“We conservatives need to get busy,” argues Mark Levin in the conclusion to his magnificent new book, Liberty and Tyranny: A Conservative Manifesto. The author’s advice is accurate but also a massive understatement. The year 2009 finds the statists no longer at the gate but advancing well beyond it. Their machinations jeopardize our financial viability and the new crew leading us appears to know less about making an economy work than the Chinese.
Given the state of the country and the Democratic Party’s stranglehold on government, the challenge to the political right has never been greater. Conservatives desperately seek answers as a leftist Leviathan vacuums up huge sectors of our once (mostly) free economy.
In light of events, Liberty and Tyranny proves timely. Its narrator urges a return to basics. Republicans must learn to speak the language of conservatism and offer the public a true choice at the ballot box. Watered-down statism — such as the kind hawked by Senator John McCain last fall — is a recipe for permanent Republican oblivion and will allow our country to devolve into an East Germany of the mind.
Levin urges fidelity to the Constitution, devotion to federalism, and the adoption of a hard, rather than conciliatory, line with environmentalists and radicals of every stripe. His positions should be taken seriously by everyone associated with the Grand Old Party. Republican Chairman Michael Steele has already endorsed the book, and hopefully more rightist officials will discover its merits in the future.
Put simply, Liberty and Tyranny invigorates. It provides ammunition and clarity for those who oppose President Obama and socialism in all its deceptive forms. Unfortunately, the first step in using the book as a catalyst is successfully securing a copy, and that is a bit of a challenge at the moment.
At the time of this writing, the work sits at number one atop Amazon’s bestseller list. As a result, it is sold out and will not be available there for one to three weeks’ time. I was not sent an advance copy and do not know Mr. Levin personally, but obtained one out of luck. After being told by a clerk at the local Borders that their shelves were bare, I stumbled across an edition hiding among the weight loss classics at Target.
The astronomical success of Liberty and Tyranny is an obvious tribute to its worth along with the esteem by which the author is held in conservative circles. Nowadays Mark Levin is primarily known for being the star of a blockbuster talk show bearing his name. Before he became famous for fifteen hours of weekly leftist vivisection, he was an accomplished writer, lawyer, and member of the Reagan administration.
On the surface, Levin’s radio dominance is perplexing. His voice is not of professional quality and no Paul Shanklins contribute hysterical songs to endlessly humor the audience, as is the case with the Rush Limbaugh Show. However, part of what it means to be a conservative is to remain unmoved by surface issues.
What makes Mark Levin a shouting paragon of AM excellence is that he stays ruthlessly on topic and possesses intellectual wattage which far surpasses that of his peers. Further, vocal tone and a sensitive demeanor are qualities usually appreciated by shallow people. “Hope and change” may titillate idiots but “substance over style” is the mantra of patriots.
On the air, Levin scores point after point against our foes. He leaves Democratic callers spinning from his (well-deserved) rudeness and precision logical strikes. Liberty and Tyranny is a continuation and elaboration of the cerebral excellence displayed to listeners on Monday through Friday.
It is Levin stripped of personality and a compendium of the best positions our side has to offer. These are the essential arguments and there is no question that his message — both in verbal and written form — is integral to the future of conservatism.
Levin has predicted that the left will assault his work in the fashion they did previous books which questioned the Obamamessiah, although I suspect his assumption will prove false. In all probability, Democratic Party smear merchants by and large will ignore it.
To attack his historical overview and contemporary analysis would draw attention to contentions the left cannot defeat and which undermine their anti-liberal mission. In ten airtight, concise chapters Levin demolishes the edifice of statism and refutes the fallacious claim that there is anything “liberal” about power-drunk politicians lording over us with treacherous bureaucracies.
In the author’s words, “The modern liberal believes in the supremacy of the state, thereby rejecting the principles of the Declaration and the order of the civil society, in whole or part. For the modern liberal, the individual’s imperfection and personal pursuits impede the objective of a utopian state. In this, modern liberalism promotes what French historian Alexis de Tocqueville described as a soft tyranny, which becomes increasingly more oppressive, potentially leading to a hard tyranny (some form of totalitarianism). As the word ‘liberal’ is, in its classical meaning, the opposite of authoritarian, it is more accurate, therefore, to characterize the modern liberal as a statist.”
Yes! Yet why would the mainstream media ever want to acknowledge his words when Levin comprehends that they are an entity entirely beholden to the Democratic Party? My guess is they will not. His archenemies at Media Matters will still vilify him, but carefully eschew discussing the specifics of his book while doing so.
Furthermore, much of Liberty and Tyranny is theoretical and “the One” is generally vicarious to the discussion. Sober and trenchant elucidation of the views of the Founders and chapter titles like “On Prudence and Progress” are not the stuff to electrify the drones who worship Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report.
Due to its merits, to call it The Conscience of a Conservative for the twenty-first century is not hyperbole. Levin persuades at both the abstract and concrete levels. His treatment of immigration brims with fact and detail that fully highlight the sick extent by which leftists are willing to destroy our future in exchange for electoral advantage.
Concerning immigration he observes, “No society can withstand the unconditional mass migration of aliens from every corner of the earth. The preservation of the nation’s territorial sovereignty, and the culture, language, mores, traditions, and customs that make possible a harmonious community of citizens, dictate that citizenship be granted only by the consent of the governed — not by the unilateral actions or demands of the alien — and then only to aliens who will throw off their allegiance to their former nation and society and pledge their allegiance to America.”
Well, why shouldn’t citizens decide who joins us on these shores? Why is it xenophobic to oppose unlimited immigration? What number of third-world guests will be enough to assuage the leftist’s endemic guilt? Our elites refuse to answer questions like these. They hold “the people” to be an entity best bullied rather than consulted. If we were left to our own devices then we would live in a manner we choose — a result far too humane for statists to accept.
Where Levin departs most radically from other authors is in his inclusion of an epilogue that functions as a call to action. He split his manifesto into ten elements containing thirty-three suggestions that should allow for the taking back of our country.
As he often points out on his program, if all of us together manage to convince a friend or associate to walk away from the Democratic Party, we will have ensured America’s future. While erudite and scholarly, Liberty and Tyranny is rooted in common sense and Levin’s concluding injunction is sound. We all need to get busy.