Monday, April 20, 2009

Parties of A Different Kind

Yesterday I returned home at the end of a week of travel and speechifying that took me to several Tea Party events, starting with the April 11th gathering in Pittsburgh posted previously, and continuing on to Washington, D.C.(April 15), across from the Treasury Building and the White House. I also spoke at events in Hazleton, Pennsylvania (April 15) and Fort Wayne, Indiana (April 18). Contrary to the hate filled slanders being perpetrated by the character assassins in Obama's servile media claque, the people I met were not racists or greed driven rich people; nor were they phony throngs fabricated by Republican media hacks. What impressed me most about them, in fact, was that they are not mainly driven by selfish fears and desires, clamoring against some real or imagined harm being done to themselves alone. The present economic situation of the country, and the orgy of debt financed spending in Washington certainly precipitated their involvement in the rallies, but the predominant reaction was one of angry and indignant shame over the oppressive burden it implies for their children and grandchildren, future generations whose representatives were plentiful in all the crowds.

At the rallies I addressed, the attendees responded with cheers and applause to denunciations of the greedy bankers and self-serving politicians whose dereliction helped produce the financial crisis that provides the excuse for abusively squandering the faith and credit of the American people. But they also gave sober and heartfelt affirmation to words that laid a fair share of the blame at their own feet- as members of what is supposed to be the sovereign body of the people of the United States. In their response to such clearly reproachful words, and in many of the comments they made to me afterward, people shared their feeling of shame that somehow, through their inaction, indifference or preoccupation they had failed to understand and act against what has been happening to our country, with all the misery it implies for their posterity.

Though the economic implications of the skyrocketing national debt helped to trigger this shame, at bottom it seemed to reflect a sense that moral decay is killing America's liberty and prosperity. Though many media figures and self-serving political types have articulated mainly money focused outrage, the people I spoke to, and the homemade signs many of them carried to the rallies, focused on the threats to our constitution and form of government. They pointed to the need for the restoration of moral standards and self-discipline. They fervently expressed the truth that the strength of America comes from our faith in God, not in government or even in ourselves alone.

I doubt that the rallies, or the state of mind clear in the people who organized and attended them, gave unequivocal encouragement to partisan hacks, seeking to exploit the situation for narrow political ends.

My speeches reflected the thoughts I have shared on this site in recent weeks. I pointed to the role that both "major" parties played in the leap into socialism. I pointed to the phony show of opposition that I have likened to two heads on the same body, vociferously engaged in mock combat while its feet move steadily, consistently toward socialism and the surrender of America's sovereign liberty. It was clear that I simply gave voice to thoughts and feelings that were deeply a part of the indignation, anger and grief for America that impelled many of the participants to join in the rallies. They feel threatened and betrayed, not just by Obama, but by all their supposed leaders, especially those who have taken their votes and then betrayed them by leading or joining the move to surrender the liberty and independence of their country.

I was surely not alone, therefore, when I raised the hue and cry against incumbents implied in the famous phrase "Throw Da bums out." Of course, people aren't so thoughtless as to neglect the obvious fact that you can't fight something (even something bad) with nothing. They know the present party system has not only failed them, it has failed the Constitution and our very existence as a free people. But the causes and methods of its failure have produced, among the people themselves, a sense of helplessness when it comes to thinking about any alternative. They are like families after several generations have come up within the welfare system, in which children grow up so accustomed to waiting on the government that they can't imagine doing anything on their own. Many Americans have a concept of political action that depends on leaders served up on some Party platter. They have accepted the essentially passive and slavish role assigned to "the people" by a party system that offers leaders the way a restaurant offer items for lunch and dinner. They have forgotten how to cook, how to shop for food, and certainly how to hunt for, gather or grow their own. People have actually come to accept the notion that their role is to choose among leadership grown, bought or prepared by others. They no longer remember that any leadership they do not have the whip hand in cooking up cannot truly represent who they are. Couch potato, consumer politics destroys representative government. (Potatoes are, after all, really meant to be consumed not consumers. Think about that.)

In a republic such as ours the people must be both the matter and the maker of government. Isn't this the clear implication of Lincoln's famous description of the American republic as "government of the people, by the people, and for the people?" I am praying earnestly that the Tea Party Events will be the beginning of a return to the activist understanding of politics without which there can be no hope of restoring the sovereignty of the American people, and the republican form of constitutional self-government that establishes and sustains it. As part of that prayer, I will continue to use this blog to flesh out the possibilities of citizen activism, so that people will understand and follow through on the necessary implication of the move to "Throw Da Bums out." Like the wise general of a victorious army, we must realize that it will not be enough to drive from the field those who have plotted and connived at the overthrow of the constitutional republic. We the people must occupy anew the ground they thus sweep clean. If you're willing to be part of that effort, you'll find some good principles, tools and ideas at http://aipnews.com. Go there and check things out. Then come back here to help me think them through.

18 comments:

Christopher Gillespie said...

Dr. Keyes,

Thank your attending and speaking to the Fort Wayne party. I posted my comments on my blog:

http://dizzysound.net/blog/2009/04/19/virtue-and-politics/

jnewl said...

While I, in general, agree with you, Dr. Keyes, the notion of representatives raised up from the people rather than paraded around before the people like beauty contestants has some problems. The greatest of these has to do with the sheer number of people involved. While it might be possible for citizens to raise up their neighbors as local representatives, the size of our states and our country overall guarantee that this won't be possible in the lion's share of cases. At some point, we have to rely on the testimony of others, and that is the very genesis of the political party system.

Say I think my local car dealer Ed is a super guy with a super character, super understanding of American liberty and ideals, and super concern for his fellow Americans...me. So I decide, in the face of Ed's humble protestations to the contrary, to try to get him elected. Let's further say that lots of people in my town have bought cars from Ed and feel just as strongly about him and their desire to have him represent them. That's all good for a local representative, but what if we want him for state Senator or President? Now you have a situation where lots of votes are needed from people who have never heard of Ed...or at least have no first-hand experience of Ed's superior qualities. So all of those people must have some way of discerning whether a vote for Ed is really in their best interests or whether they're just being hoodwinked. This is what the Party system provides. The Party vouches for candidates, as it were, in a bid to allay fears and provide a broad sort of guarantee that he/she will act according to his/her constituent's wishes.

Thus, political parties are a natural, if unfortunate, necessity in a polity as large as ours. There's nothing necessary about them to democratic republics per se, but to large (in our case, MONSTROUSLY ENORMOUS) republics that turn on the popular will, I can't see how it is possible not to have them. So the question for us now becomes: does our two party system serve us in this capacity as well as a more numerous party system would? I think the answer is clearly, no.

The larger the party, the broader and more general the principles followed by its candidates, considered as a class, must necessarily be. This is why we have two huge parties that, yes, differ on principle, but only when painting in very large strokes (and yes, of course, each party has its oddballs that really belong in the other party but who are conditionally accepted for purely pragmatic reasons). We would be much better served by a multitude of smaller parties which could communicate to us in detail their platform and recommend a more limited number of candidates, each of whom could be expected to adhere to its more lengthy and detailed set of platform planks. That's the way it appears to me, anyway.

komma8 said...

A third party can only work if there is a majority behind it. To get a majority, we need an inspirational leader that can communicate our beliefs to such an extent that the conservative underground supports it. With Lavin, Hannity, Rush, and the other major players on the right all against a third party due to the fact that it splits the conservative base against the left, I believe it is a pipe dream. While I think you, Alan, could be that leader - I don't feel like the United States is ready to turn to you yet, because a growing majority of the populous are living a selfish humanistic lifestyle, rejecting God and living a life centered on pleasure and entertainment. While the Christian conservative base loves you, like myself - it seems that the fiscal conservatives and others that consider themselves "leaning to the right" see you as a kook because you've no political tact when it comes to quelling the fury of special interest groups or compromising principal in the name of "bipartisanship". And of course, you make it a point to communicate your faith in every speech you give. I love that about you, but I think the country is not ready for that yet. Maybe I'm too cynical...

Greywolfe said...

I would have to disagree with the whole idea of a valid 3rd party. Third, fourth, fifth, what is the point? We still have the same problem Washington warned us about. A spirt of party instead of a spirit of Country.

What is needed is a removal of the party system. Let each man fight for his votes and be done with tax-payer funded elections. No party should be allowed tax-payer moneys for getting elected. Earn it yourself or get a majority of the people to back you on your own. No huge system in place to get you elected if the good ol' boys club likes you.

Ol' Fashioned Mark said...

"They pointed to the need for the restoration of moral standards and self-discipline. They fervently expressed the truth that the strength of America comes from our faith in God, not in government or even in ourselves alone."


Very well said, Dr. Keyes.

I can't help but notice the polar difference between the Tea Parties and the Anti-Bush protests over the past eight years.

There was a certain joy to the Tea Parties, from the participants. This joy came from their humble confidence in their principles and their freedom to voice these principles. The results were civilized and constructive protests.

Compare this to the protests of the Code Pink variety, which were nasty, vindictive, often resorting to insults, slander, and defacing of American iconography.

Those protests were based on self righteous emotions, rather than the integrity of divinely inspired principles.

joyindestructible said...

A third party WILL work if we hang tight to our principles and make decisions based upon them and not what we think will please others. Ask all of the Republicans that lost their seats. They lost because they wanted to be cool like the progressives.

joyindestructible said...

A third party will work only if we cling to our principles and make decisions according to them and not according to what we think might please others. I also don't think it is a good time to be shy about our faith in and dependence upon God. Before we do anything, we need to make sure we are on His side because this is not an as usual time in America. The last political leader I remember being thought of as a messiah was Hitler.

chiu_chunling said...

The national party system is certainly a difficult dragon to slay. Despite their many assertions against partisanship, the Founding Fathers were using the party system before the end of Washington's presidency. To be honest, I do not believe it is within human power to resist the trend of aggregation to powerful groups.

The power and reach of the Federal government itself is the problem, not the inevitable tendency of flocking to whatever group seems to offer the best chance of controlling that power. America was not always subject to a massively powerful central government. Limited government is possible. But how to achieve that limitation when all the entrenched interests are determined to hold onto the vast powers they have concentrated?

I only know of one method that has ever really worked, in all the long and melancholy history of mankind. The founders of the nation knew it well.

"What country can preserve its liberties, if it's rulers are not warned from time to time, that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to the facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants."

Pure reason strives to find some thoughtful alternative, native compassion shrinks at the terrible suffering involved, indolence protests the difficulty.

If only the people could be trained to sufficient morality. But what does it mean to be moral? What drives anyone to give up the fulfillment of base desires for altruistic satisfaction? To call it love, as religious thinkers have done, is only to apply a name to an abstract concept of seeking good. What is this quality, "love"?

Christ said, "Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." He did so Himself. But such love is not in me. Even were I to cast away my life, it would be only because I had little use for such a thing in the first place. Nor have I any friends who would benefit by such a sacrifice.

I wait, and watch, and wonder. Can men ever throw off despots by suasion and moral authority rather than force of arms? It has never been proven impossible, after all.

jason said...

Dr. Keyes,
my family and i attended your Fort Wayne speech. you gave one of the best speeches that i have heard in my 35 years and i agreed with nearly every word.

the purpose of my visit to your blog today was to:
1.) THANK YOU for your visit to Fort Wayne, your lifetime of service to our country, your commitment to the principals of the founders', and your devotion to the Lord, Jesus Christ.
2.) Ask if it is possible to get a written copy of the speech you gave in Fort Wayne to share with friends and family that were unable to attend. a point in the direction of an electronic copy would be great. (google failed me, other than to bring me here.)

Thank you,
Jason

Edwin Olivera said...

What we need to do with the American Independent Party is to "recruit" the conservatives from the Republican Party and the few that exist in the Democrat Party, as well as the conservatives in all the other so-called "3rd" Parties. The idea should "not" be to split conservative votes from the Republican Party and hand the elections to the Liberal Democrats.

The true intentions should be to use this recruitment to not merely form another "3rd" Party, but to either usurp, overthrow, and take over the Republican Party and REPLACE IT altogether (kind of like the Republican Party did to the Whigs) or to bring the Republican Party to its knees and "force" it to endorse a true Conservative Candidate, that the American Independent Party can then join in and endorse along with them.

By doing this we can force the Republican Party to endorse one of our truly Conservative Candidates and either cause its leaders to leave the Republican name once and for all and "become" part of the new American Independent Party or endorse the American Independent Party's Candidate as their Republican Candidate.

Regards,

Edwin

Dick said...

Nnewl said; So all of those people must have some way of discerning whether a vote for Ed is really in their best interests or whether they're just being hoodwinked. This is what the Party system provides.

Yea! well we saw how well vetting worked during the last socalled election.

The nation is ripe for a third party. In case you have not noticed the tea parties represent Rebublicans as well as Democrats.

Marion Valentine said...

Mr. Keyes,
I served in navy Intelligence for 9 years, and I have researched Obama for over 2 years. my conclusions:
Obama, steeped in Communist ideology by his mentor Frank marshal Davis, stewed in Marxist/Socialism by his sought out radical Marxist/Socialist professors, simmered in the cesspool of corrupt Chicago Politics, propelled into office by a "created" financial crisis, and will possibly become dictator because of another "created" crisis.

Mark said...

Dr. Keyes. OK. I did what you said. I visited the AIP site and I now return to your site to talk about it. Here is one statement from AIP about which I would like further information:

"We are completely committed to free enterprise and economic liberty, and have a practical plan to restore economic prosperity, for the sake of our posterity."

What is this "practical plan"? Can someone spell it out for me? I've been thinking long and hard about how to get America out of this financial mess, but I don't see an easy way out. I get as far as repeal the bail outs, letting these freeloading corporations and banks die or survive on their own, and lower taxes, but beyond that I can't figure it out. Help, please.

Alan Keyes said...

Mark:

I think reading through the pieces posted on this site under the heading "Real Change" might be a good place to start. I would be happy to answer any questions you have about them.

By the way, we should never forget that one of the advantages of restoring liberty and free enterprise is that we don't have to "figure it out." Instead, millions of people, seeking to maximize their resources and productivity come up with things that neither you nor I nor any politician or government bureaucrat would think of.

Alan Keyes

soule said...

Dr. Keyes: In reading your article the part that hit me hardest was the guilt expressed by the people that feel they have let this Republic down. I also feel that way. We were all too busy with this and that and let things fall through the cracks. Now we have a real dilemma facing us. I think it safe to speculate that the cancer that has invaded us has extremely deep tentacles that are entrenched way beyond anything we could possibly imagine. How do we tackle this problem? How do we rid ourselves of this disease that has taken up residence like a vulture viewing us all as nothing more than its morning meal?

Well the first thing we do is acknowledge the problem. We have elected a President who has a new agenda for America - a Socialist agenda. Out with capitalism, free enterprise, entrepreneurship, less government, but enter the era of Obama's "One Government for All." And Obama is shoving this agenda down our throats, taking over our financial and private sector, threatening private citizens, labelling military veterans and others who are pro-life, against illegal immigration, support the second amendment as "possible terrorists." Thank you Dr. Keyes for clearing up why DHS published the report on "Right Wing Extremists". It connected the dots.
So now that we know what the problem is, who the problem is, what the agenda is how do we go about re-taking our country?
Do we continue to write Letters to the Editor, email, blog, throw Tea Parties, call our representatives? Or do we congeal into ONE UNITED GROUP WITH ONE VOICE WITH ONE SPOKESPERSON? Kinda like that Thomas Paine fella I see on You Tube? Do we wait until 2012? I thought you said that Obama is not going to wait until 2012.
Are we going to allow this country, what my father, my husband, all the military men and women, sons and daughters, husbands and wives, families they left behind all they fought for to just go down the drain? Are we going to allow a sacred piece of paper --The Constitution of the United States of America, that our Founders fought and died for to be torn from its resting place and trampled underfoot? What is unfolding, right before our very eyes, are liberty and freedom being stolen from us and we don't even know how to fight back. Obama is pushing us, pushing, pushing. There will come a moment in history, I believe, there must come a moment in history, that we must act to STOP the treachery and tyranny that our "Commander in Thief" is doing to us and our country.

I am not talking about violence I am talking peaceful, lawful means to take our country back.

If you feel like running for a local or county office, start a blog, (I have it's http://my-fusion.blogspot.com) write letters to the editor, meet with friends, family and discuss the Constitution, what it means, the Founders, The Federalist Papers, etc. all these are "things" we can do. It is a start.

The trouble with Obama is that he is a sly and cunning player. He does not, and has not lived by the rule of law. He only recognizes one law -Obama's Rule of Law. Heck we don't even know if he's qualified to be President! He has an international law firm spending big bucks just so his "real" birth certificate is not being presented. Hmmmm. Wonder what that's all about? Could it be that Mr. Obama has something to hide? Oh, no, how could that be, so many people voted for him and still think he is the greatest thing since sliced bread. Go figure.

We chose the route we are on because of our own inattentiveness and negligence. Now we must choose again. It is either Obama and Socialism or the road back to liberty and freedom.

This country has its faults but we still are a shining light to many people in the world. I believe we cannot, should not, let that shining light go out.

G-d loaned us the liberties we enjoy. And we haven't taken very good care of them.

Don't you think we need to start making amends (and amens) to Him to reverse the direction we're heading? Maybe He'll allow us one more chance to get it right. And if we pray to Him I know that He will offer us a plan to take our country back. One that will work. He will also raise up voices of people who will be up to the task of "taking back this country." Leaders will emerge to help along the way. G-d never fails.

This may be our last chance.

chiu_chunling said...

For some it will be. That is ever the way of mortality...humans die, leaving behind all their missed opportunities along with every other worldly thing.

The time has passed for any "peaceful, lawful means to take our country back." Your country is no longer governed by law...this is, after all, one of the things about which everyone is so upset. And the current regime has outlawed all opposition, including peaceful varieties. But I take it the intention is some kind of resistance to this government which involves negotiation rather than force.

I will forebear to say that such an approach has already failed...just because one attempt at a thing fails, this does not imply that all attempts will fail. I will say that it is naive to assume that the decision over whether to involve force lies with the people rather than the government. A regime may destroy the rule of law, impairing all lawful recourse, but this does not remove the problem of lawless behavior. And when it is the lawless that hold the power of the government, you are unwise to assume opposition to their plans will not provoke violence.

There has been a noticeable increase in the incidence of "law enforcement" being used to storm into the properties and residences of those perceived as resisting government authority. If you are not prepared or willing to counter such a lawless intrusion, can you really hope to take back the liberties which you have lost? I would like to know how.

It is, in my own case, merely intellectual curiosity. I have tried pacifism in the face of violence before...there is a peculiar satisfaction to it, but my own experiments in that direction are now exhausted. Still, probably there are those who have not expended their desires for non-violent solutions to forceful impositions.

soule said...

WTP have allowed the indoctrination of our children for many years. I remember going to school and learning reading, writing, arithmetic, spelling, geography, American History.

We have strayed from that curriculum and have been spewing out a bunch of h.s. grads who know nothing of how and why this country was founded, how we got here or where we're headed. Common sense, morality begins at home. Schooling is for education but it has turned into a three-ring circus with cultural diversity, anti-American rhetoric and a deliberate attempt to keep God out of the equation.

When you consistently turn out uneducated groups of people who have been indoctrinated with the party line (in favor of the left in lieu of the right or conservative view of things) they are going to vote for that party's candidate.

When you have a government who continues to pander to special interest groups and convince people that they (the government) are their saviour and know what's best for them and keep paying them off, people are going to vote for them.

Well, this is where we're at.

Right now many of us feel like puppets on a string being jerked around by a number of things that we have no control over anymore.

But if we fall for that then we, indeed, will have lost control. We haven't yet.

We have the 2010 elections coming up and I swear that if most if not all of da bums in Congress (this goes for the Republicans who might as well all resign as they aren't worth a damn and the Marx and Lenin Democrats) aren't sitting in the middle of the sidewalk in front of the Capital Building with looks on their faces of "what the h**l just happened? on their faces then ALL will be lost.

Along with this complete "sanitizing" we need to re-educate the people. Young, old, middle class. We need to clearly show them the difference between what Socialism will do to a country and what Capitalism will provide for a county.

We're already seeing the "fruits" of Obama's Socialist Change and it ain't lookin too good.

He and his cohorts in crime are deliberately bankrupting this country so that there will be no country left (at least the one I grew up in). Then the next step and they're already doing this with glee, is to "remake" it to a style more of their liking.

Well guess what, I don't like their style.

2010 is comin up. Dr. Keyes said, "Throw Da Bums Out" and that's just what we need to do.

So let's get to work.

Volunteer, run for office, any office, get involved, have town hall meetings, discuss what this country and capitalism are all about and the dangers of socialism.

Educate, Educate Educate.

It's up to us.

Let's get busy.

I ask you, when do we declare war? When we see one body lying on the ground, two, a hundred, a thousand? When we can no longer worship God, send our children to schools of our choice, defend ourselves (Second Amendment); exercise our right to free speech?

Well I'm declaring that we are at war. And there will only be one winner and it better be us.

mschuster said...

"Couch potato, consumer politics destroys representative government." I would proudly wear that on a t-shirt if only there were one. It is one of the best summations I've read concerning the current state of political comprehension by the heavily media influenced american mind. A couple of years ago I came upon a most ironic monument of a rock in Jackson Michigan - what would the founders of the Republican party think now? I'm ready for that third party, and if replaces a current party that is publicly shown to be ineffectual so be it. You are right, it is about principle, and with great self-discipline we protect that principle.

But they have forgotten that. And it would seem by example they hope that we do as well.

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