Alan Keyes for President

Tomorrow, Californians will have the opportunity to vote for a 100% pro-life Catholic: Dr. Alan Keyes, who appears on our ballot as a candidate of the America’s Independent Party. He’s a flawed man like all the others, but I can mark the ballot for Keyes with an absolutely clear conscience. The AIP makes the following case against the McCain candidacy:

“America’s Independent Party is being built by Reagan pro-life, pro-family, ‘Peace through Strength’ conservatives who believe that the Republican Party, with the pending nomination of John McCain, has abandoned the principles of Ronald Reagan – particularly the Reagan pro-life platform plank that recognizes the personhood of the unborn and their protection by the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution.

The party also opposes John McCain on many other important points, including his opposition to a federal amendment protecting traditional marriage and the natural family; his sponsorship of the McCain/Feingold legislation, which they view as a direct attack on their First Amendment rights to political free speech and grassroots citizen activism; his long-time support for so-called ‘comprehensive immigration reform,’ which they consider to be amnesty; and his support for the global warming agenda, which they believe will destroy our economy and strip us of our national sovereignty if pursued as public policy.”

I encourage every Californian to vote for Keyes, both in support of a growing conservative third-party movement, and as a protest against the appalling “choice” that has been imposed upon us by the two major parties.

Is a vote for Keyes a vote for Obama? Not at all. A vote for Keyes is a vote for Keyes. Elections are not supposed to be complicated: no one should ever feel compelled to vote for corruption and immorality in order to prevent greater corruption and immorality. Steve Skojec explains the false dilemma:

“To show the logical discrepancy here, let’s imagine a situation where a man and his four children are being held at gunpoint. The sadistic gunman offers the father a chilling choice: ‘Pick one child who will die so that the rest may live, or I will shoot them all.’ What is a father to do? Does he sentence one child to death to save the others? Does he do nothing and let them all die? Can he even trust the word of a man who promises to kill only one of his children but spare the remainder?

I’ve got news for you: if you’re a traditional conservative voter, you are that father. You have a choice between killing all the unborn this nation wants to kill and killing only some to save the others. But you will be making that choice – and you will do so without certitude that you can trust either gunman to live up to their word. You know only that some will be killed regardless of what you do. It’s up to you how you want to hedge your bet.”

There is only one reason the GOP takes the pro-life vote seriously: the threat of non-support. We have leverage only because there are other things we can do – and will do if pushed – with our votes, our grass-roots energy, and our money. This time the GOP thinks it has called our bluff. If we go along with the McCain ticket, we prove that we have indeed been bluffing all along, that in the end we are always Republicans first.

I remember good, solid, traditional pro-life Catholics campaiging for “pro-choice” Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2003 and telling me that a vote for Tom McClintock, a pro-life conservative, was really a vote for an even more radical abortion supporter, liberal Democrat Cruz Bustamonte. Thousands of pro-life Californians were frightened into voting for Schwarzenneger rather than McClintock. Schwarzenneger was subsequently elected and has been a disaster all the way around. As a result, the state GOP has been further corrupted and the once-vibrant conservative movement in California barely exists anymore.

Schwarzenneger, like many other prominent pro-aborts, is out of state these days campaigning for John McCain.

If we’re going to save what’s left of our political system, there are only two options as I see it: 1) insist that the GOP run conservative, pro-life candidates for national office or lose our support; 2) begin creating a viable third party. I’d prefer option #1, but I suspect that the GOP is too far gone to save. The third party option seems to hold the most promise at this point.

An Obama administration will be hell, but it will be a hell that we have brought upon ourselves by previous compromises. Just as it’s generally a bad idea to pay off existing debt with more and greater debt, it’s also inadvisable to delay the consequences of compromise with still more and greater compromise. We’ll just be digging ourselves into a deeper and deeper hole. There is an urgency to this election, but it isn’t the urgency of stopping Obama: it’s the urgency of saving and rebuilding a political movement that is an effective voice for the unborn and a force for traditional values that cannot be ignored. Toward that end I refer you to Steve Skojec’s latest column at Inside Catholic:



42 thoughts on “Alan Keyes for President

  1. There feels to me a sort of an unsavory vibe about pro-lifers jumping off the McCain boat in the waning moments of what appears to be a failed campaign. (Jeff was never on it, so he’s exempted.)

    McCain promised pro-lifers good judges and chose Sarah Palin as his running mate – two things he didn’t have to do given the electorate’s leftist mood this year – and it seems bad form to jump off the boat now. While McCain likely did not of that for anything other than base motives, I still like the idea of loyalty, even if in a political context it’s silly.


  2. To paraphrase Sam Francis: when we continually choose the lesser of two evils, the lesser of two evils becomes more and more evil.


  3. Excellent post! Your state and mine will go for Obama, so by voting third party, we can make a difference. I voted the most traditionally conservative man on New York State’s ballot, Ralph Nader, despite his being wrong about abortion and so much else.

    However, if I lived in a swing state, I’d probably hold my nose and vote for McCain. Comments left by a reader of my blog say it better than I could:

    “The best case scenario for this election, as far as I can tell, is that McCain wins, then dies immediately after taking office, and Sarah Palin suddenly forgets everything her neoconservative handlers told her about foreign policy. Every other scenario is too grim to contemplate.”


  4. You can’t expect to score a touchdown on every play. Sometimes you have to settle for gaining a few yards.

    I, myself, by far prefer Keyes, and would vote for him in a heartbeat if not for one thing: Voting for anybody but McCain in this particular election is a way to make sure there ARE no more elections. You’ll be making a statement in a world where all it will get you is a fast track ticket to the gulag. Is this statement — “I prefer Alan Keyes” — worth surrendering your freedom for? Is it worth never having another free election? Is it worth losing everything, including your right to speak out, to ever vote again? Because that’s what you’re risking.

    Obama would not be just another bad, Leftie President. He’d be El Presidente.

    If you’re willing to pay that price just for the satisfaction of having put Alan Keyes on your ballot go ahead. But it’s gonna put you low on the pecking order when we’re sent to the “re-education camps”.


  5. OMG!
    Would you people stop already with the “Obama is the end of America!!!!!!” BS?

    In point of fact, Obama will likely be another Jimmy Carter, an empty suit disappointment who cannot for the life of him stand up to the Establishment, and whose lousy foreign policy looks good only in contrast to his failed economic policies. I’m sorry, but shrieking like a little girl at the thought of a Dem winning the White House is pathetic.

    Obama has never in his career stood up to the establishment consensus. NEVER. He won’t now either. He is pro-abortion, yes, but no more so than Hillary, or Giuliani, or than Romney was before his miraculous “I want to run for president in the GOP” conversion.

    In everything else, he’s center-Left, like the majority of his Senatorial and Congressional Democratic colleagues.

    The Dems this year could win if they were running Homer Simpson. What Jeff does with his vote will make no difference in the outcome at all, any more than what you do with your vote.


  6. “You can’t expect to score a touchdown on every play. Sometimes you have to settle for gaining a few yards.”

    I agree. I’m not against an incrementalist approach, if that’s what it takes to make progress. But those increments need to be moving forward, not backward, and with McCain we are simply retreating. Granted, sometimes even a temporary retreat is necessary. But to extend an already bad metaphor, even when retreating we need a trustworthy General who is not going to stab us in the back.

    How hard do you think John “reach-across-the-aisle” McCain – Senator “Maverick” who fought to water down the prolife language in the GOP platform, who has been campaigning on his support for ESCR, who said on national television that he would consider judges who are on record supporting Roe v. Wade, who would have preferred pro-abort Joe Lieberman as his running mate, etc. – how hard do you think he’s going to fight a Democratic supermajority in Congress over the life issue?

    He isn’t going to fight them at all. He’s going to compromise, he’s going to “reach across the aisle”, he’s going to give them exactly what they want in order to make the trains run on time. Because that’s what McCain is: a ideological technocrat, a utilitarian, a man who is totally consumed with making things work, for whom the ends justify the means. He crossed that moral chasm a long time ago: don’t think he won’t cross it again a hundred times more.


  7. So somebody explain to me how it works: When this AIP is not on the ballot in my state, if I were to write in Keyes, what would it even mean? I mean, does he have electors? Is the fact that a Michigan affiliate ostensibly exists relevant to the actual, legal meaning of a write-in for the candidate?

    I’m thinking of voting CP, despite the fairly weird remarks Baldwin made to a Truther who cornered him at a speech he gave (and put it on Youtube), in order to show anyone who adds these things up where the non-vote for McCain or Obama went _to_. I wouldn’t want them to think I’m a disaffected radical leftist refusing to vote for any candidate. :-)

    Lawrence Auster says he’s writing in Tom Tancredo. I mean, you gotta love it. I, too, kind of wish we could have a Tancredo-Palin ticket.


  8. Lydia,

    For Michigan, I believe votes for write-in candidates are considered invalid unless the candidate has specifically registered with the Secretary of State for that election. I don’t know if Dr. Keyes has done that or not (and I’m afraid I don’t know how to find out).



  9. Danby,

    While I can agree about the empty suit part generally, Senator Obama strikes me as rather more … fervent regarding abortion than the other poly-ticks that you mention.



  10. Zach, Dr. Keyes is an officially-recognized write-in candidate in Michigan and has electors filed.

    America’s Independent Party of Michigan is up and running and has some truly remarkable leaders.


  11. He is pro-abortion, yes, but no more so than Hillary

    Oh, yes he is. He not only voted against the Born Alive Infant Protection Act, he was the ONLY ONE to speak against it on the senate floor – 2 years in a row.

    The federal version of Born Alive passed unanimously 98-0 in the US Senate with Sens. Even Kennedy and Boxer spoke in support on the senate floor. It passed overwhelmingly by voice vote in the US House. President Bush signed it into law on August 5, 2002.

    As chairman of the IL Senate Health & Human Services Committee, Obama singlehandedly stopped the identical wording of the federal bill from being introduced in IL in 2003.

    Barack Obama is so radical in his support of abortion, he supports infanticide.

    In everything else, he’s center-Left, like the majority of his Senatorial and Congressional Democratic colleagues.

    Again, you are wrong. He is the furthest left of any senator in Congress, and the futhest left, and first Marxist presidential candidate we have ever had.

    I voted this morning: McCain/Palin.


  12. Zach,
    You’re right. That’s why i set abortion apart and lumped the rest into the generic category. I do think Obama’s will be a failed presidency, like Carter’s. That means we all suffer, and the unborn most of all. It does not mean re-education camps and purges.


  13. Good post! I voted for Keyes, and have slept well every night since (I mailed in my ballot). California’s a lost cause, as far as the pres. goes, but at least Prop 8 is close.


  14. Note to Tom Hoefling–I know this is going to come out of nowhere to you, probably, but here it is: It would help Alan Keyes’s candidacy in this and any other election if he would make a speech to the effect that he was wrong to endorse slavery reparations from the government (aka from the tax dollars of present-day real people who were not in any way responsible for slavery) years ago when he ran against Barack Obama for U.S. Senate. I know it was a long time ago (what? seven years now?) and may seem like water under the bridge, but it really looked bad at the time–like a pathetic attempt to make some splashy appeasing statement and win the black vote when running against Obama. It alienated people who had previously been some of his greatest fans, because it had such a look of loss of integrity. Yes, I know he had an argument for it, but it wasn’t a very good argument, and it was impossible to shake off the feeling that he had worked hard to convince himself of this weak conclusion for political reasons.


  15. if he would make a speech to the effect that he was wrong to endorse slavery reparations from the government

    When did he do that? I was watching a clip of some of those debates the other day and Keyes happened to be explicity repudiating the idea, saying reparations had already been made.


  16. I’ll have to google it, Steve. It was reported to me during the Obama-Keyes race for the Senate. I’d sure be happy to find out I was drastically misinformed.


  17. Here’s the story, Steve. It was in 2004 at a news conference:

    The write-up of the story contains one hilarious mistake on the part of the reporter: “The ancestors of the slaves would be exempted from federal taxes for a generation.”

    I wonder how that would work? :-)


  18. Jeff, you know I love and respect you, so I say this in all charity — Alan Keyes is a certifiable nut-ball. I’ve known of him and followed him for a long time. He actually has something in common with McCain… both have now lost in landslides to Senator Obama.

    The travesty that the Republican Party has brought upon itself, and the many unwise compromises that otherwise conservative folks have made, does not make Alan Keyes any more palatable as a candidate.


  19. Might as well know the worst, Brendan: Do you say that (about a “certifiable nutball”) chiefly because you tend to regard all 3rd party candidates in that light, or is there something specific?

    I can think of reasons for calling, for example, R– P— a “certified nutball”–reasons having to do with his crazy take on Islamic terrorism, for example. I ever know some people who think anyone who advocates the gold standard is a certified nutball, and while I’m not inclined entirely to agree I understand why they say it. And it’s also an unfortunate fact (as I’ve noticed above) that both R. P. and the candidate he endorsed, Chuck Baldwin, have made weirdly appeasing gestures to, of all groups, the 9/11 truthers.

    But I’ve never heard of anything like this about Keyes. In fact, he seems to me far more “mainstream” than other third-party candidates, and the worst thing I know about him is the highly unfortunate appeasement of his sudden “conversion” on the subject of reparations.


  20. I don’t know much about Keyes. I always liked the idea of him, but since he was always a faint blip on the radar, I didn’t give him much thought. So I too would like to see some concrete examples of his nutballery. What kind of nutball? Mr. Smith Goes to Washington nutball? Or something actually disturbing?


  21. It’s true; I, too, have had the chance to see Keyes up close and in action and he is, quite frankly, nuts. Keep in mind that I once saw him debate a liberal on TV in the pre-youtube years and paid for it, just to watch him debate over and in that, he’s wonderful.

    But personally? He’s crazy.

    You can ask anyone who has ever had to work with him, or booked him for a talk.


  22. Scott, I think they must be saying that Keyes is just _personally_ weird, even a crazy man to work with, or something of that sort, not that he holds nutball positions.


  23. “Jeff, you know I love and respect you, so I say this in all charity —”

    Go ahead, hit me. I can take it.

    “Alan Keyes is a certifiable nut-ball.”

    I disagree, unless you mean he has an unusually intense personality that worries some people. He’d probably be tough to work for. His reparations idea was certainly nutball, but one nutball idea does not a nutball make. Otherwise he’s a brilliant and capable man with solid Catholic convictions. I don’t agree with everything he espouses, but his priorities seem to be exactly what they should be. If he is a “nutball”, he’s much less a nutball than John McCain.

    “I’ve known of him and followed him for a long time. He actually has something in common with McCain… both have now lost in landslides to Senator Obama.”

    I’ve been following him myself since the early ’90s. I saw him speak at CSUS during his presidential bid. I’ve been on his mailing list forever (and don’t much care for his style of politicking). Of all the presidential candidates on the California ballot this go ’round, Keyes is by far the least “nutball”.

    “The travesty that the Republican Party has brought upon itself, and the many unwise compromises that otherwise conservative folks have made, does not make Alan Keyes any more palatable as a candidate.”

    Not more palatable than he is, but more palatable than the alternatives.

    How’s the goat milk soap working out?


  24. Lydia, Scott, Jeff, et al.,

    Search for the video (and, no, darn it, I don’t have a link, but have seen it first-hand) of Keyes earlier this year at one of the third-party conventions comparing himself to an aborted fetus. I wish I could say this was taken out of context, or selectively pieced together, but it is not. You can’t watch this without coming to the firm conviction that something isn’t quite right upstairs with Amb. Keyes.

    I have no personal animus towards the man, and I’m sure we would agree on 90% of the issues, but that doesn’t mean he is a viable candidate (or sane, for that matter).

    Lydia, to answer your question, I have no problem with third-party candidates. I actually believe other parties will rise to prominence within the next 20 to 30 years. However, I do not think they will do so on the strength of their ideals, but rather in response to the collapse of the Republican (first) and Democratic parties, as they preside over the rape of our culture and the slow demise of our country as a viable world power.

    And that’s my *optimistic* scenario…


  25. I understand where you’re coming from; I totally disagree.

    By not standing with pro-lifers in the road with the candidate who had the only realistic shot of beating Obama, you let us get run over and the result is you now have a pro-abortion socialist entering the white house. So I’m glad your conscience is clear – how will you feel when the Freedom of Choice act goes through?


  26. Scott, I think I’ve found the link to the video but haven’t had time to watch it yet. I’ll post it here later if it’s the right one. FWIW, Lawrence Auster said something almost identical about Keyes recently, something to the effect that he doesn’t have the emotional stability for public office. I bet if one wrote to him and asked him for specific examples, he’d send them, because Auster is a detail kind of person.


  27. …you let us get run over…

    Except that he didn’t, as a matter of fact. The third party vote for President this election was so small that if it had gone to McCain in its entirety it could not have brought McCain victory.

    McCain supporters will have to look elsewhere, to someplace other than third party voters, to figure out why he lost.


  28. By not standing with pro-lifers in the road with the candidate who had the only realistic shot of beating Obama, you let us get run over and the result is you now have a pro-abortion socialist entering the white house.

    Stop this self-aggrandizing nonsense. Did you see how many votes Obama won by? 7 million votes. It wasn’t even a close race.

    Do you know how many votes third parties garnered? About 1.6 million, all together, nationwide. This vs. Obama’s 63 Million and McCain’s 56 Million. You could triple the votes given to third parties and Obama would still have won by over 2 million votes.

    You want to point fingers? Point them at Obama supporters. And while you’re at it, feel free to take aim at President Bush and even John McCain, the latter being the worst offering the GOP has seen since Dole (and Dole was a lot more likable).


  29. “You can’t watch this without coming to the firm conviction that something isn’t quite right upstairs with Amb. Keyes.”

    Well, OK, I’ve just hunted down a few disturbing video clips myself. They do give one … pause. No nutball ideas, but a definite lack of, I don’t know, emotional maturity? I’d have to agree that the personality behind these clips likely doomed his political career. God bless him for his message though.


  30. Jeff,
    This is a great post. I think you’re absolutely right when you say “I suspect that the GOP is too far gone to save. The third party option seems to hold the most promise at this point.”

    The are a couple of problems I see with voting third party that, up to this point, has made it completely ineffective. First of all, conservatives need to create one third party that those of us who are fed up with the GOP can get behind. Our ranks are too small to be divided. What really is the difference between the AIP and the CP that requires two different parties? If they agree on the non-negotiables (life and family issues) why aren’t they willing to work together and compromise on the other issues?

    Secondly, for most of us, the only support we give is in the voting booth. (I don’t mean that as a personal criticism of you – I have no idea if or how you supported Keyes beforehand.) Even if we could ever establish a conservative third party, those of us who want it actually have to get behind it with our money, time, and talents long before election day. And preferably starting at the local level, b/c people in the mainstream public will take a party much more seriously if the candidate has some experience in governing and legislating before coming to the national election.

    Sarah Palin (any discussion about her qualifications, vices, virtues aside) without any money or family connections was able to become governor of a state because she first started in the city council. No, make that PTA. How many of us want to (have time to) do that? But to me, that seems to be the only way. These decent candidates can’t just show up for a national election and expect to be heard.

    And we need to start on this now before they turn off our blogs ;)



    This blog post has the “comparing himself to an aborted child” video. It’s too long for me to watch the whole thing, but the analogy comes up in the first five minutes. He’s talking about his not getting along with the Constitution Party. To me it doesn’t come across in this particular like he’s nuts but rather like he had one of these weird thoughts in the middle of the night that one does have (“my political career is like being aborted, because people invite me in and then reject me”) where he didn’t follow the better part of wisdom w.r.t. such weird thoughts: Keep them to yourself. I suppose all of us have thought of bizarre analogies that seemed profound at the time, but in the cold light of day we’ve known better than to be videotaped explaining them. Blogging kind of discourages that self-restraint, because a blogger is almost _trying_ to think of unusual, new things to say. Here Keyes looks to me to be doing the interview equivalent of blogging: “I had this strange thought, and here it is” instead of shutting up about it. But he talks calmly and well. He’s just talking too much and ends up sounding self-pitying.


  32. Lydia, good sleuthing. I hold there’s something about him that’s not quite right. Doesn’t mean his pro-life convictions aren’t admirable and correct.


  33. “What really is the difference between the AIP and the CP that requires two different parties?”

    Sarah, I hate to say it, but it’s looking more and more to me like the difference is that the two parties are run by sets of people who can’t get along together, personally. And that’s very sad. But I think it’s going to be the story of our lives as strong conservatives who would even consider third parties. I don’t know, at all, what to do about it. Here’s a tangentially related case that is similar: Back when we were trying to get a human life amendment passed, I heard that one Congressman told a conservative lobbyist, “Look, you guys agree on what amendment you want passed, and then maybe we can vote on it.” That was really true. The movement to protect the unborn by a HLA exploded spontaneously, because we couldn’t agree. I think something similar has been happening with a federal marriage protection amendment.

    Please don’t misunderstand: I’m not the kumbaya type. I’m not whining, “Why can’t we all get along?” I’m just saying that as a factual matter it appears that the conservatives who have the most integrity and the most passion for the most important issues are also the conservatives who end up not being able to forge a working coalition *even among themselves*. And that’s a disturbing thought.


  34. Lydia,
    You’re right, and I think it’s just a fact of life in general. Those of us who have very strong convictions (religious, political, whatever) tend to be entirely inflexible even when it comes to the non-essentials. In the matters that don’t allow for compromise, we must hold fast. But at the same time this seems to dispose us to a pride that prevents us from being open-minded about the matters that do allow for disagreement.

    Btw, those videos of A.Keyes are upsetting. The last time I saw him speak in public I was a bit concerned about the way he seemed to be ranting and raving but I put it out of my mind. Now I’m beginning to wonder.


  35. Shoot. Last comment was mine. I always do that. My computer automatically logs in as my husband and I forget to change the user name.

    Ah, well, to two shall become one…


  36. “Did you see how many votes Obama won by? 7 million votes. It wasn’t even a close race.”

    So if I understand this correctly, it was okay to vote 3rd party (even though the race was tightening and there was a possibility of a McCain victory) because in retrospect it didn’t matter? I’m trying to wrap my brain around that. To me it seems more like giving up.


  37. Pingback: Obama’s plans for your children « Stony Creek Digest

Comments are closed.