Alan Keyes
After election day, the test of America's soul begins
By Alan Keyes
November 3, 2014

As we approach Election Day, I pray that Americans of goodwill find some way to rise above the tendency of our present corrupt political process, which seeks to focus voters narrowly on issues and personalities, and away from the general crisis of liberty that at present threatens our nation's future.

This morning, I read an excerpt from an essay entitled "America's Lost Sense of Community," by L. Scott Smith. Its author criticizes the notion (which he disingenuously puts into the mouth of Cokie Roberts, as if the idea never occurred to generations of American leaders) that Americans "have nothing binding us together as a nation – no common ethnicity, history, religion or even language...except the Constitution and the institutions it created."

Though I agree, to some extent, with the author's criticism, the argument he makes for it suffers from his willingness to accept the parameters of community Cokie Roberts alludes to. He sees the basis for America's communal identity in our "scheme of government, including a declaration of rights" that is "a reflection of a people's traditions, habits, mores and customs, and arises from deep within their very soul."

Despite the reference to depth, however, there is a certain shallowness about this analysis that results from the pretense that the Constitution can be understood without reference to the logic and principles of the Declaration of Independence. The Declaration speaks for the community of all people of goodwill in the United States, i.e., those committed to the exercise of "right as God gives them to see the right." As is clear in the Declaration, Americans are bound together by their acceptance of God-endowed right – their commitment to implement (carry into action) the understanding of what is just, informed by God's goodwill for human nature.

This is not about "democracy." It is about government predicated upon fundamental truths, beginning with respect for God's predisposition of human will toward justice (i.e., what is right). People willing to act on that predisposition form a community. In the American case, that community has successfully endured the rigors of war in order to sustain their common will.

I think it's clear that Americans today still share that commitment to justice, that predisposition to do what's right and to stand unified against injustice, whether perpetrated against themselves of other human beings. In fact, it is this predisposition that makes Americans so vulnerable to specious appeals to "right" that disregard its connection with God-endowed justice.

Our present political process has utterly abandoned this understanding of the substance of right. Our political leaders have used the word "right" as if it is synonymous with unbridled freedom, what was known to the founding generation as "licentiousness." This many of them do purposely, knowing that this corrupt understanding will produce a result that makes tyranny (whether democratic, elitist, or despotic in character) inevitable.

Americans are still disposed to follow the law of God written on their hearts. This is why the most successful outings in our popular culture are still predicated on the battle between good and evil, with heroines and heroes who end up fighting for good. Tragically, the people who should make it their vocation to educate and inform this disposition are instead busily engaged in a course of deceit intended to betray Americans into evil and injustice.

The American community endures precisely because God's goodwill for justice transcends habits, customs, and traditions. In every generation, people will arise to call the nation back to that transcendent understanding of right and rights, to call Americans back to true liberty. This is the imperative of our time, at least for people who truly wish to restore and conserve the distinctive hope America is supposed to represent for all humankind.

At present, America's political process is in the grip of people who cast aside this imperative. The only freedom they care about is their own freedom of action, the natural preoccupation of those bent on exercising power unlimited by anything except force. This is the disposition of ambition and the will to power, with which they are replacing the disposition to value freedom for the sake of justice.

On account of this disposition, they are in fact willing to disparage, violate, and tyrannize conscience if that serves their ambition for power. So, in the name of specious "rights," they have begun to abuse the force of law in order to force people to attack the God-endowed rights of the natural family, as well as the unalienable right to life.

Because neither of the major political parties has, any longer, any real allegiance to the Declaration's logic and principles, votes cast next Tuesday will, in many instances, have little bearing on the moral/political crisis that is engulfing America's liberty. I applaud all those who have joined in the Pledge To Impeach mobilization, thus showing their willingness to challenge the corruption in principle that is threatening to doom our way of life in decent freedom. No matter which party claims "victory" next Tuesday, America stands to lose, and go on losing, unless and until the real ground of our nation's moral identity is restored.

The effort to organize people for that restoration will, in the next two years, have to focus on the need to demand accountability for unconstitutional actions that are destroying our Constitution and liberty. For though the Constitution does not, in and of itself, produce our identity as a free people, preserving the integrity of its purpose will be the test of whether we still retain the character (i.e., the good qualities of soul and spirit) without which freedom escapes the bounds of true liberty and dies by suicide.

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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