Glenn Reynolds interviews Mark Levin about his Liberty Project
What is particularly interesting to me about the interview is that is shows clearly something I long ago surmised — and subsequently posited while discussing the nascent outlaw! movement (an idea that led to my ouster from polite online “conservative” company, but that now, 4-years later, seems more prescient than “unhelpful” or “fundamentally unserious“) — namely, that the ideas behind Levin’s prescriptions, when divorced from the identity or political label placed upon its author, should have cross Party appeal: former Reagan Democrats, blue collar Democrats affected by bureaucratic bullying and government molestation in their industries, “liberals” who, for their occasional emotional support for certain statist polices, still on the whole believe in individual liberty and would rail against a permanent centralized ruling class dictating their every action, and libertarians and classical liberals who, to my mind, are today’s “constitutional” or legal conservatives — all of these people can rally behind the ideas presented by Levin here (and others elsewhere) that redound to reinvigorating the Constitution’s intended protection of individual sovereignty, and beat back ruling class attempts to breach constitutional protections and create from “of, by, and for the people” a government that perversely turns its owners into subjects.
I think — and I believe both Levin and Reynolds would agree with me here — that the youth vote that the GOP so longs for (but tries to woo with hamfisted panders and empty-sounding platitudes) is well within the grasp of the libertarian/classical liberal/constitutional conservative coalition: after all, the central message we are promoting is that a federal government that was born of reluctant necessity and given specific enumerated powers, and that was designed to be constrained by checks and balances through the adversarial nature of the branches, has grown so powerful that it is now directing what you eat, what you purchase, what kinds of lightbulbs you use, what kinds of toilets your flush, what kinds of showerheads you deploy, etc — and as it does so represents the very kind of nannystatist oppression against which youth are naturally disposed to rebel.
For years now I’ve been preaching that the failure of the GOP as a Party — and of many of its spokespeople and opinion shapers as an appendage to, and enabler of, the Party — is tied to its so-called “pragmatism” or realism, which, if we need to pick out actual dog whistle phrases coming from the GOP, has come to mean a surrendering of principles, and a commitment to attaining numerical power over various branches.
That they have failed — save in 2010, when it was those very “purists” and “true believers” they typically reject who propelled them into leadership in the House an in many state legislatures and governorships — has only persuaded them that they aren’t yet pandering hard enough through a version of the left’s antifoundationalism, and that it is the Hobbits and Visigoths who are hurting the Party, not the Party braintrust, which frankly at this point would have trouble beating an especially gifted chicken at tic-tac-toe, white board strategy or no white board strategy.
And so the key is to go around them, and to engage in local politics, as we here in Weld County Colorado have been doing, however unlikely our chances of survival. Establishment Republicans seem to believe that a fight they can’t win is not worth fighting. Which means, in essence, that they don’t believe in fighting at all, because a tussle in which one is guaranteed victory going in is a rigged match, not a fight.
Here on this site we’ve discussed local civil disobedience, a reaffirmation of the power of Governors, state refusal to feed the federal government or comply with bureaucratic regulations created by an unconstitutional deference of power from the legislative to the executive branch, with the executive branch then stacking the bureaucracies with political fellow travelers unanswerable to the franchise of the citizens.
On a more structural level, we’ve discussed how language plays a key role in the inexorable empowerment of the progressive agenda, and how (and why) we can and must take it back.
Levin’s plan is a great launching point to have begin framing the kernel assertion in all of this: do we or do we not wish to be a constitutional republic, one designed to protect us, in large part, from government and to ensure our natural rights as free people?
Or would we rather just trade in liberty for the promise of a permanent welfare state that, from an economic perspective, isn’t really permanent at all, and must of necessity collapse eventually under the weight of its own deceit?
You can view the interview here.