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Feb. 15th, 2005 @ 08:32 am Alan Keyes and the politics of hate and hypocrisy
I'm feeling pretty: cheerfulcheerful
I am listening to: none
Isn't it Ironic?!

This is one of the best articles I've read in a long time! Read it all !!! It's Great!

(SAN FRANCISCO)(February 14) On St. Valentine�s day we offer a father-daughter love story, though perhaps not quite the kind that would excite the juices of cupid. Yes, Alan Keyes�much to the surprise of the somnolent Chicago media�has arisen from the political graveyard to haunt us again--with a new episode of homophobia, one involving his daughter.

Keyes became notorious last year. First, he was imported to Illinois by a handful of right-wing Republicans who rejected the Illinois Republican Party�s history of moderation�and success--in winning elections. The radical right wanted a true test: they got it. Keyes lost by 40 points.

Keyes is really not a political figure. He is a political entrepreneur. He takes extremist stands knowing that a tiny fragment of the political community agrees with him and will pay to hear his radical nonsense. Keyes makes a good living being a right-wing nut, certainly a better living than I do. He rakes in the cash by peddling his rightist claptrap and a handful of Republican social-militia types pay well to support him in high style.

But Mighty Alan speaks with a forked and dissembling tongue and, as they used to say in the 1950�s, puts �business before pleasure.�

Keyes' �business� is titillating his tiny segment of right wing nuts with fundamentalist rhetoric. Why Republican leaders imported him to Illinois still mystifies me. It was a political marriage made in hell.

Keyes promptly attracted national attention by sliming the gay daughter of Vice President Cheney. He went to the Republican National Convention, ensconced himself on �Radio Row,� and promptly attacked Ms. Cheney because of her sexuality, calling her a �selfish hedonist.�

Keyes went on to speculate that �[I]f my daughter were a lesbian, I�d look at her and say�� Heaven forefend.

What Keyes did not tell his right-wing supporters and paymasters was that he did have a daughter, and he already knew she was a lesbian. Maya Keyes had �come out� to her parents in high school, and Keyes knew he was telling less than �the truth and full truth� when he trashed Cheney�s daughter and concealed his own identical family situation. Keyes concealed the truth concerning his family (pleasure) because it was obviously "bad for business."

Since Maya Keyes is bad for business with Keyes' right-wing constituency Mr. Keyes has now ended the pleasure of his parenthood. He has thrown Maya out of the house (family values) and cut off her tuition and school money for brown University (Christian charity?) Oh, what a tangled web we weave!!!!! And, oh, Happy Valentine's day.

Do I hate Republican hypocrites? No. I love them. What would we do without them? How could we know how stupid, how self-destructive hypocrisy and homophobia are if we did not have the pseudo-didact Alan Keyes to remind us? It just so happens I was in San Francisco when the Keyes brouhaha broke in the national press. (The story has not yet appeared in Chicago, where winter cold always chills the journalistic bones, so this column is an Illinois exclusive.)

Have I ever been wrong on gay rights? Yes, I have. But I learned from my involvement in the political arena. When you marginalize any group, you endanger every group. It�s Third Reich 101. I landed in San Francisco last year when the gay marriage boom was about to explode. What interest did I have in the private lives of peaceful citizens who were doing nothing wrong? None whatsoever. Peace.

Unlike Keyes, I have not found a way to create a profit center from politics, so I do not speak out on public policy matters to fatten my wallet. Unlike Mr. Keyes I am not in the pay of either the pro or anti gay rights lobbies.

And I have come to rank the right to privacy and the implicit right to tolerance in a democratic society as very critical rights indeed. Thursday night I will be having dinner in San Francisco with a couple of guys whose sexuality is of no concern to me. Don�t ask, don�t tell. They are friends. Period. And I am going with a family member.

If Keyes were only a footnote to history, a sad footnote for a misguided Illinois Republican Party thrashing about for a new direction and new leadership, the travails of his daughter would soon be forgotten. But Keyes clams to have transplanted his hate and homophobia to Illinois permanently, to influence Illinois Republicans.

Let me stress I do not mean to answer Keyes� hate with my own reciprocal hate. I understand that many decent people of faith were schooled in a style of worship and scripture that demonized some and exalted others, notwithstanding the message of the gospels. I favor the right to privacy for private organizations. No church�s liturgy or clergy should be dictated from without; in a free society every religious organization must be free to define itself from within. If I disagree with any private institution of which I am a part, I am free to dissent or de-part, peacefully and with respect.

So, even if I disagree with the religious policy of a particular denomination or religion, I feel comfortable defending the right to be wrong. That�s the American way.

Because I try to be a good Christian, in this season of penitence and Lent (as always) I do not hate those who disagree with me, I try to love them. Even Alan Keyes.

Here�s to you, Alan. And please bring your daughter home and pay her college tuition bills. You can afford it. Those right-wing Christians have filled your pockets with silver. Don�t make it look like you can only count to thirty.

As for myself, only my girl friend knows for sure. Hey, it�s private.


Here's a link to her BLOG where you can read a copy of her speech, it's really great: Maya Marcel-Keyes
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