Keyes the Anti-Christ?
I admit that Anti-Christ may sound a little extreme for a criticism of a political candidate, but give the title a chance, for I think that as far as American politicians go, he's definitely in the running.
My prediction is that if Alan Keyes were elected president (not that he ever would beat out McCain or Bush to secure even the Republican nomination) he would personally drive America and the world towards catastrophe. For those of you who heard him speak on Thursday night, you may have an inkling of what I am talking about.
First, Keyes showed himself to be an exemplary demagogue. His speech was extremely emotionally driven and content free. Every response that he gave demonstrated this, for no matter the problem, he bellowed that the moral degradation of America and the modern world was to blame. For Keyes, abolishing the income tax has become a "moral imperative" for until it is abolished we will all be slaves to this tax (see www.keyes2000.org for more rhetoric like this). According to Keyes, instead of an income tax, we should fund the country's spending through sales tax, tariffs and duties, so that every American can choose just how much he or she wants to contribute.
But this then raises the question of how we could possibly afford to fund important government initiatives: programs like Americorps? Don't worry, for if Keyes is elected, we can forget government contribution to service in poor communities, in environmental cleanup, in encouraging a new volunteerism in America's youth. As Keyes explained, charity belongs in religious and private organizations not funded by the American government.
Second, let us look at Keyes' policies on inclusivity. As he explains on his website, his candidacy is based on the Declaration of Independence: He explains, "all human beings are created equal. They need no title or qualification beyond their simple humanity in order to command respect for their intrinsic human dignity, their 'unalienable rights.'" Well said, Mr. Keyes. Bravo. Now, can you tell me your views on homosexuality? What's that you say? It is an "abomination?" For this is what he remarked to the media on Thursday night. And as he remarks on his website, "I oppose any efforts to use government power to impose views that contravene religious conscience on matters such as homosexuality " Excellent that you are encouraging freedom of religious belief, Mr. Keyes, but, maybe it would be better if this freedom did not come at the expense of the rights of other American citizens.
Finally, let me comment on Keyes' view on U.S. involvement in the United Nations. When he was asked who was to blame for America's recent lack of monetary contribution to the UN and how he would ramify this, he eloquently took blame for the US's delinquency -- a wonderful gesture in a society in which blame is often avoided and/or redirected. However, he then proceeded to congratulate himself for America's failure to pay, explaining that the UN is a waste of money, swarming with bureaucrats and that Americans should not spend their dollars on institutions like this.
Is this what we want? A US president who wants to withdraw American funds and involvement from the most important trans-national cooperative that has ever existed? Would it really be wise in this new age of globalism to establish an isolationist American government, detached in global affairs and subsisting off tariffs, duties and excise taxes that will further isolate America economically?
An Anti-Christ is one who poses to be a savior of the people, appealing to their desires for a healed and sanctified world to gain mass approval and then using this power for the advancement of his or her own corrupted views. Keyes is appealing to us, the American people, crying out for a change -- a change in the corrupt ways that we have cynically come to accept. I cheer at this, as do many other Americans.
It is time for an end of the 'moral degradation' that plagues society. But what this means is an acceptance of all faiths, beliefs and life-styles as long as they are not destructive to others. It means a new global consciousness, where America the rich accepts responsibility for damage it is doing to itself and to other countries through its outrageous rates of consumption. This will come not through a new isolationism, but through a greater involvement in and greater adherence to the UN, including the prompt ratification of the Nuclear Test Ban treaty. What it does not mean is the creation of a new hypocrisy, an underfunded government, a presidency that preaches equality except for certain groups, and America's growth on the backs of the developing world.