Before a crowd of about 200 supporters, radio talk-show host and two-time presidential candidate Alan Keyes claimed that an erosion of America’s moral foundation was leading the nation toward a crisis, one that could soon determine the fate of both the U.S. Constitution and Americans’ basic freedoms. To avoid such a future, Keyes said Dewey Crepeau, a Columbia native, should be the one to replace Jay Nixon as the state’s attorney general.
Crepeau worked on Keyes’ 1996 bid for the presidency. Now Keyes is supporting Crepeau. Their similar views were one reason Crepeau gave for his choice of Keyes for his keynote speech; both referred to each other as men of honesty and integrity.
Keyes said he had, over the course of his career, spent a considerable amount of time figuring out what it is that makes freedom in America work. Freedom, he said, depends on a solid moral foundation.
Keyes went on to describe several issues he said evidenced a wearing away of that foundation. First, he criticized the Patriot Act as an invasion of civil liberties and warned it would be in the context of the war on terror that an agent of tyranny would be brought to power. He said that while he thought President Bush and Attorney General John Ashcroft have administered the provisions of the Patriot Act responsibly, he could not imagine what might happen if someone more liberal were given the authority outlined in the act.
Carrying on the discussion of the war on terror, Keyes said that what separates the United States and those who attacked it on Sept. 11, 2001, is the “cold-hearted disregard for human life” they showed in deliberately selecting civilian targets.
“That’s what makes them terrorists,” he said.
Expanding upon that argument, Keyes moved into a discussion of issues with which he is most frequently associated, abortion and homosexuality. Applying the definition of a terrorist to those who have had abortions, Keyes said that by recklessly disregarding the lives of unborn fetuses, people risk “calling down upon us the unfavor of the Almighty God.”
The selection of Keyes to speak at the fund-raiser is an indicator of the cross section of the constituency Crepeau hopes to court. Regarding the recent decision by the Missouri State Supreme Court to place the proposed gay-marriage amendment on the August ballot, Crepeau said he disagreed, saying he would have ruled more in line with Justice Stephen Limbaugh’s dissenting opinion.