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8/19/2004


Anger over reparations and carpetbagging misguided

In case you’ve been sleeping under a rock, Dr. Alan Keyes is running for the llinois Senate seat against Barack Obama. SurveyUSA published polling results recently showing Barack with a more than hefty lead. (Dr. Keyes is down 39 points)

Although there is time between now and the election, I’m not sure there is enough time to make up for such a large deficit. But stranger things have happened in elections. If he wishes to win, he must address two major issues to the satisfaction of 51% of the voters come November. It can be done, but he is marching up a steep slope for sure.

First, he recently stated that he was in favor of slavery reparations. A topic most voters feel is taboo. Maybe that’s an understatement. I’ve seen some pretty angry reaction to his recent comments. I can’t say I disagree with the concern most have, I don’t like the idea of reparations either, but I am far from angry about it. I’ll explain why in a moment.

In 2002 on his MSNBC show Renew America, Dr Keyes had this to say about the issue of reparations:

    ”Now, we are the products of a long history and the idea that somehow or another this late in the day in this generation, we're going to be doing things to repair and pay for something that was done decades and decades ago with an intervening war that claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of people, that cost enormous treasure that set the country back many years in its own development and progress in various ways. Now, Lincoln said if every drop of blood drawn with the lash must be requited by another drawn with the sword, so as it was said, thousands of years ago, so still it must be said the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. Wasn't that blood enough?

    I mean, sure, we need to address the real question of damage done and the heritage of that damage. But what's that got to do with paying the price for slavery? Wasn't that done by the generations that died in the bloodiest war in our history? A war that claimed more lives than all our other wars put together?
This is a perfect explanation of the conservative position. It is also a sentiment that most Democrats can agree upon with Republicans, except for black minority Democrats who are nearly unanimous in their support for it. It is an issue that divides us racially.

Then in an apparent change of mind, Dr. Keyes recently came out in favor of reparations. His plan would exempt decedents of slaves from having to pay federal taxes for a period lasting a generation or two.

    The idea I have often put forward to address this challenge involves a traditionally Republican, conservative and market-oriented approach: removing the tax burden from the black community for a generation or two in order to encourage business ownership, create jobs and support the development of strong economic foundations for working families.

    This has the advantage of letting people help themselves, rather then pouring money into government bureaucracies that displace and discourage their own efforts. It takes no money from other citizens, while righting the historic imbalance that results from the truth that black slaves toiled for generations at a tax rate that was effectively 100 percent.

    I have also made it clear that while I believe that the descendants of slaves would be helped by this period of tax relief, my firm goal and ultimate objective is to replace the income tax, and thereby free all Americans from this insidious form of tax slavery. It is well known that this is one of the key priorities of the Keyes campaign
It is that recent statement which sent his conservative base (and many others) into a tizzy of anti-Keyes anger. A sentiment I am perplexed by. I’ve heard that some believe these statements are about Dr. Keyes being opportunistic. I disagree. In fact I think this statement is the opposite of being opportunistic. In the same quote taken from his show Dr. Keyes acknowledges that repartitions are a racially dividing issue. He would not come out in favor of something he does not believe whole heartedly, especially since he understands the consequences. He would be angering the majority of the voters. Why do you suppose Barack came out against the issue? It’s not just because he wants to differentiate himself from Dr. Keyes, it is because Barack sees the “opportunity” to once again appeal to a greater number of voters than his opponent.

If conservatives are ready to abandon Dr. Keyes because of this issue, maybe they should ask themselves what chance this piece of legislation has of passing. I’m going to go out on a limb here and suggest a 0% chance. It is an issue he both believes in but understands will never happen. People are wasting time and energy being angry about a non-issue. Especially when considering the alternative. Make no mistake Dr. Alan Keyes is a conservative’s conservative, save this one issue.

The second mountain Dr. Keyes has to climb is that he’s a carpetbagger. Up until recently his main residence was in Maryland. Being a carpetbagger is something he ridiculed Hillary Clinton for when she ran for NY’s Senate seat, and now he is doing the same thing in Illinois.

I’m not really in favor of carpet baggers, but I can certainly understand why he changed his mind. In April of 2002 Barack Obama voted in favor of legalizing live birth abortions in the state of Illinois. Dr Keyes explains that this is the pivotal reason for his decision to enter into the race.

    ”what we have to look at is what finally, fully arrested my attention and forced me to consider whether I not only had the opportunity to oppose him, but the obligation.”

    “It's very important that you understand what I'm talking about. We are talking about a situation in which, in the course of an abortion procedure, a child has been born alive -- she is out of the womb, breathing and living on her own -- and Obama cast a vote AGAINST the idea that that child's life should be spared. Obama's position and his vote would make it legal to condemn that innocent babe to death!”
It is hard for me to understand why anyone would abandon Dr. Keyes over a non-issue such as slavery reparations when issues such as the life of the unborn and now recently-born are at stake.

If Dr. Keyes is a conservative’s conservative, Barack Obama is a liberal’s liberal. His world view is in direct opposition to my own on a myriad of issues.

On education: B.O. wants even more money than is already allocated for students and teachers and will create an even deeper bureaucracy of Illinois publicly run schools. Illinois residence will end up footing the bill. A vote against Dr. Keyes is a vote for the NEA and their will over your own child, plus higher taxes.

Health Care: B.O. believes that Health care is a right. Need I say more? Maybe I should. No where in the constitution is health care listed as a right. Socialized medicine is a terrible idea. Just ask Canada. Women need to wait 6 months to a year to receive the results of their pap smear test. That’s a little long if you have cervical cancer. How about year long waits for head scans? Any takers? Not me. A vote against Dr. Keyes is a vote for Socialized medicine.

Dr. Keyes has more on Mr. Obama.

    ”I found somebody who, as we would expect from the kind of liberalism he professes, has never seen a spending bill he couldn't find some excuse for, and has never seen a tax increase he didn't like.

    I found somebody who, in the tradition of a lot of liberals, would prefer that our children were educated in schools controlled by impersonal bureaucracy , rather than in schools under the influence and control of the parents who love them and care about their future.

    I found someone who appears to believe that even when a violent criminal has entered into the sacred precinct of your home with intentions you couldn't possibly fathom, you don't have the right to defend your life and the lives of the people in your family!

    And as you might expect with someone who won't defend the right of citizens to defend themselves under the Second Amendment, he doesn't seem to understand the necessity that when terrorists and others come against the people of this country, the President of the United States has an obligation to act upon intelligence that suggests there are threats and dangers to the American people!
At the risk of sounding even more like and add for the Keyes campaign, I believe If Illinois ends up voting for Alan Keyes I have no doubt he will represent that state with honor and dignity. Everything I have ever heard or read about this man has been positive, except for the issue of reparations. I’m not willing to toss in the towel on that issue alone and neither should the voters of Illinois, even if it does make them angry.

Important note: This Friday, Dr. Keyes is speaking near my place of business. I will be in attendance to hear what he has to say about the defense of marriage in our country. But if given the chance I will (and I will try hard to make this happen) I will ask him about his apparent change of mind in regards to reparations. I will also ask him if the GOP understood his position on the matter before he accepted the invitation. Look for my full report on Monday.

posted by: Brian Scott


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