Keyes stirs up support at picnic

Senate candidate Alan Keyes shakes the hands of Anna Wall Scott, an Urbana resident and professor at Parkland College, during the annual Champaign County Republican picnic on Sunday. Online Poster

Senate candidate Alan Keyes shakes the hands of Anna Wall Scott, an Urbana resident and professor at Parkland College, during the annual Champaign County Republican picnic on Sunday. Online Poster

By Hetal Bhatt

U.S. Republican Senate candidate Alan Keyes fervently rallied a crowd at the Champaign County Republican picnic at Urbana’s Frasca Air Field yesterday.

Keyes spoke for 30 minutes at the annual event, outlining his stances and thesis in running for the U.S. Senate. He said his campaign is primarily focused on morality, which he claimed is on a downward spiral in this nation.

“The crisis of terror holds nothing to the crisis facing this nation’s morality,” he said to thunderous applause from an audience of more than 200. “This crisis may allow us to live in freedom today, but it will force our children to live in struggle and our grandchildren in slavery.”

He also took some time to condemn his opponent, Democrat Barack Obama, for his various stances that, according to Keyes, undermined the moral integrity and spirit of service which Illinois politics were founded upon.

“This is a country not founded upon the interests of politicians and bureaucrats, but on the will of the people,” he said. “Barack Obama’s aim in running for Senate is not to serve, but to simply gain power. Well, I’m here to let you all know that the political instruments of our government exist to serve us, not for us to serve them.”

Although Keyes spent much of his speaking time emphasizing moral-based issues such as abortion and gay marriage, he insisted that his campaign still had more depth to it, as witnessed by his comments on the current state of the economy.

“When Barack Obama served in the Illinois State Senate, the state of Illinois dropped second-to-last in business development because of his heavily anti-business voting record,” he said. “When you vote against businesses, you won’t have any new jobs. And when you don’t have jobs, you won’t have a good economy.”

Keyes also dismissed many of Obama’s campaign proposals, such as universal healthcare, as empty promises. He said it is simply not possible to vote against new businesses and new jobs and still have enough money for a universal healthcare system.

Despite Keyes’ powerful rhetoric and impassioned oration skills, Obama supporters are not budging from their support of the Democratic candidate. Sky Andrecheck, vice president of the College Democrats, was simply not convinced by Keyes’ speech.

“Barack Obama has been pushing diligently for breaks for low-income families and universal healthcare,” said Andrecheck, senior in LAS. “Anyone who looks at this situation would see that he has the best of intentions for people in Illinois and the nation, in general.”

Andrecheck also dismissed Keyes’ claim that Obama was simply running for U.S. Senate for the selfish sake of gaining power, rather than to serve his people.

“For him to claim that Obama is power-hungry is ludicrous,” Andrecheck said. “Keyes is the one coming all the way from Maryland to try to win the Illinois Senate, after he failed to win anything in his own state.”

But Keyes already was equipped to counter any arguments pointing out his nomadic trip to Illinois to pursue office.

“How come they tell me that I can’t come from Maryland to represent Illinois ideals, when Obama spits in the face of them?” he said.

Keyes later elaborated that it was Barack Obama’s steadfast support of abortion that led him to accept the vacant Republican spot in the Illinois Senate race.

“We are denying people in the womb the same rights that were denied to slaves,” he said. “The same way that slaves were seen as less than human, we see fetuses in the womb as less than human. The issue of abortion in our times has the same importance as slavery had in 1854.”

Despite entering late into the U.S. Senate race, Keyes seemed as determined as ever to come out victorious and represent Illinois in the U.S. Capitol. He ended his speaking time by declaring that focusing on morality while still maintaining a strong grasp on economical matters is, in his opinion, the best way to run this nation.

“With politics today, you see people like Barack Obama only respecting materialism. I swear that I’ll never do this,” Keyes said. “So many problems in the past have arisen by placing money over morality, such as slavery, and I will change that by bringing a much stronger sense of conscience into Washington.”