Alan Keyes

Alan Keyes

Overview
Alan Lee Keyes is an American conservative political activist, author, former diplomat
Diplomat
A diplomat is a person appointed by a state to conduct diplomacy with another state or international organization. The main functions of diplomats revolve around the representation and protection of the interests and nationals of the sending state, as well as the promotion of information and...

, and perennial candidate
Perennial candidate
A perennial candidate is one who frequently runs for public office with a record of success that is infrequent, if existent at all. Perennial candidates are often either members of minority political parties or have political opinions that are not mainstream. They may run without any serious hope...

 for public office. A doctoral graduate of Harvard University
Harvard University
Harvard University is a private Ivy League university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, established in 1636 by the Massachusetts legislature. Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and the first corporation chartered in the country...

, Keyes began his diplomatic career in the U.S. Foreign Service
United States Foreign Service
The United States Foreign Service is a component of the United States federal government under the aegis of the United States Department of State. It consists of approximately 11,500 professionals carrying out the foreign policy of the United States and aiding U.S...

 in 1979 at the United States consulate in Bombay
Mumbai
Mumbai , formerly known as Bombay in English, is the capital of the Indian state of Maharashtra. It is the most populous city in India, and the fourth most populous city in the world, with a total metropolitan area population of approximately 20.5 million...

, India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

, and later in the American embassy in Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe is a landlocked country located in the southern part of the African continent, between the Zambezi and Limpopo rivers. It is bordered by South Africa to the south, Botswana to the southwest, Zambia and a tip of Namibia to the northwest and Mozambique to the east. Zimbabwe has three...

.

He ran for President of the United States
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 in 1996, 2000, and 2008, and was a Republican
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

 nominee for the U.S. Senate in 1988, 1992, and 2004.
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Encyclopedia
Alan Lee Keyes is an American conservative political activist, author, former diplomat
Diplomat
A diplomat is a person appointed by a state to conduct diplomacy with another state or international organization. The main functions of diplomats revolve around the representation and protection of the interests and nationals of the sending state, as well as the promotion of information and...

, and perennial candidate
Perennial candidate
A perennial candidate is one who frequently runs for public office with a record of success that is infrequent, if existent at all. Perennial candidates are often either members of minority political parties or have political opinions that are not mainstream. They may run without any serious hope...

 for public office. A doctoral graduate of Harvard University
Harvard University
Harvard University is a private Ivy League university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, established in 1636 by the Massachusetts legislature. Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and the first corporation chartered in the country...

, Keyes began his diplomatic career in the U.S. Foreign Service
United States Foreign Service
The United States Foreign Service is a component of the United States federal government under the aegis of the United States Department of State. It consists of approximately 11,500 professionals carrying out the foreign policy of the United States and aiding U.S...

 in 1979 at the United States consulate in Bombay
Mumbai
Mumbai , formerly known as Bombay in English, is the capital of the Indian state of Maharashtra. It is the most populous city in India, and the fourth most populous city in the world, with a total metropolitan area population of approximately 20.5 million...

, India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

, and later in the American embassy in Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe is a landlocked country located in the southern part of the African continent, between the Zambezi and Limpopo rivers. It is bordered by South Africa to the south, Botswana to the southwest, Zambia and a tip of Namibia to the northwest and Mozambique to the east. Zimbabwe has three...

.

He ran for President of the United States
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 in 1996, 2000, and 2008, and was a Republican
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

 nominee for the U.S. Senate in 1988, 1992, and 2004. Keyes was appointed Ambassador
Ambassador
An ambassador is the highest ranking diplomat who represents a nation and is usually accredited to a foreign sovereign or government, or to an international organization....

 to the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 by President
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan
Ronald Wilson Reagan was the 40th President of the United States , the 33rd Governor of California and, prior to that, a radio, film and television actor....

, and served as Reagan's Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs
Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs
The Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs is the head of the Bureau of International Organization Affairs within the American Department of State that creates and executes policy in international organizations such as the United Nations...

 from 1985 to 1987; in his capacities as a UN ambassador, among Keyes's accomplishments was contributing to the Mexico City Policy
Mexico City Policy
The Mexico City Policy, also known by critics as the Mexico City Gag Rule and the Global Gag Rule, was an intermittent United States government policy that required all non-governmental organizations that receive federal funding to refrain from performing or promoting abortion services, as a...

.

Keyes also hosted a radio talk show, The Alan Keyes Show: America's Wake-Up Call, and a television commentary show on the MSNBC
MSNBC
MSNBC is a cable news channel based in the United States available in the US, Germany , South Africa, the Middle East and Canada...

 cable network, Alan Keyes Is Making Sense.

Personal life and family


Born in a naval hospital on Long Island
Long Island
Long Island is an island located in the southeast part of the U.S. state of New York, just east of Manhattan. Stretching northeast into the Atlantic Ocean, Long Island contains four counties, two of which are boroughs of New York City , and two of which are mainly suburban...

, New York, Keyes was the fifth child to Allison and Gerthina Keyes, a U.S. Army
United States Army
The United States Army is the main branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is the largest and oldest established branch of the U.S. military, and is one of seven U.S. uniformed services...

 sergeant
Sergeant
Sergeant is a rank used in some form by most militaries, police forces, and other uniformed organizations around the world. Its origins are the Latin serviens, "one who serves", through the French term Sergent....

 and a teacher. Due to his father's tours of duty, the Keyes family traveled frequently. Keyes lived in Georgia
Georgia (U.S. state)
Georgia is a state located in the southeastern United States. It was established in 1732, the last of the original Thirteen Colonies. The state is named after King George II of Great Britain. Georgia was the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution, on January 2, 1788...

, Maryland
Maryland
Maryland is a U.S. state located in the Mid Atlantic region of the United States, bordering Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and Delaware to its east...

, New Jersey
New Jersey
New Jersey is a state in the Northeastern and Middle Atlantic regions of the United States. , its population was 8,791,894. It is bordered on the north and east by the state of New York, on the southeast and south by the Atlantic Ocean, on the west by Pennsylvania and on the southwest by Delaware...

, New York
New York
New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

, Texas
Texas
Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...

, Virginia
Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

 and overseas in Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

.

After high school, Keyes attended Cornell University
Cornell University
Cornell University is an Ivy League university located in Ithaca, New York, United States. It is a private land-grant university, receiving annual funding from the State of New York for certain educational missions...

, where he was a member of the Cornell University Glee Club
Cornell University Glee Club
The Cornell University Glee Club is the oldest student organization at Cornell University, having been organized shortly after the first students arrived on campus in 1868. The CUGC is a sixty-member chorus for male voices, with repertoire including classical, folk, 20th century music, and...

 and The Hangovers. He studied political philosophy with American philosopher and essayist Allan Bloom
Allan Bloom
Allan David Bloom was an American philosopher, classicist, and academic. He studied under David Grene, Leo Strauss, Richard McKeon and Alexandre Kojève. He subsequently taught at Cornell University, the University of Toronto, Yale University, École Normale Supérieure of Paris, and the University...

 and has said that Bloom was the professor who influenced him most in his undergraduate studies. Later, Keyes allegedly received death threats for opposing Vietnam war protesters who seized a campus building. Keyes has stated that a passage of Bloom's book, The Closing of the American Mind
The Closing of the American Mind
The Closing of the American Mind, by Allan Bloom , describes "how higher education has failed democracy and impoverished the souls of today's students." He focuses especially upon the "openness" of relativism as leading paradoxically to the great "closing" referenced in the book's title...

, refers to this incident, speaking of an African-American student "whose life had been threatened by a black faculty member when the student refused to participate in a demonstration" at Cornell. Shortly thereafter, he left the school and spent a year in Paris under a Cornell study abroad program connected with Bloom.

Keyes continued his studies at Harvard University
Harvard University
Harvard University is a private Ivy League university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, established in 1636 by the Massachusetts legislature. Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and the first corporation chartered in the country...

, where he resided in Winthrop House
Winthrop House
John Winthrop House is one of twelve undergraduate residences at Harvard College and home to slightly under 400 students.Commonly referred to as Winthrop House, it consists of two buildings, Standish Hall and Gore Hall. Both were built in 1912 as separate freshman dormitories...

, and completed his Bachelor of Arts
Bachelor of Arts
A Bachelor of Arts , from the Latin artium baccalaureus, is a bachelor's degree awarded for an undergraduate course or program in either the liberal arts, the sciences, or both...

 degree in government affairs in 1972. During his first year of graduate school, Keyes's roommate was William Kristol
William Kristol
William Kristol is an American neoconservative political analyst and commentator. He is the founder and editor of the political magazine The Weekly Standard and a regular commentator on the Fox News Channel....

. In 1988, Kristol ran Keyes's unsuccessful U.S. Senate campaign in Maryland.

Keyes earned his PhD in government affairs from Harvard University
Harvard University
Harvard University is a private Ivy League university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, established in 1636 by the Massachusetts legislature. Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and the first corporation chartered in the country...

 in 1979, having written a dissertation on Alexander Hamilton
Alexander Hamilton
Alexander Hamilton was a Founding Father, soldier, economist, political philosopher, one of America's first constitutional lawyers and the first United States Secretary of the Treasury...

 and constitutional theory, under Harvey C. Mansfield. Due to student deferments and a high draft number, Keyes was not drafted to serve in the Vietnam War
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

. Keyes and his family were staunch supporters of the war, in which his father served two tours of duty. Keyes was criticized by opponents of the war in Vietnam, but he says he was supporting his father and his brothers, who were also fighting in the war.

Keyes is married to Jocelyn Marcel Keyes, of India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

n descent, from Calcutta. The couple has three children, Francis, Maya
Maya Keyes
Maya Jeane Marcel-Keyes is an American social and political activist and daughter of Alan Keyes, a candidate for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination. Marcel-Keyes has been involved with the anarchist and gay rights movements, despite her staunch conservative upbringing...

, and Andrew. Keyes is a traditional Catholic
Traditionalist Catholic
Traditionalist Catholics are Roman Catholics who believe that there should be a restoration of many or all of the liturgical forms, public and private devotions and presentations of Catholic teachings which prevailed in the Catholic Church before the Second Vatican Council...

 and a third-degree Knight of Columbus
Knights of Columbus
The Knights of Columbus is the world's largest Catholic fraternal service organization. Founded in the United States in 1882, it is named in honor of Christopher Columbus....

. He's also a close friend of Brazilian conservative philosopher Olavo de Carvalho
Olavo de Carvalho
Olavo Luiz Pimentel de Carvalho is a Brazilian journalist, and essayist on several issues like the history of astrology and mysticism; the history of revolutionary mentality; and Philosophical Anthropology...

.

In 2005, when Maya Keyes was 20 years old, she came out
Coming out
Coming out is a figure of speech for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people's disclosure of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity....

 as a lesbian
Lesbian
Lesbian is a term most widely used in the English language to describe sexual and romantic desire between females. The word may be used as a noun, to refer to women who identify themselves or who are characterized by others as having the primary attribute of female homosexuality, or as an...

. There were reports her family threw her out of the house and stopped talking to her. In an interview with Metro Weekly
Metro Weekly
Metro Weekly is a free weekly magazine-style publication for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community in Washington, D.C., U.S.A. It was first published on May 5, 1994. Metro Weekly includes local news, interviews with community leaders and politicians, community event calendars,...

, a Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

, LGBT
LGBT
LGBT is an initialism that collectively refers to "lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender" people. In use since the 1990s, the term "LGBT" is an adaptation of the initialism "LGB", which itself started replacing the phrase "gay community" beginning in the mid-to-late 1980s, which many within the...

 newspaper, Maya confirmed that her father "cut off all financial support." In the same report Maya said, "It doesn't make much sense for him to be [financially] supporting someone who is working against what he believes in." Alan Keyes contradicted reports about his having disowned his daughter in October 2007. In response to a caller, Keyes said that he loves his daughter and that she knows she has a home with him. He asserted that he never cut her off and never would, because it would be "wrong in the eyes of God." He also said he would not be coerced into "approving of that which destroys the soul" of his daughter. He contended that he must "stand for the truth [Jesus Christ] represents" even if it breaks his heart.

On May 8, 2009, Keyes and 21 others were arrested while protesting President Barack Obama
Barack Obama
Barack Hussein Obama II is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois, from January 2005 until he resigned following his victory in the 2008 presidential election.Born in...

's commencement speech at the University of Notre Dame
University of Notre Dame
The University of Notre Dame du Lac is a Catholic research university located in Notre Dame, an unincorporated community north of the city of South Bend, in St. Joseph County, Indiana, United States...

. Keyes was charged with trespassing and released on $250 bond. He was arrested a second time on May 16.

Diplomat


A year before completing his doctoral studies, Keyes joined the United States Department of State
United States Department of State
The United States Department of State , is the United States federal executive department responsible for international relations of the United States, equivalent to the foreign ministries of other countries...

 as a protégé of UN Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick
Jeane Kirkpatrick
Jeane Jordan Kirkpatrick was an American ambassador and an ardent anticommunist. After serving as Ronald Reagan's foreign policy adviser in his 1980 campaign and later in his Cabinet, the longtime Democrat-turned-Republican was nominated as the U.S...

. In 1979, he was assigned to the consulate in Mumbai
Mumbai
Mumbai , formerly known as Bombay in English, is the capital of the Indian state of Maharashtra. It is the most populous city in India, and the fourth most populous city in the world, with a total metropolitan area population of approximately 20.5 million...

, India. The following year, Keyes was sent to serve at the embassy in Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe is a landlocked country located in the southern part of the African continent, between the Zambezi and Limpopo rivers. It is bordered by South Africa to the south, Botswana to the southwest, Zambia and a tip of Namibia to the northwest and Mozambique to the east. Zimbabwe has three...

.

In 1983, President Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan
Ronald Wilson Reagan was the 40th President of the United States , the 33rd Governor of California and, prior to that, a radio, film and television actor....

 appointed Keyes as Ambassador to the United Nations Economic and Social Council. In 1985, he was appointed Assistant Secretary of State for International Organizations
United States Department of State
The United States Department of State , is the United States federal executive department responsible for international relations of the United States, equivalent to the foreign ministries of other countries...

, a position he held until 1987. His stay at the UN provoked some controversy, leading Newsday
Newsday
Newsday is a daily American newspaper that primarily serves Nassau and Suffolk counties and the New York City borough of Queens on Long Island, although it is sold throughout the New York metropolitan area...

 to say "he has propounded the more unpopular aspects of US policy with all the diplomatic subtlety of the cannon burst in Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture
1812 Overture
The Year 1812, Festival Overture in E flat major, Op. 49, popularly known as the 1812 Overture or the Overture of 1812 is an overture written by Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky in 1880 to commemorate Russia's defense of Moscow against Napoleon's advancing Grande Armée at the Battle of...

." He also served on the staff of the National Security Council
United States National Security Council
The White House National Security Council in the United States is the principal forum used by the President of the United States for considering national security and foreign policy matters with his senior national security advisors and Cabinet officials and is part of the Executive Office of the...

.

At a fundraiser for Keyes's senate campaign, President Reagan spoke of Keyes's time as an ambassador, saying that he "did such an extraordinary job ... defending our country against the forces of anti-Americanism." Reagan continued, "I've never known a more stout-hearted defender of a strong America than Alan Keyes." In 1987 Keyes was appointed a resident scholar for the American Enterprise Institute
American Enterprise Institute
The American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research is a conservative think tank founded in 1943. Its stated mission is "to defend the principles and improve the institutions of American freedom and democratic capitalism—limited government, private enterprise, individual liberty and...

. His principal research for AEI
American Enterprise Institute
The American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research is a conservative think tank founded in 1943. Its stated mission is "to defend the principles and improve the institutions of American freedom and democratic capitalism—limited government, private enterprise, individual liberty and...

 was diplomacy, international relations, and self-government.

Following government service, Ambassador Keyes was President of Citizens Against Government Waste
Citizens Against Government Waste
Citizens Against Government Waste is a 501 non-profit organization in the United States. It functions as a think-tank, 'government watchdog', and advocacy group for fiscally conservative causes...

 (CAGW) from 1989 to 1991, and founded CAGW's National Taxpayers' Action Day. In 1991, he served as Interim President of Alabama A&M University, in Huntsville
Huntsville, Alabama
Huntsville is a city located primarily in Madison County in the central part of the far northern region of the U.S. state of Alabama. Huntsville is the county seat of Madison County. The city extends west into neighboring Limestone County. Huntsville's population was 180,105 as of the 2010 Census....

, Alabama
Alabama
Alabama is a state located in the southeastern region of the United States. It is bordered by Tennessee to the north, Georgia to the east, Florida and the Gulf of Mexico to the south, and Mississippi to the west. Alabama ranks 30th in total land area and ranks second in the size of its inland...

.

Role in the Reagan Administration



Among the U.S. delegation to the 1984 World Population Conference in Mexico City
Mexico City
Mexico City is the Federal District , capital of Mexico and seat of the federal powers of the Mexican Union. It is a federal entity within Mexico which is not part of any one of the 31 Mexican states but belongs to the federation as a whole...

, Keyes was selected by Reagan as deputy chairman. In that capacity, Keyes negotiated the language of the Mexico City Policy
Mexico City Policy
The Mexico City Policy, also known by critics as the Mexico City Gag Rule and the Global Gag Rule, was an intermittent United States government policy that required all non-governmental organizations that receive federal funding to refrain from performing or promoting abortion services, as a...

 to withhold federal funds from international organizations that support abortion. Additionally, Keyes fought against an Arab-backed U.N. resolution calling for investigation of Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

i settlements. The measure passed 83-2, with 15 abstentions and only Israel and the U.S. voting against it. Reagan again appointed Keyes to represent the U.S. at the 1985 Women's Conference in Nairobi
Nairobi
Nairobi is the capital and largest city of Kenya. The city and its surrounding area also forms the Nairobi County. The name "Nairobi" comes from the Maasai phrase Enkare Nyirobi, which translates to "the place of cool waters". However, it is popularly known as the "Green City in the Sun" and is...

.

During his time at the United States Department of State
United States Department of State
The United States Department of State , is the United States federal executive department responsible for international relations of the United States, equivalent to the foreign ministries of other countries...

, Keyes defended the Reagan policy of not imposing economic sanctions on South Africa as punishment for apartheid. Stated Keyes, "I see the black people in South Africa as the most critical positive factor for eliminating apartheid and building the future of that country ... And that is not something you do with rhetoric, slogans and noninvolvement. It's not something you will achieve through disinvestment
Disinvestment
Disinvestment, sometimes referred to as divestment, refers to the use of a concerted economic boycott, with specific emphasis on liquidating stock, to pressure a government, industry, or company towards a change in policy, or in the case of governments, even regime change...

."

1988 Senate election


In 1988, Keyes was drafted by the Maryland Republican Party to run for the United States Senate
United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...

, and received 38 percent of the vote against victorious incumbent Democrat
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

 Paul Sarbanes
Paul Sarbanes
Paul Spyros Sarbanes , a Democrat, is a former United States Senator who represented the state of Maryland. Sarbanes was the longest-serving senator in Maryland history, having served from 1977 until 2007. He did not seek re-election in 2006, when he was succeeded by fellow Democrat Ben Cardin...

.

1992 Senate election


Four years later, he ran again for the Senate from Maryland, coming in first in a field of 13 candidates in the Republican primary. Against Democrat Barbara Mikulski
Barbara Mikulski
Barbara Ann Mikulski is the senior United States Senator from Maryland and a member of the Democratic Party. Mikulski, a former U.S. Representative, is the longest-serving female senator in U.S...

, he received 29 percent in the general election.

During the 1992 election, Keyes attracted controversy when he took a $8,463/month salary from his campaign fund.

1996 Presidential election


Keyes sought the Republican presidential nomination in 1996, in an effort to force abortion to the center of America's public policy debate. Many Republican leaders saw this as unnecessary and divisive. Keyes was particularly critical of Clinton during his campaign, saying, "This guy lies, but he lies with passion." He questioned whether a Republican candidate who is truthful, yet cold and heartless, had a chance to win against the incumbent.
Keyes was also especially critical of Pat Buchanan
Pat Buchanan
Patrick Joseph "Pat" Buchanan is an American paleoconservative political commentator, author, syndicated columnist, politician and broadcaster. Buchanan was a senior adviser to American Presidents Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, and Ronald Reagan, and was an original host on CNN's Crossfire. He sought...

, once saying during an interview on the Talk from the Heart program with Al Kresta
Al Kresta
Al Kresta is a Catholic broadcaster, journalist and author. A former Evangelical pastor, he is now the President and CEO of Ave Maria Radio, and host of Kresta in the Afternoon, produced by Ave Maria Radio and syndicated on EWTN Global Catholic Radio, heard on more than 160 stations around the...

 (simulcast on KJSL
KJSL
KJSL is a Christian talk radio station broadcasting from St. Louis, Missouri.- Overview :Owned and operated by Crawford Broadcasting Company, KJSL is one of 26 radio stations owned by Crawford Broadcasting. This frequency was formerly used by KXOK, the pioneer of the Top 40 radio format in the...

-AM St. Louis and WMUZ
WMUZ
WMUZ is an FM radio station in the United States serving the Detroit, MI market at 103.5 MHz. The station has a contemporary Christian music and Christian talk format, known on the air as The Light...

-FM Detroit) that Buchanan had a "black heart." Keyes's entry into the Republican race after Buchanan had secured victories in New Hampshire and Louisiana led many to believe that Keyes was a stalking horse
Stalking horse
A stalking horse is a person who tests a concept with someone or mounts a challenge against them on behalf of an anonymous third party. If the idea proves viable and/or popular, the anonymous figure can then declare their interest and advance the concept with little risk of failure...

 for neoconservative elements in the G.O.P., since Buchanan had been a well-known ardent foe of abortion and had suffered political fallout for bringing abortion and "cultural war" to the center of the public policy debate. Later during the primaries, Keyes was briefly detained by Atlanta police when he tried to force his way into a debate to which he had been invited, and then uninvited. He was never formally arrested and was eventually picked up 20 minutes later by Atlanta's mayor at the time, Bill Campbell
Bill Campbell (mayor)
Bill Campbell , is a former American politician, a member of the Democratic Party, and served as the 57th Mayor of Atlanta, Georgia, U.S., from 1994 to 2002. Campbell was the fifty-seventh mayor in the city's history and the third African American to hold the office...

.

2000 Presidential election


Keyes again campaigned for the Republican nomination in the 2000 primaries
Republican Party (United States) presidential primaries, 2000
The 2000 Republican presidential primaries were the selection process by which voters of the Republican Party chose its nominee for President of the United States in the 2000 U.S. presidential election. Governor of Texas George W...

 on a pro-life
Pro-life
Opposition to the legalization of abortion is centered around the pro-life, or anti-abortion, movement, a social and political movement opposing elective abortion on moral grounds and supporting its legal prohibition or restriction...

, family values
Family values
Family values are political and social beliefs that hold the nuclear family to be the essential ethical and moral unit of society. Familialism is the ideology that promotes the family and its values as an institution....

, tax reform plank. In Iowa, he finished 3rd, drawing 14 percent in a crowded field. He stayed in the race after the early rounds and debated the two remaining candidates, John McCain
John McCain
John Sidney McCain III is the senior United States Senator from Arizona. He was the Republican nominee for president in the 2008 United States election....

 and George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

, in a number of nationally televised debates. He finished second in 8 primaries. His best showing in the presidential primaries was in Utah
Utah
Utah is a state in the Western United States. It was the 45th state to join the Union, on January 4, 1896. Approximately 80% of Utah's 2,763,885 people live along the Wasatch Front, centering on Salt Lake City. This leaves vast expanses of the state nearly uninhabited, making the population the...

, where he received 20 percent of the vote. He was also noted for jumping into a mosh pit
Mosh
Moshing is a dance in which participants push or slam into each other. They also flail their limbs to breakdowns of hardcore punk and its sub-genres. It is most associated with aggressive music genres, such as hardcore punk and heavy metal...

 during a Rage Against the Machine
Rage Against the Machine
Rage Against the Machine is an American rock band from Los Angeles, California. Formed in 1991, the group's line-up consists of vocalist Zack de la Rocha, bassist and backing vocalist Tim Commerford, guitarist Tom Morello and drummer Brad Wilk...

 song during the Iowa caucus
Iowa caucus
The Iowa caucuses are an electoral event in which residents of the U.S. state of Iowa meet in precinct caucuses in all of Iowa's 1784 precincts and elect delegates to the corresponding county conventions. There are 99 counties in Iowa and thus 99 conventions...

 as part of a segment on Michael Moore
Michael Moore
Michael Francis Moore is an American filmmaker, author, social critic and activist. He is the director and producer of Fahrenheit 9/11, which is the highest-grossing documentary of all time. His films Bowling for Columbine and Sicko also place in the top ten highest-grossing documentaries...

's TV series The Awful Truth
The Awful Truth (TV series)
The Awful Truth was a satirical television show that was directed, written, and hosted by filmmaker Michael Moore, and funded by the British broadcaster Channel 4.-Format:...

.

2004 Senate election


On August 8, 2004 – with 86 days to go before the general election
General election
In a parliamentary political system, a general election is an election in which all or most members of a given political body are chosen. The term is usually used to refer to elections held for a nation's primary legislative body, as distinguished from by-elections and local elections.The term...

 – the Illinois Republican Party drafted Alan Keyes to run against Democratic Illinois Senate
Illinois Senate
The Illinois Senate is the upper chamber of the Illinois General Assembly, the legislative branch of the government of the state of Illinois in the United States. The body was created by the first state constitution adopted in 1818. The Illinois Senate is made up of 59 senators elected from...

 member and future President of the United States
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 Barack Obama
Barack Obama
Barack Hussein Obama II is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois, from January 2005 until he resigned following his victory in the 2008 presidential election.Born in...

 for the U.S. Senate, after the Republican nominee, Jack Ryan
Jack Ryan (Senate candidate)
Jack Ryan is a Republican from the state of Illinois who was forced to withdraw from the 2004 United States Senate race due to an alleged sex scandal involving his relationship with his ex-wife, actress Jeri Ryan...

, withdrew due to a sex scandal
Sex scandal
A sex scandal is a scandal involving allegations or information about possibly-immoral sexual activities being made public. Sex scandals are often associated with movie stars, politicians, famous athletes or others in the public eye, and become scandals largely because of the prominence of the...

, and other potential draftees (most notably former Chicago Bears
Chicago Bears
The Chicago Bears are a professional American football team based in Chicago, Illinois. They are members of the North Division of the National Football Conference in the National Football League...

 coach Mike Ditka
Mike Ditka
Michael Keller Ditka, Jr. is a former American football NFL player, television commentator, and coach. Ditka coached the Chicago Bears for 11 years and New Orleans Saints for three years. Ditka and Tom Flores are the only two people to win Super Bowls as a player, an assistant coach, and a head...

) declined to run. The Washington Post called Keyes a "carpetbagger
Carpetbagger
Carpetbaggers was a pejorative term Southerners gave to Northerners who moved to the South during the Reconstruction era, between 1865 and 1877....

" since he "had never lived in Illinois." When asked to answer charges of carpetbagging in the context of his earlier criticism of Hillary Clinton, he called her campaign "pure and planned selfish ambition", but stated that in his case he felt a moral obligation to run after being asked to by the state GOP. "You are doing what you believe to be required by your respect for God's will, and I think that that's what I'm doing in Illinois".

Keyes, who opposes abortion
Abortion
Abortion is defined as the termination of pregnancy by the removal or expulsion from the uterus of a fetus or embryo prior to viability. An abortion can occur spontaneously, in which case it is usually called a miscarriage, or it can be purposely induced...

 in all cases "except as an inadvertent result of efforts to save the mother's life",
said in a September 7, 2004 news conference that Jesus Christ
Jesus
Jesus of Nazareth , commonly referred to as Jesus Christ or simply as Jesus or Christ, is the central figure of Christianity...

 would not vote for Obama because of votes that Obama — then a member of the Illinois Senate
Illinois Senate
The Illinois Senate is the upper chamber of the Illinois General Assembly, the legislative branch of the government of the state of Illinois in the United States. The body was created by the first state constitution adopted in 1818. The Illinois Senate is made up of 59 senators elected from...

 Judiciary committee and a lecturer in constitutional law
Constitutional law
Constitutional law is the body of law which defines the relationship of different entities within a state, namely, the executive, the legislature and the judiciary....

 at the University of Chicago Law School
University of Chicago Law School
The University of Chicago Law School was founded in 1902 as the graduate school of law at the University of Chicago and is among the most prestigious and selective law schools in the world. The U.S. News & World Report currently ranks it fifth among U.S...

 —
cast in 2001 against a package of three anti-abortion bills that Obama argued were too broad and unconstitutional. The legislation, which provided "that a live child born as a result of an abortion shall be fully recognized as a human person," passed the Republican-controlled Illinois Senate, but failed to pass out of the
Democratic-controlled Illinois House
Illinois House of Representatives
The Illinois House of Representatives is the lower house of the Illinois General Assembly, the state legislature of the U.S. state of Illinois. The body was created by the first Illinois Constitution adopted in 1818. The state House of Representatives is made of 118 representatives elected from...

 Judiciary committee. After the election, Keyes declined to congratulate Obama, explaining that his refusal to congratulate Obama was "not anything personal", but was meant to make a statement against "extend[ing] false congratulations to the triumph of what we have declared to be across the line" of reasonable propriety. He said that Obama's position on moral issues regarding life and the family had crossed that line. "I'm supposed to make a call that represents the congratulations toward the triumph of that which I believe ultimately stands for ... a culture evil enough to destroy the very soul and heart of my country? I cannot do this. And I will not make a false gesture," Keyes said.

Keyes was also criticized for his views on homosexuality
Homosexuality
Homosexuality is romantic or sexual attraction or behavior between members of the same sex or gender. As a sexual orientation, homosexuality refers to "an enduring pattern of or disposition to experience sexual, affectional, or romantic attractions" primarily or exclusively to people of the same...

. In an interview with Michelangelo Signorile
Michelangelo Signorile
Michelangelo Signorile is a gay American writer, a national talk radio host whose program is aired each weekday across the United States and Canada. He is a political liberal, and covers a wide variety of political and cultural issues...

, a gay radio host, Keyes defined homosexuality as centering in the pursuit of pleasure, literally "selfish hedonism
Hedonism
Hedonism is a school of thought which argues that pleasure is the only intrinsic good. In very simple terms, a hedonist strives to maximize net pleasure .-Etymology:The name derives from the Greek word for "delight" ....

". When Signorile asked if Mary Cheney
Mary Cheney
Mary Claire Cheney is the second daughter of Dick Cheney, the former Vice President of the United States, and his wife, Lynne Cheney. She is openly lesbian, has voiced support for same-sex marriage, and has been credited with encouraging her father to support same-sex marriage as well...

, Vice President Dick Cheney
Dick Cheney
Richard Bruce "Dick" Cheney served as the 46th Vice President of the United States , under George W. Bush....

's lesbian daughter, fit the description and was therefore a "selfish hedonist", Keyes replied, "Of course she is. That goes by definition." Media sources picked up on the exchange, reporting that Keyes had "trashed", "attacked," and "lashed out at" Mary Cheney, and had called her a "sinner" – provoking condemnation of Keyes by gay Republicans and several GOP leaders. Keyes noted that it was an interviewer, not he, who brought up Mary Cheney's name in the above incident, and he told reporters, "You have tried to personalize the discussion of an issue that I did not personalize. The people asking me the question did so, and if that's inappropriate, blame the media. Do not blame me."

During the campaign, Keyes outlined an alternative to reparations for slavery
Reparations for slavery
Reparations for slavery is a proposal that some type of compensation should be provided to the descendants of enslaved people in the United States, in consideration of the coerced and uncompensated labor their ancestors performed over several centuries...

. His specific suggestion was that, for a period of one or two generations, African-Americans who were descended from slaves would be exempt from the federal income tax
Income tax in the United States
In the United States, a tax is imposed on income by the Federal, most states, and many local governments. The income tax is determined by applying a tax rate, which may increase as income increases, to taxable income as defined. Individuals and corporations are directly taxable, and estates and...

 (though not from the FICA tax
Federal Insurance Contributions Act tax
Federal Insurance Contributions Act tax is a United States payroll tax imposed by the federal government on both employees and employers to fund Social Security and Medicare —federal programs that provide benefits for retirees, the disabled, and children of deceased workers...

 that supports Social Security
Social Security (United States)
In the United States, Social Security refers to the federal Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance program.The original Social Security Act and the current version of the Act, as amended encompass several social welfare and social insurance programs...

). Keyes said the experiment "would become a demonstration project for what I believe needs to be done for the whole country, which is to get rid of the income tax." He also called for the repeal of the 17th Amendment
Seventeenth Amendment to the United States Constitution
The Seventeenth Amendment to the United States Constitution established direct election of United States Senators by popular vote. The amendment supersedes Article I, § 3, Clauses 1 and 2 of the Constitution, under which senators were elected by state legislatures...

 in order that US Senators should be appointed by state legislatures and no longer be directly elected.

Keyes finished with 27% of the vote despite winning a small number of southern Illinois counties.

2008 Presidential election


On June 5, 2007, We Need Alan Keyes for President was formed as a political action committee
Political action committee
In the United States, a political action committee, or PAC, is the name commonly given to a private group, regardless of size, organized to elect political candidates or to advance the outcome of a political issue or legislation. Legally, what constitutes a "PAC" for purposes of regulation is a...

 to encourage Keyes to enter the 2008 presidential election. On September 14, 2007, Keyes officially announced his candidacy in an interview with radio show host Janet Parshall
Janet Parshall
Janet Parshall is the host of the conservative, Christianity-based radio talk show In the Market with Janet Parshall, which is broadcast on the Moody Radio network. That program is the replacement for her previous radio show, Janet Parshall's America for the Salem Radio Network; that program was...

. On September 17, 2007, Keyes participated in the Values Voter Debate streamed live on Sky Angel
Sky Angel
Sky Angel U.S. LLC. describes itself as a "Christian-owned and operated multi-channel television service specializing in Christian and family-friendly TV and radio programming." It is one of the first niche-oriented television providers in the United States....

, the Values Voter website, and radio. In a straw poll
Straw poll
A straw poll or straw vote is a vote with nonbinding results. Straw polls provide dialogue among movements within large groups, reflecting trends like organization and motivation...

 of the attending audience, Keyes placed third among the invited candidates, after Mike Huckabee
Mike Huckabee
Michael "Mike" Dale Huckabee is an American politician who served as the 44th Governor of Arkansas from 1996 to 2007. He was a candidate in the 2008 United States Republican presidential primaries, finishing second in delegate count and third in both popular vote and number of states won . He won...

 and Ron Paul
Ron Paul
Ronald Ernest "Ron" Paul is an American physician, author and United States Congressman who is seeking to be the Republican Party candidate in the 2012 presidential election. Paul represents Texas's 14th congressional district, which covers an area south and southwest of Houston that includes...

. Keyes was excluded from the Republican CNN
CNN
Cable News Network is a U.S. cable news channel founded in 1980 by Ted Turner. Upon its launch, CNN was the first channel to provide 24-hour television news coverage, and the first all-news television channel in the United States...

/YouTube
YouTube
YouTube is a video-sharing website, created by three former PayPal employees in February 2005, on which users can upload, view and share videos....

 debate on November 28, 2007. Keyes's campaign called the exclusion "arbitrary, unfair, and presumptuous," arguing that CNN was playing the role of "gatekeeper" for the presidential election.

On December 12, 2007, Keyes participated in the Des Moines Register
Des Moines Register
The Des Moines Register is the daily morning newspaper of Des Moines, Iowa, in the United States. A separate edition of the Register is sold throughout much of Iowa.-History:...

s Republican presidential debate, televised nationwide by PBS
Public Broadcasting Service
The Public Broadcasting Service is an American non-profit public broadcasting television network with 354 member TV stations in the United States which hold collective ownership. Its headquarters is in Arlington, Virginia....

 and the cable news networks. This was the first major presidential debate in which Keyes participated during the 2008 election season and the last Republican debate before the Iowa Caucuses. Although Keyes wasn't listed on the latest national CNN poll leading up to the debate, he registered with at least 1 percent of the Iowa vote in order to participate. During the debate, after the moderator began to ask a question of Texas Congressman Ron Paul
Ron Paul
Ronald Ernest "Ron" Paul is an American physician, author and United States Congressman who is seeking to be the Republican Party candidate in the 2012 presidential election. Paul represents Texas's 14th congressional district, which covers an area south and southwest of Houston that includes...

, Keyes insisted he wasn't getting fair treatment. He interrupted the debate moderator at one point, saying that she hadn't called on him in several rounds and that he had to make an issue of it. He went on the offensive against his opponents during the debate, criticizing Rudy Giuliani
Rudy Giuliani
Rudolph William Louis "Rudy" Giuliani KBE is an American lawyer, businessman, and politician from New York. He served as Mayor of New York City from 1994 to 2001....

's pro-choice
Pro-choice
Support for the legalization of abortion is centered around the pro-choice movement, a sociopolitical movement supporting the ethical view that a woman should have the legal right to elective abortion, meaning the right to terminate her pregnancy....

 position, as well as Mitt Romney
Mitt Romney
Willard Mitt Romney is an American businessman and politician. He was the 70th Governor of Massachusetts from 2003 to 2007 and is a candidate for the 2012 Republican Party presidential nomination.The son of George W...

's recent change in position on the same subject. In answering a question about global warming
Global warming
Global warming refers to the rising average temperature of Earth's atmosphere and oceans and its projected continuation. In the last 100 years, Earth's average surface temperature increased by about with about two thirds of the increase occurring over just the last three decades...

, he continued his criticisms of other candidates, saying, "I'm in favor of reducing global warming, because I think the most important emission we need to control is the hot air emission of politicians who pretend one thing and don't deliver". He also advocated ending the income tax, establishing state-sanctioned prayer in public schools
School prayer
School prayer in its common usage refers to state-approved prayer by students in state schools. Depending on the country and the type of school, organized prayer may be required, permitted, or prohibited...

, and abolishing abortion. Toward the end of the debate, Keyes stated he could not support Giuliani if he were to win the nomination due to the former New York mayor's position on abortion.

In the Iowa caucuses
Iowa Republican caucuses, 2008
The 2008 Iowa Republican caucuses took place on January 4, 2008. The Iowa Republican caucuses are an unofficial primary, with the delegates to the state convention selected proportionally via a straw poll...

, Keyes did not appear on any of the election totals. Keyes stated that many of the caucus locations he visited did not list him as a choice. His campaign CEO, Stephen Stone blamed much of this on the media and on Keyes's decision to enter the race late. Stone explained that the media would not acknowledge Keyes's candidacy, making it difficult to run an effective campaign.

Keyes supports an amendment to the Constitution barring same-sex marriage. He stated he would not have gone to war in Iraq, but also said that the war was justified and defended President George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

's decision in one of his 2004 debates. Keyes has stated that troops should stay in Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

, but also said that he would have turned over operations to the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

. However, Keyes has also stated that even while he was an ambassador there he was not a supporter of the United Nations.

After the early states, Keyes exclusively campaigned in Texas
Texas Republican primary, 2008
The 2008 Texas Republican primary took place on March 4, 2008. John McCain won the primary election, giving him enough delegate votes to guarantee his nomination at the 2008 Republican National Convention.-Process:...

, where he finished with 0.60 percent of all votes cast. Keyes received numerous monetary contributions during his 2008 campaign, including a donation of $4000 from a key supporter Stephanie Tufenkjian, an important political advocate.

Following Texas, the Keyes campaign moved to seeking the Constitution Party
Constitution Party (United States)
The Constitution Party is a paleoconservative political party in the United States. It was founded as the U.S. Taxpayers' Party by Howard Philips in 1991. Phillips was the party's candidate in the 1992, 1996 and 2000 presidential elections...

 presidential nomination, but he continued to appear on several Republican ballots. On May 6, Keyes scored his best showing of the campaign by winning 2.7% for fourth place in North Carolina, earning him two delegates to the Republican National Convention.

Departure from Republican Party


Keyes first stated that he was considering leaving the Republican Party during a January 2008 appearance on The Weekly Filibuster
The Weekly Filibuster
The Weekly Filibuster is an American talk radio show moderated by politico Ben Goodman of the University of Maine that is broadcast on Sunday evenings...

 radio show. He did not withdraw his candidacy after John McCain
John McCain
John Sidney McCain III is the senior United States Senator from Arizona. He was the Republican nominee for president in the 2008 United States election....

 won the necessary 1,191 delegate
Delegate
A delegate is a person who speaks or acts on behalf of an organization at a meeting or conference between organizations of the same level A delegate is a person who speaks or acts on behalf of an organization (e.g., a government, a charity, an NGO, or a trade union) at a meeting or conference...

s to the Republican National Convention
2008 Republican National Convention
The United States 2008 Republican National Convention took place at the Xcel Energy Center in Saint Paul, Minnesota, from September 1, through September 4, 2008...

, even though he was no longer campaigning for the Republican nomination. On March 27, 2008, Keyes's campaign website began displaying the Constitution Party's logo, along with a parody of the trademarked GOP logo in the form of a dead elephant
Elephant
Elephants are large land mammals in two extant genera of the family Elephantidae: Elephas and Loxodonta, with the third genus Mammuthus extinct...

. This appeared to be an indication of Keyes's intentions to quit the Republican party and to begin officially seeking the Constitution Party
Constitution Party (United States)
The Constitution Party is a paleoconservative political party in the United States. It was founded as the U.S. Taxpayers' Party by Howard Philips in 1991. Phillips was the party's candidate in the 1992, 1996 and 2000 presidential elections...

's presidential nomination.

On April 15, Keyes confirmed his split from the Republican Party and his intention to explore the candidacy of the Constitution Party. He lost his bid for the party's nomination, however, coming in second to 2004 CP vice presidential
Vice President of the United States
The Vice President of the United States is the holder of a public office created by the United States Constitution. The Vice President, together with the President of the United States, is indirectly elected by the people, through the Electoral College, to a four-year term...

 candidate Chuck Baldwin
Chuck Baldwin
Charles Obadiah "Chuck" Baldwin is an American politician and founder-pastor of Crossroad Baptist Church in Pensacola, Florida. He was the presidential nominee of the Constitution Party for the 2008 U.S. presidential election and had previously been its nominee for U.S. vice president in 2004...

 at the party's national convention in Kansas City, Missouri
Kansas City, Missouri
Kansas City, Missouri is the largest city in the U.S. state of Missouri and is the anchor city of the Kansas City Metropolitan Area, the second largest metropolitan area in Missouri. It encompasses in parts of Jackson, Clay, Cass, and Platte counties...

 on April 26, 2008. During the convention, the party's founder, Howard Phillips, gave a controversial speech in which he referred to Keyes as "the Neocon candidate" who "lingered in the Republican Party until a week ago." Following the defeat, Keyes held an interview with Mike Ferguson in which he compared his defeat to an abortion. Later, Keyes told a group of his supporters that he was "prayerfully considering" making a continued bid for the presidency as an independent
Independent (politician)
In politics, an independent or non-party politician is an individual not affiliated to any political party. Independents may hold a centrist viewpoint between those of major political parties, a viewpoint more extreme than any major party, or they may have a viewpoint based on issues that they do...

 candidate, and asserted his refusal to endorse Baldwin's candidacy.

Instead, Keyes' supporters formed a new third party, America's Independent Party
America's Independent Party
America's Party, originally known as America's Independent Party, is a conservative American political party formed in 2008 by supporters of Alan Keyes as an alternative to the Republican, Democratic and other parties....

, for his presidential candidacy. America's Independent Party gained the affiliation of a faction of California
California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

's American Independent Party
American Independent Party
The American Independent Party is a right-wing political party of the United States that was established in 1967 by Bill and Eileen Shearer. In 1968, the American Independent Party nominated George C. Wallace as its presidential candidate and retired Air Force General Curtis E. LeMay as the vice...

. However, the AIP ticket, which had Brian Rohrbough, father of a victim of the Columbine High School massacre
Columbine High School massacre
The Columbine High School massacre occurred on Tuesday, April 20, 1999, at Columbine High School in Columbine, an unincorporated area of Jefferson County, Colorado, United States, near Denver and Littleton. Two senior students, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, embarked on a massacre, killing 12...

, of Colorado
Colorado
Colorado is a U.S. state that encompasses much of the Rocky Mountains as well as the northeastern portion of the Colorado Plateau and the western edge of the Great Plains...

 as its vice presidential candidate, was only on the ballot in California, Colorado, and Florida
Florida
Florida is a state in the southeastern United States, located on the nation's Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Alabama and Georgia and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. With a population of 18,801,310 as measured by the 2010 census, it...

.

In the federal election held on November 4, 2008, Keyes received 47,694 votes nationally to finish seventh. About 86% (40,673) of the votes he received were cast in California.

Obama citizenship lawsuit


On November 14, 2008, Keyes filed a lawsuit—naming as defendants California Secretary of State
California Secretary of State
The Secretary of State of California is the chief elections officer of that U.S. state. The Secretary of State is also responsible for the California State Archives, as well as chartering corporations. The Secretary of State is elected to four year terms, concurrent with the other constitutional...

 Deborah Bowen, President-elect Barack Obama
Barack Obama
Barack Hussein Obama II is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois, from January 2005 until he resigned following his victory in the 2008 presidential election.Born in...

, Vice President-elect Joe Biden
Joe Biden
Joseph Robinette "Joe" Biden, Jr. is the 47th and current Vice President of the United States, serving under President Barack Obama...

, and California's 55 Democratic electors
Electoral college
An electoral college is a set of electors who are selected to elect a candidate to a particular office. Often these represent different organizations or entities, with each organization or entity represented by a particular number of electors or with votes weighted in a particular way...

—challenging Obama's eligibility for the U.S. Presidency. The suit requested that Obama provide documentation that he is a natural born citizen of the United States.

Following the inauguration, Keyes claimed President Obama had not been constitutionally inaugurated, refused to call him president, and called him a "usurper" and a "radical communist".

Media and advocacy


Keyes has worked as a media commentator and talk show personality. In 1994, he began hosting a syndicated radio show
Talk radio
Talk radio is a radio format containing discussion about topical issues. Most shows are regularly hosted by a single individual, and often feature interviews with a number of different guests. Talk radio typically includes an element of listener participation, usually by broadcasting live...

 called The Alan Keyes Show: America's Wake-Up Call from Arlington, Virginia. The show became simulcast on cable's National Empowerment Television
National Empowerment Television
National Empowerment Television , also known as America's Voice, was a cable TV network designed to rapidly mobilize conservative followers for grassroots lobbying. It was created by Paul Weyrich, a key strategist for the paleoconservative movement...

 in 1997. Keyes also launched various web-based organizations — notably Renew America and the Declaration Foundation, both headquartered in Washington, D.C.

Keyes has served on the board of advisors for the Catholic League
Catholic League (U.S.)
The Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, often shortened to the Catholic League, is an American Catholic anti-defamation and civil rights organization...

, a non-profit, Roman Catholic advocacy group
Advocacy group
Advocacy groups use various forms of advocacy to influence public opinion and/or policy; they have played and continue to play an important part in the development of political and social systems...

 headed by William A. Donohue
William A. Donohue
William Anthony "Bill" Donohue is the president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights in the United States, a position he has held since 1993.-Life and career:...

. In 1997, he was quoted as calling in that capacity the ABC
American Broadcasting Company
The American Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network. Created in 1943 from the former NBC Blue radio network, ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Company and is part of Disney-ABC Television Group. Its first broadcast on television was in 1948...

 television show Nothing Sacred
Nothing Sacred (TV series)
Nothing Sacred is an American drama series that aired from 1997 to 1998 on ABC. The series was created by a Jesuit priest named Bill Cain and producer David Manson.-Synopsis:...

 "propaganda dressed up as entertainment, the way the Nazis used to make movies. The entertainment elite's belief that there are no moral absolutes deeply contradicts the religious view of Christianity."

In 2002, he hosted a live television commentary show, Alan Keyes Is Making Sense
Alan Keyes Is Making Sense
Alan Keyes Is Making Sense was a short-lived news talk show on MSNBC hosted by conservative commentator Alan Keyes. It ran for 23 weeks in the first half of 2002...

, on the MSNBC
MSNBC
MSNBC is a cable news channel based in the United States available in the US, Germany , South Africa, the Middle East and Canada...

 cable news channel. The network canceled the show in July, citing poor ratings. The cancellation triggered a currently ongoing boycott led by Jewish activism website Mesora.org that numbers more than 72,000 members. The show was unsympathetic to supporters of the al-Aqsa Intifadah – whom Keyes frequently debated on the program – and supported the Israeli crackdown on Palestinians. The show also featured critical discussion of homosexuality and of priests accused in the Roman Catholic Church
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

 sex abuse scandals. The last episode was broadcast on June 27, 2002. As a result of Keyes's strong advocacy of Israel on his MSNBC show, in July 2002 the state of Israel awarded him a special honor "in appreciation of his journalistic endeavors and his integrity in reporting" and flew him in to meet Prime Minister Ariel Sharon
Ariel Sharon
Ariel Sharon is an Israeli statesman and retired general, who served as Israel’s 11th Prime Minister. He has been in a permanent vegetative state since suffering a stroke on 4 January 2006....

.

In August 2003, Keyes came out in defense of Alabama
Alabama
Alabama is a state located in the southeastern region of the United States. It is bordered by Tennessee to the north, Georgia to the east, Florida and the Gulf of Mexico to the south, and Mississippi to the west. Alabama ranks 30th in total land area and ranks second in the size of its inland...

 Chief Justice Roy Moore
Roy Moore
Roy Stewart Moore is an American jurist and Republican politician noted for his refusal, as the elected Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Alabama, to remove a monument of the Ten Commandments from the state courthouse despite orders to do so from a federal judge...

, citing both the U.S. Constitution and the Alabama constitution as sanctioning Moore's (and Alabama's) authority to publicly display the Ten Commandments
Ten Commandments
The Ten Commandments, also known as the Decalogue , are a set of biblical principles relating to ethics and worship, which play a fundamental role in Judaism and most forms of Christianity. They include instructions to worship only God and to keep the Sabbath, and prohibitions against idolatry,...

 in the state's judicial building, in defiance of a court order from U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson. Although the monument was ultimately removed by state authorities, the issue impelled Keyes to spend the next year advocating his understanding of the Constitution's protection of the right of states to display monuments that reflect the religious sentiments of the people in their states. As a result, he published an essay describing his rationale titled "On the establishment of religion: What the Constitution really says."

In early 2005, Keyes sought to intervene in the Terri Schiavo case
Terri Schiavo case
The Terri Schiavo case was a legal battle in the United States between the legal guardians and the parents of Teresa Marie "Terri" Schiavo that lasted from 1998 to 2005...

, arguing that Schiavo's life was protected by the Florida constitution, and that Governor Jeb Bush had final authority to determine the outcome of the case under state provisions. He attempted to meet with Bush to discuss the provisions of Florida law that authorized the governor to order Schiavo's feeding tubes reinserted – something Bush claimed he wished to do, but for which he said he lacked authority – but the governor declined to meet with Keyes. Keyes subsequently wrote an essay directed openly at Governor Bush titled "Judicial review and executive responsibility", days after Schiavo's feeding tube had been removed.

In November 2006, Keyes criticized Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney
Mitt Romney
Willard Mitt Romney is an American businessman and politician. He was the 70th Governor of Massachusetts from 2003 to 2007 and is a candidate for the 2012 Republican Party presidential nomination.The son of George W...

 for instituting gay marriage entirely on his own – according to Keyes – with no requirement or authority to do so under Massachusetts law. Keyes said Romney's actions, which he suggested were due to a complete misunderstanding of his role as governor and of the limitations of the judicial branch of government, were not necessitated by a ruling of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court in November 2003 that directed the state legislature to institute same-sex marriage. The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial court had ruled that the state law banning same-sex marriage was not constitutional. The court gave the Massachusetts Legislature 180 days to modify the law; after it failed to do so, Gov. Mitt Romney
Mitt Romney
Willard Mitt Romney is an American businessman and politician. He was the 70th Governor of Massachusetts from 2003 to 2007 and is a candidate for the 2012 Republican Party presidential nomination.The son of George W...

 ordered town clerks to begin issuing marriage licenses on May 17, 2004, in compliance with the court ruling.

Commenting on the issue, Keyes asked rhetorically, "Since the legislature has not acted on the subject, you might be wondering how it is that homosexuals are being married in Massachusetts. It's because Mitt Romney, who is telling people he's an opponent of same-sex marriage, forced the justices of the peace and others to perform same-sex marriage, all on his own, with no authorization or requirement from the court. Tells you how twisted our politicians have become."

In December 2009, Keyes authored a column for the World Net Daily critical of evolution
Evolution
Evolution is any change across successive generations in the heritable characteristics of biological populations. Evolutionary processes give rise to diversity at every level of biological organisation, including species, individual organisms and molecules such as DNA and proteins.Life on Earth...

 and in support of Intelligent Design
Intelligent design
Intelligent design is the proposition that "certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection." It is a form of creationism and a contemporary adaptation of the traditional teleological argument for...

.

Keyes is also on the advisory boards of Eagle Forum
Eagle Forum
Eagle Forum is a conservative interest group in the United States founded by Phyllis Schlafly in 1972 and is the parent organization that also includes the Eagle Forum Education and Legal Defense Fund and the Eagle Forum PAC. The Eagle Forum has been primarily focused on social issues; it describes...

, the American Life League
American Life League
The American Life League is one of the largest pro-life organizations in the United States. The organization opposes abortion under any circumstance, contraception, embryonic stem cell research, and euthanasia...

, Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust, and the American Coalition of Life Activists
American Coalition of Life Activists
The American Coalition of Life Activists was a pro-life advocacy group that was the subject of controversy for its series of Wanted-style posters....

. He is involved in the promotion of the Constitution Party's Save America Summit, the Christian Exodus
Christian Exodus
Christian Exodus is a Christian secessionist group. Initially, they attempted to organize a mass movement to South Carolina and later Idaho. Currently, the goal of Christian Exodus has been to pull members together into micro-communities, through social networking, and encouraging its members to...

 separatist
Separatism
Separatism is the advocacy of a state of cultural, ethnic, tribal, religious, racial, governmental or gender separation from the larger group. While it often refers to full political secession, separatist groups may seek nothing more than greater autonomy...

 movement, and evangelists Wiley Drake
Wiley Drake
Wiley S. Drake is a California-based minister and radio host. He was the vice-presidential candidate for the America's Independent Party ticket in 2008,. Drake has drawn controversy for his use of imprecatory prayer. He is the pastor of the First Southern Baptist Church of Buena Park in Buena...

 and Flip Benham
Flip Benham
Philip "Flip" Benham is an evangelical Christian minister and the national leader of Concord, North Carolina-based Operation Save America.-Pro-life ministry:...

.

Keyes also made a widely discussed appearance in the 2006 film
2006 in film
- Highest-grossing films :Please note that following the tradition of the English-language film industry, these are the top-grossing films that were first released in the United States in 2006...

 Borat
Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan
Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan, often referred to simply as Borat, is a 2006 mockumentary comedy film directed by Larry Charles and distributed by 20th Century Fox...

.

Further reading

  • Masters of the Dream: The Strength and Betrayal of Black America by Alan Keyes, William Morrow & Company, Inc., 1994. ISBN 0-688-09599-2
  • Our Character, Our Future by Alan Keyes, Zondervan, 1996. ISBN 0-310-20816-5
  • The Jerusalem Alternative: Moral Clarity for Ending the Arab-Israeli Conflict by Dmitry Radyshevsky (Editor), Jenny Grigg (Editor), 2004. ISBN 0-89221-592-5 Contains speeches from the inaugural Jerusalem Summit, featuring: Richard Perle, Benjamin Netanyahu, Alan Keyes, Daniel Pipes, and other leading intellectual and political leaders.
  • Leadership Defined: In-Depth Interviews with America's Top Leadership Experts by Richard Tyler, Alexander M. Haig, Warren Bennis, Alan Keyes, 2004. ISBN 1-932863-10-9
  • Judicial Tyranny by Mark Sutherland, William J. Federer, Dave Meyer, 2005. ISBN 0-9753455-6-7 Features conservative perspectives on the United States judicial system from Mark Sutherland, US Attorney General Ed Meese, Ambassador Alan Keyes, Dave Meyer, Phyllis Schlafly, the Honorable Howard Phillips, Alan Sears, William Federer, Ben DuPre, Rev. Rick Scarborough, David Gibbs, Mathew Staver, Don Feder and Herb Titus.

External links




2004 Senate campaign

2008 presidential campaign