Alan Keyes
Patriots: uphold moral premises that unite us
By Alan Keyes
July 27, 2015

In ordaining and establishing the Constitution of the United States, the first stated goal of the American people was "to form a more perfect union." This goal reflected prudent concern over the dangerous flaws of the national government established by the Articles of Confederation, concern that gave rise to "an opinion...that a general convention for revising the articles of Confederation would be expedient." Unlike the purblind scientistic materialists of the present day, however, leading lights of America's founding generation understood that the political challenge is not simply a matter of political engineering – i.e., arranging people as if they are things. Institutional arrangements matter, but only in the context of remembering the true issue of unity in human affairs. Can human community be understood in strictly material terms, or does it always depend on a moral understanding, one that leads people to defy material odds for the sake of their common moral purpose?

As a matter of fact, America was founded by people who shared a common moral understanding. This allowed them to focus on the question of what arrangement of institutions was best for implementing it. But in the course of the late 19th and 20th centuries, our elites fell prey to the lie that purely materialistic empirical science, suitable for dealing with material objects (up to a point, anyway) is also suitable for dealing with human affairs.

The majority of grassroots, regular folk in our country remain deeply suspicious of this lie, and ultimately resistant to it. But they are also susceptible to manipulation in material terms. The elitist faction strategists know that, absent voices that remind Americans of their moral unity, their faction's material power allows them to divide and conquer, setting material fears and ambitions against one another, so as to leave the elitists in the driver's seat while the rest of the people fight amongst themselves.

The most effective political tool against this divide-and-conquer strategy is to remind Americans of goodwill of their moral heart and purpose. The elitist faction strategists know this, and so they do everything in their power to keep people from hearing voices that remind them of their moral common ground. I know this firsthand from my experience with the tea party effort.

The grassroots uprising against GOP betrayal of principle began in the 2006 electoral cycle, as people rose up to challenge the GOP's abandonment of fiscal and budgetary responsibility that has always been a key tenet of the GOP platform. Contrary to the deceitful storyline fabricated by the elitist faction media, this political uprising was not mainly about the money. It was about the fact that skyrocketing debt betrays our nation's future, burdening our children and grandchildren in a way that would end up making them slaves of elitist faction government, corporate, and financial power.

I addressed rallies and gatherings in the early days of what came to be known as the tea party movement. (That name, suggested and applied by elements of the elitist faction-controlled media, falsely evoked what should have been the goal, a new political vehicle. But it was invoked as a kind of "virtual reality" figment, a party that wasn't a party. This set it up to be co-opted and defused, which is exactly what happened.) In my speeches to tea party gatherings, I always presented the failure of fiscal responsibility as a deep moral concern, one that threatened the moral premises and aims of America's constitutional self-government.

At every such gathering, this message got a powerful response from the crowds. When the agents of the GOP quislings moved in to co-opt the movement, one of the terms of their monetary and other material aid was to insist that people like me, who emphasized the moral principles, aim, and context of the movement, be excluded. They wanted presentations exclusively focused on money and materialism.

I never agree to leave the issues of right and justice out of my speeches because I know the wicked purpose and results liberty's enemies seek to achieve by doing so. How can I appeal to the common heart of Americans if I lie about the moral premises we have in common?

Without those moral premises, the elitist faction's divide-and-conquer strategy will always succeed. It's wrong to approach politics as if it's simply a matter of mechanical engineering. Human beings aren't like stones, metal, or other material substances. In our politics, and in human affairs generally, we must respect the difference between arranging things and persuading people. And the difference is all about the use of force, and the fear it engenders.

But constitutional republican self-government in the United States rejects tyranny. So it is supposed to reject material force as the basis for political life. But this means that pretending to unite people exclusively on the basis of their material fears and/or ambitions is actually a way of distracting them from the common moral premises that unite them. Instead of unity, it fosters incessant strife, bickering, and division. This subverts the moral character many American voters have in common, as seen in their commitment to stand, "with firmness in the right as God gives them to see the right," in defense of the unalienable rights with which He has endowed us all. In surrendering this commitment, they surrender the standard of their rightful liberty, which is also the standard of the "more perfect union" required to sustain it.

The elitist faction enemies of liberty know this. That's why their most persistent efforts aim at confusing and destroying the common moral sense of the American people. Issues like abortion and the forcible imposition of a judicially fabricated "right" to homosexual marriage are just weapons they are using to achieve that aim. The way to stop them is to declare our firm and positive determination to recover and apply the moral understanding on which our nation is based, as articulated in the Declaration of Independence, and then to apply that understanding in the way we meet every challenge we face as a nation.

We must become political activists willing to do this, and insist on representatives who have the same will. Otherwise we will very shortly lose America's decent soul, and with it all the blessings of rightful liberty. Moral confidence is the most powerful source of energy in the battle for liberty. Recover the understanding that sustains it and, like the first American patriots, we will prevail, even despite the material advantages of our liberty's elitist faction foes.

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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