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Address to Illinois delegates
Alan Keyes
September 1, 2004
New York City

Good morning. I wanted to share a few thoughts with you this morning about what I think is the great and positive challenge that is facing Republicans in Illinois.

But I think before we can get to the positive future, we have to deal with certain elements of our present that I believe have been helping to demoralize and discourage what I have discovered to be the enormous purpose and spirit and commitment of the great party of the State of Illinois.

Folks have asked me since I've been here what has been my greatest surprise. Based upon the characterizations that I have seen in the media, based upon the characterizations that have appeared in their columns and their newspapers, I had expected to find a people without heart, a people discouraged, a party in disarray. Instead, I have found a people of heart and principle who have welcomed me with open arms because they have the confidence that once those principles have been articulated, we shall carry this party to a great and surprising victory in November that will take the nation's breath away!

[cheering, applause]

It won't be done because we have spent our time "me too"-ing the Democrats, because we have spent our time accepting their understanding of the issues and their understanding of the challenges. That understanding is wrong! It has been corrupted by years of domination by a corrupt political machine.

We shall stand forward as a party, once and for all, to free the State of Illinois from the domination of that corrupt machinery! To free the heart of Illinois from the domination of that corrupt system! I think that when you think it through, that is the way in which we shall address the enormous practical challenges that face our state.

My opponent is always talking about jobs, jobs, jobs.

But then he sits in the legislature, and does everything with his vote to kill the businesses that create the jobs.

He sits in the state legislature and accepts the paralysis of politics that is the result of the acceptance of the domination of a dictatorship of political machinery that sits against the best future of our state, that keeps us from addressing the challenge of Illinois' transportation leadership, that keeps us from addressing the challenge of how we assure real access to medical care, by dealing with a problem skyrocketing malpractice insurance rates that are driving doctors out of the state, creating a dearth of doctors that have left Southern Illinois deprived of neurosurgeons and obstetricians?

How can you mouth words about health access, and how the government should take over our affairs in dealing with medical care, when you have sat on your hands and done nothing about what is really, every day, depriving our people of access to the healthcare they need?

This is not enough!

We have a different voice, and we have a different way.

And that way shall be brought clearly to the people of Illinois in this election. And it shall be brought clearly to them, especially because we are not going to stand before people mouthing words, looking for ways to deceive them and manipulate them into giving us their support.

We are going to look at the challenges, think them through with care and sincerity, and we will stand with honesty and integrity to offer solutions that are in the best interest of the people of our state, not in the best interest of the politicians of our party.

This is because that's who we are. It's who we have been since Abraham Lincoln inaugurated this great party. He inaugurated it as a party of principle, unwilling to stand indifferent on the sidelines when dealing with the great moral challenge of slavery.

We shall deal with the moral challenges.

We shall deal with the challenge that is being mounted today to the family structure throughout our country: gay marriage activists who are demanding that we should take marriage off the foundation of procreation, childrearing, responsibility to the future that is the true heart of marriage, and place it on a basis of selfishness, pleasure-seeking, and self-fulfillment.

Those of us who are parents know better. Marriage brings many joys, childrearing brings great contentment, but it also brings many challenges, many sacrifices, and sometimes much heartbreak. But you know why we persevere? We persevere because, through parenting we learn that even when we fade, even when we are gone, our children shall face the future, and our job is to make sure that we have built a strong foundation on which for them to stand.

This, I think, is the true key to understanding the heart and mind of this fight. We are the party of Illinois' future--the party that is willing to accept the challenge of putting aside the petty squabbles of our present moment, putting aside the little ambitions that might motivate us in our present, in order to face the great challenges of building a future for our children and for our community.

They live ever in our minds--the ones we know, the ones we will not know--but we do know this: that we shall stand with confidence before our God and sleep in peaceful rest in His heart and arms, because as Republicans we shall have joined together in a great community of hope and heart and principle to do all we could to assure that the great hope of America, the great destiny of liberty, the great secret in our strength and prosperity has been passed on to new generations.

This is a fresh start for the Illinois party. And we shall offer a fresh start and a new hope to the people of Illinois. In doing so, we shall call them, regardless of background and race and creed, regardless of party denomination, the Democrats, the independents, all of those who understand that our challenge as Americans, our challenge as Illinoisans, is not just to do for ourselves today, but to build for that future, just as our ancestors did, which will guarantee the strength for our children and grandchildren that we have enjoyed as the envy of the world in our time.

We shall not give up the hope! And we shall fulfill the destiny.

And we shall call the people of Illinois to join us in this great march--not backward into political domination, but forward into a future in which self-government is affirmed, in which freedom is vindicated, and in which the great destiny that America offers, not just to our children, but to those around the world, will have been affirmed.

Our politicians will be successful in this election because of that hope. G. W. Bush will be reelected because of that hope.

But in the end, it is not that success which we strive for, but rather the success that will be for us like the success that Moses saw for Israel, when he sat upon the mountaintop, looking into the world he did not live in, but knowing that it would be a world broadly lit by the great sunshine of righteousness because he had given his all to make it so.

This has been the spirit of our party since the beginning. And it shall be the spirit of a great new future for the State of Illinois.

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