Alan Keyes
Greater than Lincoln or Washington?
Alan Keyes says Trump UN speech akin to Babe Ruth's historic home run
By Alan Keyes
October 2, 2018

"The ball is going, going, going, high into the center field stands....and it is a home run!" (Tom Manning, calling Game 3 (Yankees vs. Cubs) of the 1932 World Series)

Perhaps the most memorable boast in America's history wasn't a matter of words. The Cubs bench hooted laughter and derision as Babe Ruth defiantly pointed his finger to warn his opponents and dramatically predict to all the world what was to come. "On the next pitch, Ruth hit a home run to center field.... it was said to be one of the greatest home runs in history."

In the present state of world affairs, the speech President Trump gave at the UN General Assembly last week reminded me of Ruth's defiant, boastful gesture. Ruth was an icon of the American people in the days when being so meant that someone represented our nation's exceptional genius. Part of that genius includes a capacity for bold self-assurance, reminiscent of the biblical David, who faced scorn when he chose to face Goliath armed with a slingshot and five smooth stones. He too faced derision and laughter, and not just from Israel's enemies.

When he placed one of those stones right between Goliath's eyes, they stopped laughing. When he ran forward and chopped off Goliath's head, he brought the response recorded in the Psalm. It came from the only "crowd" that mattered:

He who sits in the heavens shall laugh. The Lord shall have them in derision: The LORD shall have them in derision. (Psalm 2:4)

God knows that it ain't just bragging when you can make it so.

Like David, the president of the United States enacted his gesture of defiance. Like David, he had good reason to know that the experience of the people he represents justifies his confidence. America's first words as a nation sounded like boasting in a world ruled by tyrants and kings, a world in which no people had ever truly "assumed among the power of the earth the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them." Even the ones who came closest to doing so (like the ancient Athenians of Greece or the Italian Republics of Italy) relied upon their people's power without respecting their sovereign capacity.

The United States of America was the first. As David slew the bear and the lion, the people of the United States indispensably helped to slay the dragon-beasts of prey that threatened the soul of humanity in the 20th century. They had the moral sense and wherewithal to do so because they had already proven strong enough to exorcise the evil demon of slavery, conjured by their licentious ambition for money, power, and domination, enacted in practices and unjust laws that sustained the "peculiar institution" of American slavery.

Like the totalitarian institutions of 20th-century communist and socialist regimes, American slavery was an assault on the truly humanitarian heart and soul of America's greatness. We stood united to conquer those institutions and regimes in the world because we had reunited after conquering them in our midst. The American Civil War was the greatest existential challenge the United States had ever faced, until now. America's adversaries especially derided the confident statement President Trump made suggesting his administration will prove greater than any in America's prior history. The simple fact is this: If his statecraft does not exceed that of Washington and Lincoln, the sovereign people of the United States, defined as such by their successful self-government, will cease to exist.

Our nation now faces, in its most aggravated form, the only kind of threat both Washington and Lincoln agreed would likely be the end of us – the kind that comes from within our own soul, inducing us to abandon the premises of just character that make and keep us free. To meet that greater challenge, we need greater statesmanship than ever before. During the era of George Washington's leadership, as general and president, he could depend on the good people of the colonies, and then the states, to respond to appeals that called upon their reverent respect for the authority of God. In a world that had nothing but contempt for the "common people," such appeals morally and logically sustained the American people's claim of sovereignty, as well as their courage to defend it.

Even during the Civil War, Lincoln could accurately claim that both sides prayed to the same God. The presently ongoing attack on the sovereignty of the people of the United States aims to suppress that reverence now, and in all the generations to come. Its elitist-faction perpetrators, aided and abetted by our nation's international adversaries, are tragically close to succeeding in that attack. Already they have begun the most open assault in our history against Christianity, which stands alone among the world's religions in its explicit recognition that the strength of God, not merely human power, "has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts...put down the mighty from their thrones and exalted those of low degree." (Luke 1:51-52)

In many ways, the history of the United States stands as proof that, in and through Christ, God has indeed done this, and in the process "filled the hungry with good things." But like the Israelites and their kings – after the Lord removed them from captivity and mightily blessed their good faith – the American people, whom God has also often blessed, now revel in their blessings pridefully, disdaining His agency. They heed the sly voices encouraging us to believe that those achievements were exclusively our own.

Relying on God, we proved our capacity to build prosperity in our land, turning the resources He endowed to good advantage. We fought and won mortal battles against the lie that equality, dignity, and safety require the arrogant, repressive rule of economic, class, and party dictators. Now, however, many of us are tempted to let advocates of false utopias revive that lie, albeit at the price of humanity's subjugation to a totalitarian governance, on a global scale.

In his speech at the United Nations last week, President Trump rejected that great deception. He reminded us of the uniform failure of totalitarianism. He celebrated the individual courage, conscience, and good faith that helped us to nurture strong families and communities, on the strength of our mutual goodwill as individuals. He applied that lesson of our history to the world of nations, to affirm the possibility that, by respecting the diversity of peoples, all inspired by their sense of belonging to seek their nation's good will be a source of courage, strength, and lasting achievement, much like our strivings as individuals.

Appreciating such nations as facets of God's design for human happiness, President Trump rejected the totalitarian globalists' destructive agenda. They seek to expunge nationhood from the face of humanity. But the president of the United States invited all peoples to rejoice in the love of their country and its distinctive heritage, even as they cooperatively share the insights into humanity's potential such love has inspired them to contribute to our common good:
    Inside everyone in this great chamber today, and everyone listening all around the globe, there is the heart of a patriot that feels the same powerful love for your nation, the same intense loyalty to your homeland.

    The passion that burns in the hearts of patriots and the souls of nations has inspired reform and revolution, sacrifice and selflessness, scientific breakthroughs, and magnificent works of art.

    Our task is not to erase it, but to embrace it. To build with it. To draw on its ancient wisdom. And to find within it the will to make our nations greater, our regions safer, and the world better.

    To unleash this incredible potential in our people, we must defend the foundations that make it all possible. Sovereign and independent nations are the only vehicle where freedom has ever survived, democracy has ever endured, or peace has ever prospered.
If, as Aristotle said, the beginning is more than half the whole, President Trump's UN speech was a great beginning. All Americans still loyal to our God-endowed destiny as a nation should be encouraged to say to Donald Trump, as I do here:
    Carry on, Mr. President! The course of principle you are charting turns our nation from the path of its destruction. As Babe Ruth did for his team before his most famous home run, you point us toward the place where the best hopes of our common creed, our common sacrifice, and our common humanity can come to fruition. The storm ill souls are seeding against those hopes is far from ended – but if we stay true to the God-revering creed your words respire, we are rounding the turn that takes us more than halfway home. And we've only just begun.
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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