Still For Keyes?!

Now that George W. Bush has clinched the Republican nomination, you might think that I would withdraw my endorsement of Alan Keyes, and urge everyone whose state has yet to hold its primary to vote for Bush. But I have not, and I want to explain why.

The classic argument is that now that the winner is a foregone conclusion, any vote for anybody else is a wasted vote. However, when there is no longer any viable alternative, when a vote for GW Bush will have no more effect on the final outcome than a vote for Donald Duck, when arguably every vote is a wasted vote, it is a vote that is not from the heart that is truly a "wasted" vote. The inevitability of Bush liberates those who supported Ambassador Keyes in their heart, but felt compelled to choose between Bush and McCain in order to not "waste" their vote, to vote their conscience.

By choosing to vote for Alan Keyes now, you show where you stand and what your concerns are. Bush's appeal is so vague and amorphous that it is almost impossible to tell why people are voting for him. But a vote for Keyes sends a clear signal of where you stand and where you think this country's priorities lie.

A Vision America Hungers For

Just over eleven years ago, Ronald Reagan relinquished his office. Since that time, for those eleven long years, America has been without a leader of vision, a leader that inspires Americans to the greatness within them. Only one man now running embodies the vision and inspiration that Reagan brought to America.

Today, America's gravest crisis is moral. And Ambassador Keyes is facing it foursquare.

Keyes earned his doctorate in political science, studying the thought of our Founding Fathers. No other candidate has engaged in as much systematic study of their writings, and no other candidate has developed such a consistent political philosophy. At a time when it seems that the interpretation of the Constitution wanders ever farther from the intent of the Framers, it is vital that we have someone who deeply understands the thought of the Founders and intends to restore the original meaning of the Constitution.

"Keyes Can't Win!"

Everywhere that Dr. Keyes goes, he encounters people who tell him that they support him in their heart, but plan to vote for someone else because he "can't win." However, Keyes makes a good point. After the Clinton years, Americans say they want a leader who doesn't look at polls, who stands up for what he believes in. But voters must be willing to follow their own prescription. Many voters are picking candidates based on polls, voting for someone they believe can "win" rather than the one who stands where they do, then wonder why they get leaders who rely on polls to make up their minds.

However, this song that Republicans should vote for someone who can "win" is not a new one. In 1980, it was the line used by the supporters of none other than George Bush. Jimmy Carter is weak, he is vulnerable, they said, but Reagan is "too extreme," he is "unelectable." They urged Republicans not to throw away the golden opportunity to reclaim the White House by supporting Reagan. The country might be ready to throw Jimmy Carter out, but only if the alternative were a wishy-washy Rockefeller Republican like George Bush. Fortunately, Republicans had the courage to stand by their convictions, rejecting the creature of the Eastern Establishment and voting instead for a real leader.

Perhaps Bush could have beaten Jimmy Carter in 1980, and his supporters would have regarded that as a vindication of their appeal to "electability." But it simply would not have been the same as Reagan's victory. By calling on Americans to rally to his vision for America, Reagan brought about a conservative realignment and patriotic renewal that Bush could not have. Reagan liberated the Republican Party from the dead hand of the ossified Establishment elites, unleashing a dynamic conservatism far more vibrant than Bush-style antidisestablishmentarian Republicanism.

The lesson of 1980 is clear. Conservatives win when they stand proudly for their beliefs, behind a champion with vision. And even if they won with a mushy candidate like Bush, it would hardly be a victory worth winning.

George W Bush

The first word about George W Bush was exciting: a dynamic young governor, incredibly popular in his state, able to appeal to blacks and Hispanics, yet, unlike his father, a true conservative. Under his father, America suffered four years of lack of vision and mediocrity, but it sounded as if the son would surpass the father. Sadly, though, the longer the campaign goes on, the more it seems this Texas tornado is in fact a Texas tall tale.

In 1996, I started out with a higher opinion of Bob Dole before the primaries than after. Similarly, my opinion of young Bush has fallen as he has shown himself lacking.

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version:3/30/00 (11/21/00 link updated)