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Alan Keyes' radio show, "America's Wake-Up Call"
October 23, 1997

[Partial transcript]

Steve Forbes on Al Gore

One of the things that I want to bring up has to do with an issue that, in one way or another, we have been talking about for the last several days, because of Mr. Gore's famous speech on homosexuality, and "Ellen", and coming out, and how wonderful it was.

There are people out there who are trying their level best to exploit--and I use the word "exploit" advisedly--the constituency of moral concern in this country. And they are going out now, and trying to dress themselves up as folks who are concerned about America's moral condition, and moral crisis, and moral principles, and so forth and so on. You do have to ask yourself--and I think it is going to be very important, over the next little while, to continually be asking ourselves--how truthful, and sincere, and acceptable, and reliable, these kinds of things are.

One of the people who is really moving forward on this in a big way is Steve Forbes, somebody who is coming from a pro-abortion position that has been very squishy-soft, and had practically no interest whatsoever in the moral issues. He went into the back room, talked to some advisers--whom he paid a lot of money to, I'm sure--and they told him "well, this moral concern thing, if you can capture that constituency, that'll be a good, strong base; and then, later on, it won't matter what you do with them."

Did they say that to him? I have a feeling they may have, but leave that aside.

So he's been out there, and he's giving speeches and doing this, and he's going to be a big moral spokesman. This is interesting. But this requires, I think, that those of us who really, seriously, care about these issues--not for political reasons, but because we think it is necessary for the country--we have to look carefully at what is going on.

And I said the other day that I thought one major test of this was going to be how folks responded to Mr. Gore's adulation for Hollywood's promotion of the radical gay agenda. Now, as far as I can tell, people like Mr. Forbes have dodged this particular bullet for the last several days, not wishing to come forward and speak out. In my opinion, that's a bad sign. Why be afraid? If you think something is really important to the country, why be afraid to speak out about it?

He was finally put in a position, I think, yesterday; he appeared on Janet Parcel's show, and you know Janet is one of the people who has so graciously consented to fill in for me on the program from time to time; we are good friends. And so she asked him a question about this. And I thought that it would be good for you to hear the response, and for us to talk about it a little bit. Because I think it illustrates the games that are being played, by people like Mr. Forbes, by others, I presume, over an issue that has now risen to the surface--nobody is going to succeed in American politics unless they deal effectively with the issue of our moral crisis; you mark my words.

But dealing effectively with it, from their point of view, means "how can I make political hay out of this?" Dealing effectively with it, from our point of view, ought to mean "how can we really do something that's good for America?" And that is the question that is continually in my mind, as I listen to these people and try to evaluate their responses. I want you to listen, then, to this exchange that took place on Janet Parcel's show, in which she was able, explicitly, to ask Mr. Forbes some questions.

To put it in the right context, I first want to play, from Mr. Forbes' mouth, his own assessment of how you should deal with these issues if you happen to get the bully pulpit of the presidency. Then Janet will ask her question. Then he'll answer it.

Here is Mr. Forbes, telling us what he thinks you ought to do with the bully pulpit. Take a listen:
FORBES: That's a critical part of the presidency. If you don't lead by talking to people, denouncing evil when you see it, then you're fulfilling a critical part of the job. Teddy Roosevelt understood it, even if Bill Clinton doesn't.

JANET: Let me ask you, Steve, if I may, about the issue of homosexuality. Certainly the President and the Vice President really angered conservatives of late, when they basically applauded Ellen Degeneres, both as her sit-com character and in real life, and said that now this is a more healthy and open view of homosexuality. Where do you stand on this?

FORBES: Well, I believe in equal rights for all, special rights for none. And as for Al Gore, just shows he's out of touch.
KEYES: Now, did you hear that answer? And I thought it was particularly telling--in the context of this little flourish of rhetoric: "If you get the bully pulpit, you should denounce evil." And then she asks him a question about Mr. Gore's pronouncement on "Ellen" and so forth. And the question that I would put to you, just for you to ponder: did Mr. Forbes then act on his own admonition? He says, "Well, I don't see Bill Clinton doing it." And I've got to tell you, Mr. Forbes, I didn't see you doing it.

Here's Mr. Gore, coming out with his adulation of the radical gay agenda, and his praise for Hollywood in its forceful promotion of that agenda in America. And Janet hands you a question, and do you "denounce evil"? You don't even look at evil. You simply play games, and come out with this little slogan.

A slogan, by the way, my friends, that is a bad idea. He says, "I'm for equal rights for all, special rights for none," as if that covers the issues. It shows how shallow is the thinking of many people. I ask you this question--and we will talk about this in a minute--start with marriage. If Mr. Forbes believes in equal rights for all, does he think homosexuals should have an equal right to marry? Because that's their agenda! "We just want equal rights."

See, I believe in special privileges for those who are in need of those privileges for the sake of society's strength and moral foundation. The marriage condition is a privileged condition, and ought to remain so.

Mr. Forbes doesn't see this, and so apparently his little slogan--equal rights for all, special rights for none--somebody told him that would take care of the issue, and that would placate the moral conservatives.

He didn't bother to think it through, because he's just playing games. Equal rights for all, with respect to marriage, would mean the destruction of the marriage institution.
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