Opinion cloumn: Keyes against the machine

Illustration Illustration

Illustration Illustration

By Adam Zmick

Future senator Barack Obama is becoming the hottest thing to hit the state of Illinois since 1871. I agree with Obama on almost all the issues, but unfortunately, I cannot help in his quest for office. I am voting for Alan Keyes.

Why, you might ask, is one of The Daily Illini’s most notoriously leftist columnists jumping aboard the Keyes dinghy?

Some of you might remember the presidential race of 2000, when Keyes won an endorsement from Michael Moore. As part of his short-lived TV show, “The Awful Truth,” Moore offered his endorsement to any presidential candidate willing to jump into a Rage Against the Machine mosh pit, and Alan Keyes was that candidate. Have I been so hypnotized by “Fahrenheit 9/11” that I must do the four-year-old bidding of Michael Moore? No, and this is not the reason I’m voting for Alan Keyes.

I certainly don’t stand with Keyes on the issues. I don’t want a privatized, religious school system. I don’t believe abortion should be criminalized, nor do I believe welfare or sex education hasten the moral breakdown of society.

It’s not as if I plan to vote for Keyes because I trust him to look after the interests of Illinois. In 2000, Keyes told Pat Buchanan: “I deeply resent the destruction of federalism represented by Hillary Clinton’s willingness to go into a state she doesn’t even live in and pretend to represent people there, so I certainly wouldn’t imitate it.”After losing twice in his home state of Maryland, Keyes made himself a hypocrite just by accepting the Republican nomination in Illinois.

And yet I’m voting for him still.

One reason I’m voting for Keyes is because I disagree with him on the topic of welfare. I believe it is morally wrong for one person to live in luxury while another is starving. Alan Keyes is 41 points behind Obama in the polls. His Web site, www.keyesforsenate.com, consists of a single page with six links. Four of those links say, “Click here to donate now.” This guy obviously is starving, and I plan to show him some welfare by casting a pity vote.

I have another reason to vote for Alan Keyes, but it has nothing to do with either him or his opponent. My reason for supporting Keyes concerns the people who are supporting Obama – the blue-shirted army of volunteers.

Obama is untouchable in this election. In the polls, he’s at 65 percent and climbing. Despite almost certain victory, his army still is growing.

This doesn’t really make sense to me. Why would someone volunteer for Obama? At this point, Obama does not need your help. Trying to convince voters to pick Barack Obama is the effective equivalent of a door-to-door campaign asking people to die someday – they’re going to whether you’re there or not.

Don’t be a Yankees fan. If you really want to help move the United States in the direction Obama is talking about, then find another Democrat to volunteer for. Check out the races for state representative or even congress. The Illinois Green Party actually is running viable candidates for Champaign County Board. Helping to establish a third party will make a bigger difference in the long run than getting Obama up to 66 percent.

To all you political fair-weather fans out there: You may very well get your 66 percent. You may get 70, 80 or even 90 percent, but you will not get everyone. I am voting for Alan Keyes, and he certainly will vote for himself. That makes two votes Obama can’t get, no matter how hard his volunteers try. Oh, wait. I forgot. You need to be a resident of Illinois to vote here. Fine, one vote.

Adam Zmick is a senior in engineering. His column runs Thursdays. He can be reached at [email protected]