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Radio interview
Alan Keyes on the Scott Thomas Show, WYLL
November 4, 2004

SCOTT THOMAS, HOST: Let's go to Alan Keyes, now former Republican candidate for U.S. Senate here in Illinois. Alan, how are you today?

ALAN KEYES: I'm doing very well. How are you?

THOMAS: I'm doing great, thank you. I'm feeling good. I'm feeling good about what the country had to say, I'm feeling good about the reelection of the president, I'm feeling good about the defense of marriage upheld in 11 states by overwhelming margins. So, I'm feeling pretty good.

KEYES: I agree. I think we saw an affirmation of the truth, which I emphasized during the course of my whole campaign, that people of this country are deeply concerned about its moral condition and its safety, and I think that those were the overriding issues as they went to the polls.

Contrary, by the way--I noticed that a lot of people in the media are now trying to pretend that they had addressed these issues, but it was pretty much contrary to what was the so-called wisdom of the general media, which, as usual, tried to pretend that economics and other material issues were uppermost in the minds of the people.

And it turns out that that was not the case, and that helped G. W. Bush around the country.

THOMAS: I think it's interesting that many in the media are scrambling to devise a strategy as to how to address these values, as opposed to simply maybe stopping for a minute and thinking about in fact embracing these values, so that you don't have to have a strategy about it, you just live them.

KEYES: Well, you have to have a strategy if you are as committed as the media is to the opposite moral point of view. And that's what I found, generally speaking, in the state of Illinois. You're dealing with media people who are 100% committed to the anti-marriage, anti-life agenda. And they actually get hopping mad, to the point of losing all their objectivity, when it comes to people who are standing forward to articulate the heart and concerns of Americans who intend to defend the moral identity of the country.

THOMAS: Here in Illinois, we continue, apparently, to be contrarians to that wave that is sweeping the country. You had only 85 days really to mount a campaign, make yourself known to the people of Illinois, get to know the people of Illinois, and try to win an election. Obviously, you didn't win, but how are you feeling in the wake of that rather short but intense campaign?

KEYES: Well, I feel very good. As I said the other night in my speech, I think that a lot of people came forward, they campaigned very intensely--proving that there is a deep core of committed people in Illinois who are not part of any coalition of selfish interests, but really were working for what they deeply believed to be right for the state and for its families and for its people.

And I think it's significant. We mobilized a million and a third such people on short notice to come out to the polls.

The one thing that did disappoint me was that there were more "Republicans In Name Only" in Illinois than I would have previously thought. I had counted on the fact that Republicans would come back home on election day, rather than vote a socialist into office who stands against everything they profess to believe as Republicans. Apparently, a lot of the Republicans in this state, at least at present, seem to wear the label but not reflect the party's positions.

But maybe that was in part due to the campaign of distortions in the media--so that they were unable in fact to see what I was standing for. Because, as we got that message across in the last week or so of the campaign, we did see changes occurring, but didn't have enough time to consolidate them.

THOMAS: Alan Keyes, in his only media appearance since the election, is my guest today on the Scott Thomas Show on AM 1160, WYLL.

You've raised a few eyebrows since the election, Alan. Let me read from an email I got this morning, and get your reaction. This was from an emailer that was celebrating the fact that the president was reelected and did well on all the things that I am happy about today, but he says, "I have to feel that I really wasted my vote on Dr. Keyes--not because he lost the election, but because of his very disappointing reaction and response to the result. Sure, it would have been great for him to win. I am sure he knew, as we all did, that it was going to be an almost insurmountable task to win the Senate seat, but it is in those difficult times, in times of defeat at the hands of a man that Christians shine. A gracious response was what I expected from the candidate who, throughout the campaign, was the example of a God-guided leader. His almost childlike response was very disappointing."

I presume, Alan, that he's mostly talking about the fact that you haven't conceded the race or extended a hand to Barack Obama. How do you respond to that?

KEYES: Well, I'm not sure. Of course I've conceded the race. I mean, I gave my speech to that effect.

THOMAS: Well, I--yeah.

KEYES: And like all Americans, I accept the constitutional result.

But I think some folks may have missed, and are still missing, the very deep and serious point that was represented by me and must be represented now in this country. I said during the race that we are engaged in a battle between good and evil. And I think it's time we understood the significance of that phrase, if we take it seriously.

I was thinking about this the other day. If you know someone who is in the service of causes that are killing innocent babies, in the service of causes that are destroying the basis for family life, and that individual gets a powerful job that will give him greater influence in pursuing that wickedness--if someone then suggested to you that you call and congratulate them on that lucrative and powerful position, would you do it?

I think we're missing the point. One of the things that we seem to be missing is that if we are serious in our understanding of deep moral issues, then, though we act with civility and according to the rules, which I have certainly done, we do not extend false congratulations to the triumph of what we have declared to be across the line.

And it is across the line. People can say what they please, they can mouth words of unity if they like, but this country is based upon a union of moral principles. That's what Abraham Lincoln stood for. Those who reject that moral principle are not standing on the same ground. And therefore, the easy--how can I put it?--courtesy that we have taken for granted becomes a courtesy that shows a disrespect for truth.

Nothing I do is ever motivated by simple personal this's and thats. People should realize by now that when I make a serious decision, it is in order to make a serious point. And I think people need to start to take this to heart, because if we do not, we are going to miss the point of the times that we are in.

I think what is being done with respect to abortion, the family, has shredded the fabric of American principle. Absent that fabric, there is no ground for unity in this nation. John Kerry can talk about it all he wants--but we must challenge ourselves with the truth that, outside of the common ground of some principle of moral justice, America does not stand on a common ground. And therefore, we have to seriously look at and think through the decisions we are taking in that regard.

And I find it impossible, in fact, to be intimidated by traditional practice into extending congratulations that, to tell you the honest truth--not anything personal, but just from the simple point of view of the notion. I'm supposed to make a call that represents the congratulations toward the triumph of that which I believe ultimately stands for and will for a culture evil enough to destroy the very soul and heart of my country? I can't do this. And I will not make a false gesture.

So, I did what I think was quite proper. I talked to my supporters in the context of course of accepting the results, but not of conveying a false impression of how we continue after that result. Because, I think we have to continue to fight on the ground that will eventually and hopefully restore a true basis for the unity of this country.

THOMAS: As I wrote in my Illinois Leader column yesterday, and reiterated on air, the lasting benefit to the state of Illinois, I believe, of your candidacy is the fact that, in such a short period, despite such a short period of time, I think that you were one of very few, if any, other potential candidates that could have come and so effectively raised these issues in the minds of, in particular, conservatives and Republicans in the state of Illinois.

But put it on the table for discussion across the board. It did not result in a victory. In fact, obviously it resulted in a fairly lopsided loss. But my hope is that those issues now on the table will reawaken the heart and conscience of what should be the Republican Party in Illinois, so that Illinois can get with the program, as it appears much of the rest of the country is, in rallying around these values. Do you think you've accomplished that?

KEYES: I think we did. I think we were able to rouse many people around the state. We brought a lot of folks back into the process of clear, moral conscience and integrity, and we'll be working with them in order to translate that into a further consolidation of the true basis of Republicanism in the state of Illinois.

I think that part of the difficulty we faced, of course, was in challenging what had been the stranglehold of the media on the definition of issues and the understanding of those issues in the state of Illinois. I refuse to accept their authority, and I still do. And therefore, we went against the grain while they put out fabrications and caricatures and other things that I think did a real disservice to the integrity of the process.

But that doesn't derogate from the fact that the message did reach a lot of people. They did come forward, they worked very hard, and they put together something that will be, I think, the basis for a permanent and solid reiteration of true Republican principles in this state. But that's going to take work.

THOMAS: The big question I guess now is, what next? Do you plan to stay in Illinois?

KEYES: Well, I think people should watch what I do. We are going to be working with the folks who have worked with us in the course of this campaign, in order to put together a structure that will not only reflect what I believe to be the potential here in Illinois--we're going to be working on that, but we'll be working with people around the country, to speak to the true priority of the heart of many of the people in Illinois and elsewhere, and that is a moral priority.

And what I find interesting is that after all the months in which the media was telling us otherwise, it turns out, doesn't it, that on election day the moral priority was uppermost in the minds of many, many voters--the majority of voters, in fact, who went to the polls in this great national election. And I think that that reflects a fundamental truth about where we stand, as America has reexamined its true priorities in the wake of September 11th, and rediscovered the fact that its moral principles and identity are the key to its real strength.

And we need to build on that perception, and that is what I'll be doing--starting here in Illinois, and working, as well, with people around the country.

THOMAS: Well, listen, Alan--I sure appreciate you running in this state, shaking up the dismal Republican Party, bringing important issues to the forefront. I hope you'll take a few days to rest up. I wish you well in your next endeavor, and I hope under any circumstances you won't be a stranger to this show from now on.

KEYES: I certainly will not. You'll be hearing from me. And as these new endeavors develop, I hope I'll be able to come on and share them with people and encourage them to join us in the work.

THOMAS: We look forward to it. God bless, Alan.

KEYES: God bless you. Thank you, Scott.

THOMAS: You bet.

KEYES: Bye.

THOMAS: Alan Keyes, in his only media appearance since the election here, on the Scott Thomas Show on AM 1160, WYLL. We appreciate him coming on.

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