than the other guys. And I say it unequivocally, it is wrong to vote for the lesser of evils when you yourself could stand up and offer this nation what is good. [applause]

And that is the great challenge that I think is faced. One way or another, I believe that the banner of truth, the banner of good, the banner of decency, the banner of constitutional American principle, grounded in the Constitution and ultimately in the great principles of the Declaration, they must be represented in the battle that is to be fought in the Republican Party. The standard of right must be raised. It must be raised unequivocally. It must be raised actively. It must be raised without compromise and without calculation. The good and decent hearts still trapped within that party of manipulation must be called to at least one more time to see if they will rally to truth, to see if they will give their hearts to what God requires--and I believe that they are still there and in goodly numbers.

But can I predict what will happen? Well, I'll tell you. If I were to base my predictions on what has happened up to now, then ungodly money and political interest and greed and divisiveness will lead to a triumph of the lesser evil that turns out to be the greater evil because it's the one that slips past you unnoticed. And it will win again, but in that moment, as we have seen in the last election, good many people in that election decided that they were going to sit it out, stay home, because they weren't going to vote for the lesser of evils. Now, I think a good many people, after they have given their hearts once again in the Republican contest to a cause that is then betrayed, will be looking for a home. And when, this last time, Republicans abandon their principles and betray the truths that alone make them a party worthy of their national position, who will be ready?

Because I know for sure that if they nominate some pro-abort at any place on the ticket, I will leave the Republican Party. I have said this before, and I will do it. But I think that it's really important that neither I nor others leave the party alone. We must take with us all those we can rouse so that a new possibility is created for America.

But that means, y'all, that this moment of crisis for the country, crisis for the Republican Party is a moment of opportunity and challenge for you. For, in many respects, in your principles, in your platform, in your courage--in the courage that you have shown as individuals, you represent the very thing America needs most. Are you ready for this challenge? That's the question, and it's not an easy one to answer.

After all the years of people saying this and that, "You're marginalized, you're defeated, you're this and that," the moment comes, the moment that God has set aside to be your time, the moment that God has set aside for your purpose. Will you be ready? Will you be unified? Will you be clear? Will you be open, so that, no, we don't stand aside here to play the martyr, we stand together here to be the leaders of tomorrow? That is what must be. For the moment is upon us, and the challenge is clear and the task will be for you.

And that is what brought me here today. Because I know that in your principles you are ready, and in your founder you have been more than ready, and in your hearts and in your courage you have shown yourselves to be sincere and true. The challenge that is to come is the challenge of offering that hope to our people as a whole, standing not apart to be with your God, but together with others to bring this nation back under the sovereignty of His will.

I believe that this combination of things could lead to a great moment of restoration and revival for America. It will be difficult. The main reason it will be difficult is because Christ was right. It is more difficult for rich folks to get into heaven than for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle. Why did Christ pick on rich people? Apparently, because they wouldn't give to candidates of principle. [laughs] Nah, I'm just kidding, but y'all know what I mean.

It's going to take some scrambling, but I think it will be there. If you are ready, then I think the time is coming when this nation will not only be ready, but be desperate for what you have been and what you can be. And I know not in what form, but I know that as I have in my heart and in my purpose and in my words and in my deeds, I will stand with you in that moment. Could be that we shall join together once again under the banner of a Republican Party restored to its truths, which are yours, or that we stand together to offer this nation a new alternative under the truths that are for all Americans and for all times. I know not which, but the time has come. We are willing. We are wounded. We are faithful. And I believe that all those things coming together, we shall be ready for the purpose God has laid out for us.

God bless you.

MC: Thank you, Dr. Keyes, for that inspiring message and that very poignant challenge to us. And I think we all need to heed what he has said.

We're going to take a few minutes for questions. So, if I ask you, if anybody who wants to ask a question of Dr. Keyes to come to the microphone. We can use the microphone in there somewhere. Is it? Okay. It was hiding. I didn't see it. Let's keep them short, so as many people can participate as possible. We'll just take about maximum of ten minutes for questions, and then we need to move on in our schedule.

QUESTION: Earlier this year, myself and an organization called [State Department Watch?] [unintelligible] and he was basically told [unintelligible] that this scheme was put out by the Cuban ambassador and the Syrian ambassador to make the United States look bad, [unintelligible] was unfriendly to the United States. [unintelligible] What suggestions would you have for this organization that is trying to defeat [unintelligible]?

KEYES: Well, I think that the most important thing is to make sure the American people are aware of what's going on. Nothing in the U.N. Charter allows the United Nations to despoil us of territory against our sovereignty. And we must never allow it to happen. And insofar as any government or administration moves in that direction, they ought to be held accountable for it.

At the end of the day, the only way we are going to hold on to what we are is if, as a people, we insist upon it. That, sadly, has become the nature of the political leaders that we have. So, I think that one element is to fight on the ground there, as you have been doing, and the other element is to make sure that good people are aware of what's going on.

QUESTION: In a State Department publication you were [unintelligible] the United Nations [unintelligible] basically a good organization to support, [part of the global answer?]. [unintelligible] Do you think the United Nations has the solution to world peace?

KEYES: I never said that.

QUESTION: You also said that you're 100% pro-life, but you do support the United Nations.

KEYES: Well, step number one. I never supported the United Nations. I represented the interests of the United States at the United Nations, which is a very different thing. And during the course of that time, we implemented some fairly tough policies that were considered to be anti-UN, though, in point of fact, they were really aimed at trying to bring the organization back to its original purposes and charter.

QUESTION: What was the original purpose of the charter?

KEYES: I think the original purpose is quite clear of the UN, and I don't believe it's blamable. At the end of World War II, some folks got together and said, "We mustn't let that happen again. Is there anything we can do?" I don't believe that's a blamable intention. I believe it's a praiseworthy intention. We don't want the world to go up in smoke.

On the other hand, the people who have, since that time, sought to use the United Nations and its instruments to destroy the sovereignty of our country, to betray the principles of our liberty, to sacrifice the keys to our economic survival and liberty are all people I have opposed and strenuously fought. And my purpose for being at the United Nations with the Ron Reagan Administration was precisely that--to defend our interests and to fight the forces at the United Nations that were attempting to destroy us.

QUESTION: So, you think we should get out of it.

KEYES: I didn't say that. No. That's a question I would answer under the right time and circumstances. I don't believe that we should ever allow the UN any prerogatives that undermine or conflict with the sovereignty of the United States. Rather than do so, we should leave the organization. Should we get up one morning and decide to pull out of the United Nations? No. Why? Because if we decide to pull out of the United Nations arbitrarily, we will expend enormous amounts of American capital, we will be blamed for every bad thing that happens on the face of the earth, and we will suffer for it diplomatically, economically, and otherwise for no good reason. So, before we pulled out of the United Nations, I'd want to make sure we had a good reason for doing so. And believe me, every now and again, they try to offer us one.

But I also believe . . . [laughter] . . . I'll give you an example. I don't want to take too long about this, but I'll give you an example. The George Bush Administration shows you exactly the wrong way to deal with the United Nations. Step number one, neglected opportunity. There are times when it can actually be useful to go to the UN. There's a forum there where you can challenge people to do the right thing, and if they don't do it, you can hold them accountable. Do you know when that moment was? September 12th.

For the life of me, I do not understand why, on September the 12th, we did not demand an emergency meeting of the United Nations General Assembly, and stand there declaring what had gone on and demanding a "uniting for peace" resolution against terrorism, where we would have given chapter and verse to things that every nation on the face of the earth must do to fight terrorists, to restrict their financing, to restrict their movement, and to cooperate in their apprehension.

Why didn't we do it? We had the whip hand at that moment. Not a nation on the face of the earth would have dared to oppose us, and on the top of everything else, knowing the UN diplomats the way I do, the biggest mistake the terrorists made was to attack New York. Those people think that New York is their home, more than whatever country they come from. We would have gotten the votes we needed and we would have codified the authority that was required to do what's needful against the terrorists. Why didn't the Bush Administration do something?

Step number one, they didn't bother. I don't understand why. That was a sign that Colin Powell, among other things, as I've often told people--I'm sorry, I'll say it wide open. Colin Powell was an incompetent, and he did not understand what was required in the best interest of the United States. But then we got in this run up to the Iraq war. I will not for the moment go into the question of whether it was right or wrong to choose Iraq as some kind of strategic priority in the war against terror. I, frankly, have said in the past and would say now--and not with the wisdom of hindsight either--it was not what would have been my choice. Having, however, determined that we were going to go to war, and what we said was the best interest of defending the American people against weapons of mass destruction and other terrible elements of terrorism, somebody explain to me why it is that we see fit to then take the question to the United Nations?

When we respond to an attack on the United States, and are moving forward with a strategy necessary to defend ourselves, we don't have to ask a "by-your-leave" from the UN, especially not when the regime established by the UN to keep Iraq under control had collapsed, without any effective action from other member nations. Why on earth did Colin Powell suggest we should then create that circus which gave the Europeans an opportunity to spit all over us, act self-righteously, and so forth?

Final, point. When we won the military victory in Iraq--which, thank God, everybody assumed we would. (If we hadn't, I would have been deeply shocked. After spending all the money we do on our military, we couldn't defeat a two-bit army like the Iraqi army? Okay.) So, we win military victory. What should have happened? Well, and this is not the wisdom of hindsight either, because I said so at the time. What we should have done at that point is keep the security aspects to ourselves and turn all the political junk over to the UN. That's part of why it's there.

This whole business of nation building and shepherding people through representative government--I love it. I think it's a great idea. Hey! How many people here believe that we're going to introduce representative self-government in the Middle-East in the Arabic and Islamic countries, where they have never known not even one moment of liberty and self-government, as individuals or as a people where even some of their own clerics stand up and declare that their religion is contrary to the very principles of self-government? How many people think we're going to do it, in one year, in five years, in one generation? I don't think we will! Why on earth did we set it as our objective? It makes no sense! You set yourself up for failure, and we did.

Instead, we should have turned to the international community, and said, "Look. We established a UN because it was supposed to, among other things, help nations along the road to self-government." Some of the things that are put in that charter were our things, and they're not bad things. Why do we never use them against these bad guys? Put them on the spot. You should be working, all of you, to help these people to achieve representative institutions of self-government. Get in here with your money, and with your workers, and with your . . . and guess what? Right this minute, would it be our prestige that was on the line? No. We would be valiantly defending the prestige of this international effort! A smarter way to go. Why didn't Colin Power think of that? Why didn't Condi Rice think of that? Why didn't G.W. Bush think of that? Ask yourself that question.

Because I think that sometimes we wear blinders, we have prejudices. There should be no blinders and no prejudices when it comes to figuring out what we do to defend the interests of this country. Think it through in a hard-headed, clear, cold-blooded way and apply it, so that the interests of this nation will be served. And every now and again, a moment comes along when you can actually use the UN for that purpose.

So, two things--defend our sovereignty at all costs, including withdrawing from the United Nations. Which, as Chuck Wittgenstein declared when I was there at the UN we'd be perfectly happy to do. And then, as long as we put up with it, challenge them, whenever we can get the whip hand, to do what will serve the better values for humanity that we represent and that we, in part, built into that organization. Don't forget that.

Yes.

QUESTION: I have a question about your opinion and your views. Is there a productive way to talk to our clergy people and ask them to stop the silence [unintelligible]?

KEYES: Well, yes, there is, but a--let's see. The ones like Chuck Baldwin, who get it, you don't have to deal with in this way, and the ones who don't get it, you can only deal with in this way. But unhappily, it's not the right way. Because the ones who get it are clearly moved by faith, by allegiance to God and truth and principle. And the ones who don't get it are moved by what? By calculation and allegiance to empire building and ambition--a desire not to rock the boat while they build of the size of their congregation, all in the service at what is at the end of the day a very materialistic and worldly ambition.

Now, of course, I know people will profess otherwise. They will tell you, "No. No. I'm doing it so we can save more souls." How would you save souls when you refuse to preach truth from your pulpit? How do you save souls when you leave people at the prey of evil in the world, so they become complicit in the devil's work of destroying family, destroying the integrity of human sexuality, destroying the innocent lives of children in the womb, destroying the moral fabric of this country? Does this serve God? Does it serve Christ? Is it compassionate that we should have folks who will keep their people in their allegiance to a party that drives God from every aspect of our public life, public policy, laws, and living? This can't work. See? Because we are supposed to bear witness of the truth in every area of our lives, and that would include our citizen vocation.

So, the pastors who are out there not doing it are not saving souls. They are leading them astray, and at some point, they will be held accountable for failing to live out and walk the walk of Christ's truth. Even though it leads to some political or economic or other Calvary, we must stand there, we must accept, as Christ did, the sacrifice that is required by our Father.

If they don't preach this, I think that there's apparently one message they do get. They may not get it from rich folks, but at lot of them are supported. It's amazing that some churches they have some rich donors, but by and large the churches are supported on the hard-won earnings of middle income people of faith. And I think that the best thing we could start doing is the same thing we're not at liberty to do, but ought to be, to the government--keep the money home. Don't give it to folks who are willing to make whatever compromises they must with the world, but who will not stand faithfully for the truth.

I think that's a language that they might understand, and to some extent, I suppose, people recognize this. But as long as folks go on accepting, go on imbibing, go on buying from and attending churches where folks are willing to embrace every kind of evil . . . I have to say there's a fellow who has become famous now. He's earned his money from this book, and then goes and invites Barack Obama to some on a conference on AIDS. This is amazing to me.

It reminds me, by the way--Howard Philips and I were having a chat not long about the whole business now with Iraq. And I was pointing that some people are suggesting that we should talk to Iran and Syria in order to help with the situation in Iraq. And I said that that was like the Mafia and their protection schemes. You see, the Iranians and Syrians are mainly responsible for the problem in Iraq. And now we're going to talk to them about the terms on which they will stop causing the problem. That's a protection racket. See?

I think to some extent, wouldn't you have to acknowledge that these liberals who stand up and go to all these conferences on AIDS and profess to be so compassionate and meanwhile they represent the licentious morality that has resulted in the near destruction of the population of Africa, among other places? No. That's a protection scheme. We encourage the licentiousness that leads to an epidemic of the problem and then we show up and prove what wonderful, compassionate people we are by going to conferences about how they'll stop it. "By their fruits ye shall know them." And when their fruits are the tolerance of millions of dead babies in the womb and in the world, that's enough to know that they are evil and do not belong in conferences on your church property. But I guess not, in this case, that's sad.

So, I think we need to start making it clear what that, at the end of the day, one must make clear, that you're not going to buy phony religion, but will rather stick with the true gospel of Jesus Christ, and walk the walk, rather than let your money back a talk that then isn't matched by deeds.

QUESTION: [unintelligible] Constitution Party [unintelligible].

KEYES: When I say act sacrificially . . . I mean, you can beat the doors down to try to get folks into the Constitution Party. It may or may not require that you act sacrificially, because we still reasonably free to do that in America--for how much longer, I'm not sure, but it's still the case. And, so, I certainly think we ought to be putting forward every effort within those parameters, but I would not be the one to try to stand before this group of folks and preach about what it means to act sacrificially. You act the gentleman from the Constitution Party who ran for office in spite of the fact that they fired him for his job. That's acting sacrificially. You run, in spite of the fact that you're going to be held up, as Chuck Baldwin is, to opprobrium and abuse and attacks. You stand for the truth, no matter what. While some people are out building congregations of thousands, you will speak to your congregation of hundreds, but you will speak the truth as God requires. That's acting sacrificially. You take the risk. You're going to be criticized at work and at school and this place or that, but you will stand when you hear the lie to make a quiet point--with love and compassion, but with certainty and persistence about what is the truth, and finally you will put that in political fact. See?

Because I think one of things that is so detrimental these days is a kind of go-along-to-get-along attitude that is now generally encouraged throughout American politics. "We'll agree to disagree." See? "And we'll agree to disagree until the republic has perished, and whether we agree or not won't matter because our people will no longer govern themselves." No. If we're going to agree to disagree, then let's follow the literal meaning of that phrase and disagree every chance we get. See? [laughter, applause]

MC: Let's thank Dr. Keyes again. [applause]

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