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David Keene

David Keene

Editor at Large — David Keene, a trusted adviser to presidents, a longtime champion of personal liberty and one of conservatism’s most respected voices, is the former opinion editor of The Washington Times. An author, columnist and fixture on national television, Mr. Keene has championed conservative causes for more than five decades while offering advice to Republican presidents and countless candidates. He additionally served as chairman of the American Conservative Union and president of the National Rifle Association. He can be reached at me@davidakeene.com.

Articles by David Keene

FILE - In this March 18, 2017 file photo, Congressional candidate Rob Quist meets with supporters during the annual Mansfield Metcalf Celebration dinner hosted by the state's Democratic Party in Helena, Montana. He is trying to fire up the party faithful in his race against Republican Greg Gianforte in a May 25 special election to fill Montana's sole congressional seat. (AP Photo/Bobby Caina Calvan, File)

Hiding his socialism beneath a cowboy hat

Fresh from special election defeats in Kansas and Georgia, Democratic professionals and activists alike are focusing on the election to fill Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke's Montana congressional seat as one more chance to chip away at the Republican majority in the House. Published April 25, 2017

Unrest in Venezuela Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Venezuela's coming civil war

As American public attention has been focusing on terror attacks in Paris, the crisis in Syria and the nuclear-armed lunatic running North Korea, Venezuela to our south is about to explode into violence and civil war with incalculable consequences in our own hemisphere. Published April 24, 2017

Woodrow Wilson and WWI Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

The foul fruits of Woodrow Wilson

As a college undergraduate some decades ago, I was assigned an essay on the three most evil men of the 20th century. Adolf Hitler, Vladimir Lenin, Joseph Stalin and Mao Zedong were obvious choices, and most of my fellow students chose from that group. I agreed on Hitler and Lenin, but felt that Stalin and Mao were just additional manifestations of the evil Lenin embodied. My third choice was Woodrow Wilson, which upset my professor at the time, but which I stand by today. Published April 10, 2017

Illustration on Susan Rice by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

The half-baked lies of Susan Rice

Most reasonable observers believed or at least hoped that the nation would finally be spared having to listen to the Clinton and Obama administrations' go-to liar after last November's election. In the normal course of events, National Security Advisor Susan Rice would have simply packed her bags and vanished into well-paid obscurity at a "progressive" university or think tank. But it was not to be. Published April 5, 2017

Podesta Russian Ties Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Democrats' double standard on 'ties' to Russia

Washington and the national media are all about double standards. It should come as no surprise to anyone that the sort of Russian "ties" used to condemn Republicans as possible agents of Moscow are dismissed as irrelevant when Democrats are revealed to have deeper, stronger and far more remunerative connections to Russian banks, oligarchs and institutions than any Republican currently being banished to the outer darkness by Democratic "progressives." Published March 28, 2017

Illegal Voter Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

From Free State to sanctuary state

Maryland is quite a place. The state's voters elected a Republican governor in 2014, but control remains in the hands of the same "progressives" who enjoy veto-proof majorities in both houses of the legislature on most issues. They vote as if former Gov. and presidential wannabe Martin O'Malley is still ruling the roost in Annapolis. Published March 22, 2017

Illustration on dealing with gun crime in Chicago by Donna Grethen/Tribune Content Agency

A gun-crime tool that works

President Trump threatened last week to send the "feds" in to clean up Chicago if the city doesn't do something to reduce the escalating murder rate that has made the gang-infested Windy City among the most dangerous metropolitan areas in the world. What the president doesn't seem to realize is that he has the tools to deal with the crisis without so drastic a step. Published January 30, 2017

Choice to Protect Students Illustration by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Schools need an adequate defense, too

Members of the Senate committee grilling Betsy DeVos last week were shocked at her response to a question from Connecticut Democrat Chris Murphy. Mr. Murphy, an ardent supporter of gun control, asked the prospective secretary of education whether "guns have a place in or around schools." Published January 23, 2017

Illustration of Nat Hentoff by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

A taste for authentic liberalism

Nat Hentoff, who died Saturday at age 91, was a champion of a classical liberalism that is no longer in vogue. He believed, above all, in freedom, the individual and the free speech guarantees found in the First Amendment of our Bill of Rights. He was in many ways the conscience of the First Amendment at a time when everyone from the left to right at least professed to believe in the right of those they disagreed with to speak their piece. Published January 9, 2017

The Old Soviet Union Illustration by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Confusing Putin with the old Soviet threat

We seem prepared to believe any evil of Vladimir Putin's Russia, which has with its second-rate military establishment and failing economy somehow morphed in the minds of many Americans into a greater threat than the old Soviet Union. Published January 2, 2017

Illustration on radical students at University of Wisconsin at Madison by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Unchanged and unbending campus radicals

The University of Wisconsin in Madison has always been a bit strange. I ought to know. I was there during the wave of radicalism that crested in the Sixties. Published December 26, 2016

Illustration on fake news by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

A love-hate relationship with 'fake' news

Scurrilous and "fake" news has been around since the penny tabloids of an earlier era when politicians actually subsidized newspapers and paid journalists to spread lies about their opponents to what they hoped was a credulous public. Published December 12, 2016

Illustration on John Bolton for Secretary of State by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Naming a secretary of state

President-elect Donald Trump is having a heckuva time deciding on who to nominate as secretary of State. It began with former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani's insistence that he wanted and deserves the job as payback for the yeoman work he did for candidate Trump when many leading Republicans were, shall we say, less than enthusiastic in their support of his fellow New Yorker. Published December 1, 2016

Illustration on the infantile reaction of sore losers by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

'A pack of sore losers'

It was election night 1960 and as the votes trickled in, those surrounding Vice President Richard Nixon were convinced Democratic vote fraud in Illinois and Texas were about to cost their man the White House in the closest presidential election since 1840. Published November 28, 2016

Illustration on Hillary and gun control by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Saying goodbye to guns

Earlier this year when Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and the National Rifle Association's Wayne LaPierre addressed the NRA's annual meeting both claimed that if she ever becomes president, Hillary Clinton will do all in her power to eviscerate or, in Mr. Trump's words, "abolish" the Second Amendment to the Constitution. Mrs. Clinton and her supporters called the charges lies and claim there is no evidence that she wants to do either. Published November 1, 2016

Illustration endorsing Donald Trump's candidacy by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

This consequential election

Former Secretary of Defense Don Rumsfeld once said that when a nation goes to war it must by necessity rely on "the army it has rather than the army it wishes it had." Anyone contemplating the political struggle in which the nation, the Republican Party and America's conservatives find themselves in today should think about those words because in a political campaign voters have a choice between not the candidates they might have wanted, but the candidates on the ballot. Published October 16, 2016

Preserving the 'genius' of the Constitution

The success of the American Republic is directly traceable to the wisdom and work of the 55 men who gathered in Philadelphia in 1787 to draft a constitution designed not so much to empower government, but to limit that power. Forrest McDonald, perhaps the most influential of historians on the intellectual origins of the Constitution, claimed it could not have been written by any other 55 men at any other time in history. At fewer than 8,000 words, it's a short document when compared to the fundamental documents of other nations and it has, in spite of its critics, stood up remarkably well since its adoption in 1789. Published September 12, 2016

Phyllis Schlafly   The Washington Times

The queen of conservatism

Phyllis Schlafly's death last weekend came not so much as a shock, but a surprise. Mrs. Schlafly was 92 years old and had stepped down as head of Eagle Forum, but many of those who knew her and worked with her find it difficult to imagine a world without the lady from Alton, Ill., who helped shape and lead the modern conservative movement. Published September 7, 2016

Illustration on animal testing of medicines by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

A boy is not a rat, a pig or a dog

Some years ago, my West Virginia hunting and fishing buddy was invited to appear on a local television station high in the mountains with an animal rights activist, a young vegan mother who brought her one-year-old daughter with her. In the midst of the discussion after the young lady argued that we humans ought to stop treating animals as our inferiors, my friend turned to her and asked a simple question. Published September 6, 2016

A big slush fund for the Clinton Foundation

Hillary Clinton, after learning there is a chance that hackers could release potentially embarrassing Clinton Foundation emails before the November elections, has announced that if she is elected president the foundation will no longer accept the foreign and corporate donations that have convinced all but her most loyal sycophants that she may well have been peddling influence to the highest bidder as secretary of State Published August 22, 2016