Alan Keyes
A catch-22 for the people
By Alan Keyes
October 29, 2012

When the GOP nominated John McCain in 2008, it was the first time the GOP wing of the elitist faction set the stage for a presidential election that was plainly a choice of evils from a conservative point of view. I refused to go along with the so-called conservatives who agreed to overlook McCain's leftward makeover in just about every policy area except national security. I particularly objected to deceiving grassroots people curious about my views, by touting McCain as "pro-life" when the facts convinced me that he had shed his pro-life skin as part of his makeover in pursuit of the presidency. At the time, I explained at some length why I thought the "lesser of evils" approach to voting violated the requirements of good conscience, jettisoned the principles of constitutional government, and set conservatism on the path to extinction.

I also expressed the view that once they learned what a radical socialist ideologue Obama was, the American people would be hit with an urgent need to vomit him up like a bad meal. And despite the fact that Mitt Romney actually offers no clear alternative to the socialist path Obama wants to kick us down, there's still a good chance that on Nov. 6 the people will finish what they started in 2010. The body politic will empty its stomach, warily accepting the fact that the GOP offers the only readily available facility for doing so.

For months now, I've risked the assaults and silly slanders of outraged GOP partisans by trying, in every way I can, to make it clear that this year's presidential election is a set-up. The Obama/Romney alternative is a choice between the frying pan and the fire. Because we've been rapidly shriveling on the fire since 2008, I have no trouble understanding that the more even-tempered frying pan looks good. But I also have no trouble keeping in mind that either way, our goose is cooked.

I think that the elitists responsible for putting us in this Catch-22 situation probably prefer Romney to Obama. With Chef Romney, it will take a little longer to serve dinner, but the meal won't leave such a burnt and bitter aftertaste in their mouths. That's small comfort for the people being roasted alive, however. Of course, some of them may take a little pride in the prospect of being a more tasty meal. But, now that I think of it, aren't people such as that likely to prefer Chef Obama?

In this respect, the upcoming election is a classic example of that old definition of democracy: two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner. In this case, though, one wolf is in a handsome sheep's outfit, politely mimicking his opponent's conviction that the sheep will surely be slaughtered if they vote with the other guy. In this respect, at least, sheepish voters can rest assured that both parties speak the truth.

Perhaps the saddest aspect of this election is one not quite covered by that old analogy. It's the scenario in which the sheep are already in the slaughter pens, and the vote is to decide who among them gets eaten first. Are we there yet, do you think? Are people so estranged from anything like the mentality of a free people that they are content to be whipped into a partisan frenzy over which chef thinks they won't be table ready until they've been fattened up a little, more or less?

If we take no account of the moral and spiritual dimension of human life, this matter of timing might be the right standard for government work. But most of us, for as long as we live, share a common sense that we are worth more than the organic matter of which we are composed. We are inspired by the examples, past and present, of people who measured their worth by a standard that looks to the quality of our actions, and the corresponding qualities of heart and spirit that cannot be seen or measured, in and of themselves, except by a sense that is, like them, unseen until it shows itself in acts that speak of justice, truth, and the love of God that attaches us to both.

Though the self-serving "pragmatists" who seek to replace them want us to forget it, America's founders acted on a vision of our humanity derived from this common sense of our moral/spiritual vocation. It is what led Madison to see justice (not "problem solving") as the indispensable end or aim of government. It is what led Jefferson to tremble at the implications of slavery when he remembered that God is just and that his justice will not sleep forever. It is what led Lincoln to understand that few can brave the suffering and death war necessarily involves except they are imbued with courage, inspired by the sense of God-endowed right. This is the sense that makes the length or brevity of life less the measure of its worth than the quality of right (as God gives us to see the right) we show to be essential to our humanity by the way we choose to live it.

Since at least the end of the Reagan era, the GOP's elitist faction leaders have been more and more inclined to join their counterparts in the Democratic Party in open, adamant rejection of the founders' vision of Creator-endowed humanity. In one way or another, they have been implementing an understanding of politics derived from the ungodly, soulless conception of human life common to all the socialist ideologies. It derives as well from an idea of human "progress" erected upon the increasingly improbable theory that human beings are nothing more than an accidental complexification of primordial sludge.

With the success of Mitt Romney, the GOP's elitists mean openly to confirm and consolidate the Party's abandonment of the Declaration heritage that Lincoln's statesmanship established as the unequivocal basis of our identity as a free people. In the 2012 election, Americans are making a historic choice, but many are making it unbeknownst to themselves. It is emphatically not the choice between Romney and Obama. It's the choice quietly to accept the elitists' redefinition of politics, which decisively abandons the basis in principle for constitutional self-government; or to consider instead voting in the only way that still offers an effective chance to affirm, at least in principle, that we are a people determined never to surrender our liberty. If you have not yet considered the Platform Republican approach to the 2012 election, there's still time, though it is running out. Why not take a look?

To see more articles by Dr. Keyes, visit his blog at and his commentary at and

© Alan Keyes


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Alan Keyes

Dr. Keyes holds the distinction of being the only person ever to run against Barack Obama in a truly contested election – featuring authentic moral conservatism vs. progressive liberalism – when they challenged each other for the open U.S. Senate seat from Illinois in 2004... (more)


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