Alan Keyes

American politician (born 1950)

Dr. Alan Lee Keyes (born 7 August 1950) is an American conservative political activist, pundit, author, perennial candidate, and former ambassador, considered one of the leading African Americans in the Republican Party.

There can be no self-government without self-discipline. There can be no self-government without self-control. There can be no liberty unless it is grounded in moral discipline and the ability to do what is right.

Quotes edit

1995 edit

  • It's in the private places of the heart that freedom is made or unmade by the discipline we create there.
    • Delaware State Republican Dinner (8 April 1995)
  • In the great Declaration of our principles, it didn't say that all men are created equal 'if you so choose.' It said that all are created equal by the power and the will of God, and that we must respect their rights as we respect that will.
    • Delaware State Republican Dinner (8 April 1995)

1996 edit

  • The first principle of a Keyes administration, it will apply in foreign policy, it will apply in domestic policy, it will apply everywhere. There is a God, and we are not him! I will not join the Clinton Democrats who worship government as their god! I will not join the Dole Republicans who worship power as their god! I will not join the Forbes Republicans who worship money as their god! I will stand where the founders of this nation stood, and I will give my respect and allegiance to the creator God who is the ground of justice and who is the ground of all our human rights!
    • Address to the Louisiana Republican Convention (27 January 1996)

1997 edit

  • Either you can subscribe to the American creed which says that God endowed us with our rights, or you can subscribe to the abortion creed which says that those rights are the consequences of our mother's will.
    • Southern Methodist University (24 February 1997)

1998 edit

  • Sen. Bob Smith has succeeded in amending an upcoming appropriations bill to beat back the latest wave of Clinton administration disrespect for two key elements of a free citizenry -- privacy and the right to keep and bear arms. Senator Smith is to be praised for keeping his eye on some balls that might have been lost in the smoke of scandal and misinformation that the Clinton Administration seems endlessly to emit. Actually, few things could make the need for vigorous defense of 2nd Amendment rights clearer than the ongoing spectacle of Clinton['s] contempt for the citizens he is supposed to serve. For the 2nd Amendment is really in the Constitution to give men like Bill Clinton something to think about when their ambition gets particularly over-inflated. The Founders added the 2nd Amendment so that when, after a long train of abuses, a government evinces a methodical design upon our natural rights, we will have the means to protect and recover our rights. That is why the right to keep and bear arms was included in the Bill of Rights.
    • "The reason for the Second Amendment", WorldNetDaily (14 August 1998)

1999 edit

  • There can be no self-government without self-discipline. There can be no self-government without self-control. There can be no liberty unless it is grounded in moral discipline and the ability to do what is right.
    • Iowa straw poll speech (14 August 1999)
  • You can't have it both ways. Either our rights come from God, as our Declaration of Independence says, or they come from human choice. If they come from human choice, then our whole way of life is meaningless, it has no foundation.
    • PBS' Newshour with Jim Lehrer (20 December 1999)

2000 edit

  • How does it secure the blessings of liberty to our posterity, to those generations yet unborn, to kill them, aborting them in the womb?
    • Virginia high school appearance (28 February 2000)
  • I deeply resent the destruction of federalism represented by Hillary Clinton's willingness to go into a state she doesn't even live in and pretend to represent the people there. So I certainly wouldn't imitate it.
    • Keyes appearing on Fox News in (March 2000)
  • Freedom does not mean doing what you can get away with, doing what you please. It means, instead, having the opportunity to do what you ought to do--for family and for community and for humanity as a whole.
    • Speech at Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco (4 March 2000)
  • Black Americans make up 10 or 11% of the population, but they account now for something of 40 to 45% of all the abortions. This is a privileged position that I'm not sure anyone in their right mind would aspire to.
    • Renew America rally in Orem, Utah (8 March 2000)
  • The heart of government, coated with whatever velvet gloves you want to put on it, is a mailed fist of force and coercion.
    • Renew America rally in Orem, Utah (8 March 2000)
  • The travesty of slavery wasn't physical abuse. It was the moral abuse of looking at a human being as if they are an animal.
    • Speech in Wisconsin (26 March 2000)
  • The question isn't whether you have a good master or a bad master. It's to be your own master. That is the dignity of humanity.
    • Renew America rally in Alabama (29 April 2000)
  • The First Amendment isn't about free thought and free opinion and free belief. The First Amendment is about free exercise--the carrying into practice of religious principles, and beliefs, and convictions.
    • Alabama Republican Assemblies Luncheon (29 April 2000)
  • There's not a single thing on offer in this all-too-temporary world for which you should ever sell your soul.
    • Lynn University Commencement Speech (6 May 2000)
  • Why do they want to disarm the people? Well, they want to disarm the people on the assumption that we are not responsible enough to be trusted with the means to defend ourselves--regardless of the truth that our Founders thought that this is an essential prerequisite and precondition of liberty.
    • Rally in Idaho Falls, Idaho (12 May 2000)
  • From the time of the Revolutionary War, when citizens stood forward to defend their liberties against the depredations of tyranny, all the way through Civil War, through the great World Wars, this nation has been defended by the tradition of common ordinary folks who come from behind the plow, come from the store-clerking, come from the classrooms to get on the battlefields — ordinary citizens turned into heroes in defense of their liberty, because that's the potential of freedom.
    • Rally in Idaho Falls, Idaho (12 May 2000)
  • At the root of the assault on our liberties is, in fact, an assault on our character--an assault that assumes that we are not good enough to be free, and that aims to make sure that we are no longer strong enough, courageous enough, disciplined enough to be a free people.
    • Rally in Idaho Falls, Idaho (12 May 2000)
  • Harden our hearts to the innocents in the womb, and we have hardened our hearts to the need for compassion, and mercy, and fellow-feeling, and charity, and decency in this world.
    • Speech at McKay Events Center in Orem, Utah (22 September 2000)
  • There are times we don't want to hear about the need to temper our best hopes in order to achieve our most vital security. But we still need to do it. Before we can triumph, we must survive. Before liberty can prevail, the possibility of liberty must be preserved.
    • Speech at McKay Events Center in Orem, Utah (22 September 2000)
  • Our success or failure is not in the hands of our leaders. It is in our hands.
    • Speech at McKay Events Center in Orem, Utah (22 September 2000)

2002 edit

  • Every leader, and every regime, and every movement, and every organization that steps across the line to terrorism must be banished from the discourse of civilized human life.
    • Israel's Independence Day Festival (21 April 2002)
  • I will stand against those who see terrorism when Americans die, but who see suicide bombers who kill Israelis and believe that that is just part of the negotiating process.
    • Israel's Independence Day Festival (21 April 2002)
  • A callous disregard for the claims of innocent human life is the heart and soul of the evil of terrorism.
    • Speech at Thanksgiving Point, Lehi, Utah (24 September 2002)
  • God's irony: that in order to fight and defeat the threat of terrorism, we shall have to be clear about the principle of justice that allows us to understand what is evil in terrorism. And that principle of justice is the claim of justice that is inherent in every innocent human life. But if that claim was there in the Twin Towers, if it was there on the airplanes that those terrorists attacked, you explain to me why it is not there in the womb!
    • Speech at Thanksgiving Point, Lehi, Utah (24 September 2002)

2003 edit

  • On all the matters that touch upon the critical moral issues, Arnold Schwarzenegger is on the evil side. This is a fact. A mere list of the positions he supports is enough to make this plain: abortion as a "right," cloning of human beings, governmental classification of citizens by race, public benefits for sexual partners outside of marriage, disrespect for property rights against environmental extremism, repudiation of the right to bear arms — no more need be said to show that this candidate is wrong where human decency, human rights and human responsibility bear directly on political issues. Last week, we saw Schwarzenegger does not deny habitual crude offenses against young women. Rather, he theatrically, vaguely and impersonally apologizes for them, before a roaring crowd of adoring fans, admitting neither any connection between action and character, nor any need for genuine penance or reformation. The Republicans who vote for Schwarzenegger will owe Bill Clinton an apology for having given the nation the impression that they sincerely believed character to be an issue for those claiming high office.
    • "Arnold's corruption of Republican Party", WorldNetDaily (6 October 2003)

2004 edit

  • Hillary Clinton did what she did for the sake of her agenda of personal ambition, carefully planned and worked out over months in which she was using and abusing the state of New York — because she looked at several other states--as a platform for her personal ambition. I, on the other hand, have responded to the call of the people of Illinois who have asked me to come and help them with a crisis situation. It doesn't violate my principal understanding of federalism, because federalism has two parts: state sovereignty and national unity.
    • On CNN's American Morning (11 August 2004)
  • Hillary Clinton pursued an agenda of clear personal ambition. She fished around among the different states in the union, decided which state would be the best object of her personal ambitions, fomented interest in that state for the sake of her personal agenda. She was a sitting First Lady at the time, so there was even some overtones of intimidation involved in all of that, and she simply used and abused the state as a platform of her personal ambition. Quite the contrary, I had no thought whatsoever of running for the U.S. Senate in the State of Illinois. I have been called in by a decision of the people in Illinois who say that they need my help. That's their choice, and that respects the sovereignty of the people because they have made the determination that they need outside help.
    • On MSNBC's Scarborough Country (17 August 2004)
  • I am locked in a race with someone who is continually described almost in Homeric fashion. The reason I say that is because Homer had this way of attaching epithets to all the characters, so he would never say Achilles, it would always have to be "Valorous, Brave Achilles" or something, or "Swift Footed Achilles" and things of this kind. He would never say Odysseus, it was always "Manly Wild Odysseus" or something; he would always have a little name in front. And you've noticed that my opponent Barack Obama, the media always puts a little epithet in front of him. "The Democrat Rising Star, Barack Obama," "Rising Star Barack Obama." And they tell me that they are not biased. I'm locked in a little battle with the Illinois media right now, because I've had the nerve to identify them as minions of the Democrat party. And they are all upset with me about this — but I have this bad habit of opening my eyes and seeing what's in front of them.
    • Address to the National Federation of Republican Assemblies, NYC (31 August 2004)
  • Remember we had a big debate about partial birth abortion? Well, here is a guy, who, in the Senate of Illinois, voted against a bill that was aimed at making sure that hospitals could no longer take babies who were born alive after a botched abortion — these are living babies, wholly separate from the mother, and are there in a nurse's arms, and in a case that I know of, the nurse is begging the doctors to please help, to do something for this child. And she is told to put the child aside, and let it die. That's not abortion. That is infanticide. That is the taking of a child's life. That is simply murder, by neglect. And there was a bill to stop it. And the United States Senate, in a similar bill, passed ninety-eight to zero. Even Teddy Kennedy and Barbara Mikulski could not find it in their abortion-seared consciences to vote for this practice. But Barack Obama voted to let it continue.
    • Address to the National Federation of Republican Assemblies, NYC (31 August 2004)

2009 edit

  • The fundamental premise of liberalism is the moral incapacity of the American people.
    • Christian Coalition Dinner, February 6, 1999
  • [Barack] Obama is a radical communist and I think it is becoming clear. That is what I told people in Illinois and now everybody realizes it is coming true. He is going to destroy this country and we are either going to stop him or the United States of America is going to cease to exist.
    • Interview with KHAS-TV, Hastings, Nebraska (19 February 2009)
  • Is he President of the United States? According to the constitution in order to be eligible for president, you have to be a natural born citizen. He has refused to provide proof that he is, in fact, a natural born citizen and his Kenyan relations say that he was born in Nairobi, at a time when his mother was too young to transmit US citizenship.
    • Interview with KHAS-TV, Hastings, Nebraska (19 February 2009)
  • So I'm not even sure that he's President of the United States... neither are many of our military people now, who are going to court to ask the question "Do we have to obey a man who is not qualified under the constitution.
    • Interview with KHAS-TV, Hastings, Nebraska (19 February 2009)
  • We're in the midst of the greatest crisis we've ever seen and if we don't stop laughing about it and deal with it, we're going to find ourself in the midst of chaos, confusion and civil war. It's time we started acting like grownups.
    • Interview with KHAS-TV, Hastings, Nebraska (19 February 2009)
  • The person you call 'President Obama" and I frankly refuse to call him that ... at the moment, he is somebody who is kind of an 'alleged usurper' who is alleged to be someone who is occupying that office without constitutional warrant to do so.
    • Interview with KHAS-TV, Hastings, Nebraska (19 February 2009); as transcribed verbatim... from Keith Olberman's Countdown, MSNBC (February 2009)
  • The idea of a terrorist attack that assaults innocent human beings in a building or a mall or a restaurant is bad enough. Yet the terrorist mind that looks at a passenger plane and sees the fuel and the intensity of the blast, and sees the rocket engines that will carry it into the heart of destruction like a cruise missile, but who does not see the humanity of one single soul on that airplane, is the chilling truth of what we're up against.
    • Address to the Black America's Political Action Committee (BAMPAC) (25 September 2001)
  • We must reject dictatorship in whatever form it takes — and especially when it rears its head in our own midst on the bench.
    • Reception in Winder, Georgia (11 September 2003)
  • Without the basis in written law, and without the basis in our Constitution ratified by the people, judges can't make laws. And if we accept the notion that their dictates are law, then we have not only submitted to tyranny, we have abandoned a republican form of government.
    • Reception in Winder, Georgia (11 September 2003)
  • There is a difference between constitutional government and judicial dictatorship. And I think it's time we remembered that our Constitution was not put together in order to establish the sovereignty of the judges, it was framed in order to guarantee the sovereignty of the people.
    • CPAC 2004 (24 January 2004)
  • When we surrender moral government to the courts, we have surrendered the very essence of freedom, we have surrendered its only real meaning--and we will not be free again until we get it back.
    • Speech in Hillsdale, Michigan (7 February 2004)
  • I think the most important thing that G. W. Bush has done is what he's done that's good for America: he has stood against this country's enemies. I don't remember on September the 12th that we counted the bodies in terms of who was black and who was white. Thank God that day we remembered that we were all of us Americans — and G. W. Bush has been a president standing against that evil for the sake of all Americans.
  • Now, you think it's a coincidence that on September 11, 2001, we were struck by terrorists an evil that has at its heart the disregard of innocent human life? We who have for several decades killed not thousands but scores of millions of our own children, in disregard of the principle of innocent human life — I don't think that's a coincidence, I think that's a warning. I don't think that's a coincidence, I think that's a shot across the bow. I think that's a way of Providence telling us, "I love you all; I'd like to give you a chance. Wake up! Would you please wake up?"
    • Reaping the Fruits of the Moral Crisis (7 May 2004)
  • The right response when, in the army, you are given an unlawful order, is to refuse that order. The right response of a chief executive in this state and in this nation, when faced with an order by a court that he conscientiously believes violates the constitution he is sworn to respect, is to refuse their order!
    • Rally in defense of marriage, Boston, Massachusetts (14 May 2004)
  • We have these two different understandings of human sexuality: the hedonistic, self-indulgent understanding, the self-interested one; and the one that has procreation at its heart, and that is characterized by the need to acknowledge responsibility and obligation. And just so no one will miss the point: the reason that homosexuality epitomizes the [first] one is that homosexuals are not haunted by the prospect or possibility of procreation — because they're simply not capable of it. I think this is pretty obvious, isn't it? And it was understood in human society at one point that if you're not capable of procreation, marriage doesn't have anything to do with you, because marriage is about procreation.
    • Rally in defense of marriage, Boston, Massachusetts (14 May 2004)
  • I was reading an article about this case in California, where two lesbians were fighting over the custody of children that genetically were traceable to one, but which the other had raised. You know what? Nobody even thought about or mentioned, nobody asked a simple question about whether the father of those children should have any claim, because, very often in these relationships, they are conducted in such a way and conception occurs in such a way as to intentionally mask who the father might be, so that children must grow up without knowing who their father is. And that means that an incestuous situation could easily arise in our society, it's more than likely to arise--not to mention every other kind of incestuous complication.
    • Rally in defense of marriage, Boston, Massachusetts (14 May 2004)
  • Sex itself only exists in relation to procreation. That's one of the reasons why I sometimes object — and it's just a theoretical objection, but it's worth thinking about — to the whole notion that one calls what people of the same sex do "sexual relations." As a matter of fact, they have precisely turned their back on sexual relations, in order to engage in acts of mutual pleasure that have nothing whatsoever to do with sexuality.
    • National Federation of Republican Assemblies, NYC (31 August 2004)
  • It is a vocation, parenting, that is not just all about yourself, because it is all about that future you will never see. It is all about that happiness you will never enjoy. It is all about that person who will grow to a maturity, offering to the world a gift, one element of which may reflect a little contribution from yourself. But long before that gift is finally delivered, you will likely have shuffled off this mortal coil, and not be there to enjoy it. [Parenting] represents the possibility, which in the end is at the heart of the perpetuation of all our human community: the possibility that we will not live for ourselves alone, but will feel a deep and true connection, with a future we will never see, with a progeny we will never meet, but who, in our hearts' imaginations, we contemplate, with a sense of responsibility and obligation. Change the understanding of marriage, and you have changed the understanding of our character in such a way as to break our bond with that future, and to undermine that sense of responsibility.
    • National Federation of Republican Assemblies, NYC (31 August 2004)
  • You can't build marriage on a foundation of selfish hedonism, because that would be to promise people only roses, and marriage is also thorns.
    • Party for the President (2 September 2004)
  • Selfish hedonism is not a pejorative. It is a description — an exactly accurate description of what is involved in homosexual relations.
    • Party for the President (2 September 2004)
  • I was asked by one of the reports whether or not I would call Mary Cheney a selfish hedonist. I didn't mention her name. See, one of the articles said I had mentioned her. This is not true. I didn't mentioned her. But leave that aside. All I said was, she had come forward as a lesbian, she identifies herself as someone who engages in homosexual sexuality. I have just said that by definition, it involves selfish hedonism. I can't change that. Now, it might be true [that] the argument I've just given is the best argument in support of the Republican plank on gay marriage that I think can be made. There are lots of other arguments that can be added, but, in principle, that's the best one because we need to understand that marriage is procreational sex, not recreational sex. Now, I want to tell you. If my daughter or anybody else engages in behavior that put them under that descriptive label, I will not consent to lie about it, and I will not tell the American people that I support a plank that requires this logic and then exempt my daughter from the logic that it requires.
    • Party for the President (2 September 2004)
  • The gun control mentality is ruthlessly absurd. It suggests that you pass a law which will bind law-abiding citizens — they won't have access to weapons. Now, we know that criminals, by definition, are people who don't obey laws. Therefore, you can pass all the laws that you want, they will still have access to these weapons, just as they have access to illegal drugs and other things right now. That means you end up with a situation in which the law-abiding folks can't defend themselves, and the crooks have all the guns.
    • U.S. Senate debate in Illinois (21 October 2004)
  • The Assault Weapons Ban deals with a fictional distinction. You have guns that are exactly the same guns as are banned, in function, that were banned because of the way they look. And you know, that's the whole truth of this policy: it's to make politicians look as if they are doing something, when in point of fact, they are doing nothing.
    • U.S. Senate debate in Illinois (21 October 2004)
  • The answer to crime is not gun control, it is law enforcement and self-control.
    • U.S. Senate debate in Illinois (21 October 2004)
  • If you go down a road that satisfies your personal predilections and relationships and sacrifices the common good of the country, including the elementary institution by which its civilization is sustained, then you're not only derelict in your public duty, you are abandoning your obligation as a human being. And frankly, people throw around words like "crime against humanity", I think that kind of disregard for the God-endowed natural rights of human being is the archetype of all crimes against humanity, and I think we have an entire elite faction that is now committed to committing such a crime against the American people.
  • It returns us to the dark ages of human oppression, which America was founded to remove humanity from, and it is the whole point of the push for homosexual marriage and homosexual rights. The aim is not compassion for homosexuals, respect for homosexuals and all of this; the aim in the mind of these hardheaded, calculating, leftist, Communist, totalitarians is to destroy the family and to establish the notion that once you have seized power there is no limit whatsoever to what you can do. If you want to tolerate abuses then those abuses can be imposed upon the people. Once you establish that, the abuses are then not going to be confined to egregious outrages like this; those abuses are going to be committed against the whole society and they will in the end include the murder of the masses as has occurred in all Communist regimes that existed.
  • Walter Kasper, a German cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church, said: "A democratic state has the duty to respect the will of the people; and it seems clear that, if the majority of the people wants such homosexual unions, the state has a duty to recognize such rights." So if the people of Germany voted tomorrow to renew the Holocaust, would the cardinal say the German state is duty-bound to re-open the death camps? That kind of spurious legalism helped goose-step Germany into Hell in the last century. Do German cardinals now propose to do the same to the Roman Catholic Church in this one?
    I must assume that Cardinal Kasper would join me in saying, "Forbid it, Almighty God!" He will probably bridle, however, at the temerity of comparing homosexuality to the Holocaust.

2016 edit

Quotes about Keyes edit

  • A Keyes speech on the moral erosion of America is one of those transcendent experiences where you just have to be there. It's hard to explain how he touches the soul of an audience, and saying that he's 'silver-tongued' (as everyone does) only tarnishes the picture by inadequacy.
    • David R. Boldt, writing in The Baltimore Sun (29 November 1995)
  • There was no doubt that the man could talk. At the drop of a hat, Mr. Keyes could deliver a grammatically flawless disquisition on virtually any topic. On the stump, he could wind himself up into a fiery intensity, his body rocking, his brow running with sweat, his fingers jabbing the air, his high-pitched voice trembling with emotion as he called the faithful to do battle against the forces of evil.
  • In other words, Alan Keyes was an ideal opponent; all I had to do was keep my mouth shut and start planning my swearing-in ceremony. And yet, as the campaign progressed, I found him getting under my skin in a way that few people ever have. When our paths crossed during the campaign, I often had to suppress the rather uncharitable urge to either taunt him or wring his neck.
  • While they complain about candidates pandering to special-interest groups, 217 years of this republic have shown that deep down people want candidates who strive to be all things to all men. People say they want office-seekers who are candid, frank, straightforward, genuine, who tell the truth even when it hurts. Who are on the up-and-up, guileless, unartful, undesigning, unequivocal. But nobody has won running on that platform, including Lincoln, FDR and Reagan, and you will be no exception. Voters elect only candidates who are deceptive, duplicitous, bluffers, cunning, crafty and Machiavellian. That's because voters want politicians like themselves. The media agrees. So why are you out of step? Thus, you've botched your campaign. You're going to lose by a landslide. I accuse you of being politically pure, clean, pristine, impeccable and untarnished. Your very presence embarrasses the system because you don't play by the historic rules.
    • Thomas Roeser to Keyes in the Chicago Sun Times

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