A broader overview of Levin’s Liberty Amendments project
FOXNews’ Sean Hannity hosted an hour-long special on Mark Levin’s Liberty Amendments project, spelled out in his new best-seller The Liberty Amendment: Restoring the American Republic, in which Levin explained his project and was then queried by a host of conservatives (many, of course, regular FOX contributors, and all pre-disposed to find at least some agreement with Levin’s ideas).
Among those in the studio audience were David Limbaugh, Terry Jeffrey (CNS), Niger Innis, Jedidiah Bila, Joel Pollack (Breitbart), Monica Crowley, Steve Bannon (Breitbart), Katie Pavlich (Townhall), Jenny Beth Martin (Tea Party Patriots), and then FOX stalwarts like Michele Malkin.
All in all, I thought there were several good questions raised — how do we overcome a campaign of status-quo liberal indoctrination practiced by public schools, the mainstream press, and Hollywood, in order to get enough people engaged in the project; how do we avoid having the left (and I’d add, the statist right) try to hijack the process, etc. — but the best question I thought came from Monica Crowley, who walked right up to the edge a crucial line of inquiry that wasn’t broached, but to my way of thinking is the most important question of all, as I’ll explain momentarily: specifically, what happens, Crowley wanted to know, if the movement can’t gain traction? To which Levin responded to the effect of, well, we at least need to try, because doing nothing isn’t an option.
You can watch the entire discussion here:
Now, one of the pitfalls of having been, as a conservative outcast whose willingness to challenge those on our side without a kind of rote collegial deference, bracketed from these kinds of national public conversations (to our intellectual detriment as a movement, I’d say; and I’m not alone among those writers whose iconoclastic positions, at least early on in the Obama tenure, were tacitly determined to be unhelpful, and their once influential status very carefully weakened by the networked pragmatists), is that I wasn’t invited to appear on the panel.
And as a result, the question that needed to be asked wasn’t asked. And that is this: what happens if, say, only 57% of the states ratify? Does that mean at that point, having used up what Levin believes is our final recourse to save the republic, we can then throw up our hands, console ourselves for having tried, and then resign ourselves to live as subjects to an inexorably more powerful centralized welfare state bent on taking away individual autonomy and diminishing the role of private property by way of punitive taxation and wealth redistribution?
And if not — and many of us have already reached the point where we’ve determined we will not live under capricious law whimsically applied, nor will we subject ourselves to the final ruling of one philosopher king interested in his “historical legacy” as written by the very liberal scholars who are at work providing the intellectual ground for the deconstruction of our Constitution — what then?
Levin consistently, both on his show and in his appearances, dodges this question — the justification being that we aren’t there yet, and because, from a practical business standpoint, he likely can’t speculate openly given his public position as a syndicated broadcaster.
But the rest of us have already thought this through, and the hypothetical is both a realistic one and one that deserves to be discussed: if we have already gone past the popular tipping point, what recourse do those of us who simply will not accept being part of a permanent bureaucratic welfare state have going forward?
It’s an unpleasant question to think about. And as much I admire Levin, and cite him here often as perhaps the most seminal figure (along with Sarah Palin) in the popularizing of the constitutionalist movement, his reluctance to even broach the point is a failure from the end game perspective.
Let’s put this in the most basic, straightforward terms we can: say the last-ditch constitutional attempt to save the Constitution is rejected by enough people that the Liberty Amendment movement is stunted, weakened, or even dies. Then what?
Levin notes time and again that he is against majoritarianism. Okay. But what about an uprising by the new minority — those who still adhere to and revere the Constitution as written and intended? Would such a thing be legitimate, to Levin’s way of thinking?
That is to say, by Levin’s own admission, his attempt by way of the framers to save the republic may be the last and best lawful and civil way to affect systemic change and reverse the course of institutionalized progressivism, driving it out of the structural foundation of the country, where it has burrowed itself and is eating away the architectural strength of the founders’ and framers’ brilliant check on tyranny like an infestation of ideological termites.
So what if that attempt fails?
What then? Levin may perhaps dismiss this as a hypothetical, but then his project itself is a hypothetical. So that doesn’t fly.
So I’d ask Levin — and would have directly, had I been invited to represent the more aggressive strain of Devil’s advocacy — at what point do we recognize that reversing course is truly not an option (let’s say, eg., comprehensive immigration reform passes, and the Democrats control the popular vote for a generation or two), and that the only way to re-secure constitutional protections is to assert them against the federal (and some state and local) governments?
This is not meant to be a controversial question. It is an academic one. Succinctly: Would Levin support a minority uprising whose advocates insisted upon their liberty and their natural rights — and as a result, rejected and found illegitimate the federal government and the federal courts, who have reframed those rights to empower a ruling elite in direct contradiction to the plain language of the Constitution?
Or do we just go back to bitching online about it?