I know, I know. He's a homophobe, he doesn't believe in reproductive rights, he's against stem-cell research, he wants to privatize Social Security, he wants a national flat tax, he doesn't believe in any firearm regulation, and he's a pro-tort reform, pro-voucher, pro-school prayer, anti-sex education conservative.
But those are reasons for liberal disgust. What does Keyes advocate that the Republican Party does not? Keyes, unlike Bush, Hastert, and the rest of the Republican leadership, doesn't mince any words. He tells voters what he actually believes. Alan Keyes's conservatism doesn't need to cower behind meaningless platitudes like "ownership society," "compassionate conservative," or "transformational power of liberty."
Lets start with Keyes's condemnation of "homosexual rights." The Bush campaign says it wants to protect marriage, that's all. For real Republicans it's not just about "protecting marriage"it's about saving society. Alan Keyes isn't afraid to say what Republicans actually believe: Gay people are bad people. According to Keyes, homosexuals are "selfish hedonists" whose radical agenda threatens the (obviously) Christian fabric of American society. Keyes, like the mainstream Republican Christian Coalition (boasting more than two million members!), knows that the Federal Hate Amendment is only the first step on the crusade against "the complete normalization of homosexuality in America." In fact, Keyes connects the destruction of the "homosexual agenda" to all sorts of ideas, from agriculture (step one is abolishing the Fed) to economic theory.
With gays, of course, comes guns. President Bush, however, betrayed the National Rifle Association and its four million plus members by endorsing the Clinton assault weapons ban, although he was about as enthusiastic as a dog on its way to the vet. When the president was asked in Holland, Michigan this September why he let the ban lapse, one of his aides told us all we needed to know: "All right, guys. Thank you." Why bother to play this game? Candidate Keyes doesn't think the federal government has any place regulating firearms. Now, who is the real conservative there? Should America let goose-hunting Communists from Massachusetts seize its weapons and donate them to needy American troops in Iraq? Alan Keyes doesn't think so.
Only God can complete this trifecta. The Bush-Cheney campaign has pushed its wimpy faith-based initiatives, yes. But they also didn't endorse Roy Moore's attempt to place the Ten Commandments on the steps of the Alabama Supreme Court. Worse yet, they had the gall to allow stem-cell research, and banned only partial-birth abortions. Alan Keyes doesn't need to see it to know it. He knows infanticide is infanticide. And stem-cell research, embryonic or otherwise, and abortion, under any circumstance, is infanticide. Indeed, the National Right to Life Committee, with its 3000 chapters across all 50 states and D.C., is probably second-guessing its endorsement of Bush. Search their website and it becomes clear that they have hunted far and wide for a way to make the president look more committed to their cause. The best they could do, however, is a funny sounding critique of John Kerry: he wants to create embryos to do research; he is for life before he is against life. Real conservatives shouldn't have to hesitate when affirming their candidate's mission to end abortion.
George W. Bush is a man who will say anything to get elected. He is, in fact, the thing he pretends to detest: a flip-flopper. Alan Keyes, on the other hand, is a man who represents the true principles of Republicans and conservatives throughout the country. This is something that became quite clear during the second debate between Barack Obama and candidate Keyes. The God-fearing Democrat reminded voters that he wasn't running to be Pastor of Illinois. Keyes' expression read: Why the hell not? I'm sure any conservative with access to Illinois TV or C-SPAN wondered the same thing.