An instant classic from Mark Levin on Post-Constitutional America.
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What Wilson was really about, notes Levin, was a dismissal of both the Declaration of Independence as well as what Levin cites—accurately—as “the Founders’ announced purpose for American independence…the Lockean exposition on natural law, the nature of man, the social compact establishing the civil society, and the essential ingredients of constitutional republicanism…. In short, for Wilson, rights are awarded or denied the individual as determined by the government.”
Or in other words, Wilson’s attempt at a constitutional do-over was effectively and inevitably going to head a country founded on principles of liberty down that oldest of roads to that oldest of human conditions—tyranny. Levin again:
Tyranny, broadly defined, is the use of power to dehumanize the individual and delegitimize his nature. Political utopianism is tyranny disguised as a desirable, workable, and even paradisiacal governing ideology.
At the conclusion of the Constitutional Convention on September 17, 1787, Pennsylvania delegate James Wilson rose to read a speech from his aging friend and colleague Benjamin Franklin. It is a speech that serves today as an effective warning, a bold “I-told-you-so” from perhaps the oldest and wisest of the Founding Fathers to the current generation of trustees of his beloved American Republic. The Constitution, cautioned Franklin, “is likely to be well administered for a Course of years, and can only end in Despotism as other Forms have done before it, when the People shall become corrupt as to need Despotic Government, being incapable of any other…”
Asks Levin: “Have we become corrupt” and therefore invited a need for “despotic government”?
Yes, he responds.
Levin cites a chilling sampling of moderns including the managing editor of Time magazine and prominent columnists for the New York Times and the Washington Post who have, in the ageless style of American utopians like Woodrow Wilson, effectively endorsed abandoning the Constitution to embrace the eternal utopian “infatuation with totalitarianism.” One advocates “changing or reinterpreting” the Constitution, while another rhapsodizes over the “great advantages” to be found in the government of the police state that is China.
Another prattles of a “fatuous infatuation” with the Constitution and specifically describes the 10th Amendment as “clearly the work of witches, wiccans, and wackos. It has nothing to do with America’s real problems and, if taken too seriously, would cause an economic and political calamity.” What does this witches brew embedded in the Constitution actually say? In its entirety, here is this heretical subversion of utopia: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States respectively, are reserved to the States respectively or to the people.”
Imagine that. Power to the people. Positively frightening, no?
Well, yes. It is if you are a utopian.
What Mark Levin has accomplished with this book is to frame in detailed, precise, and readable fashion the historical connection between the ancient dreams of utopians for absolute power and the nightmare reality of what is becoming—what is—every day real life in today’s America. He has written a succinct account of how a nation, in Lincoln’s words, “conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal,” has slowly and at times not-so-slowly evolved into a centralized government of, by, and for a political class of “entrenched experts and administrators, whose authority is also self-perpetuating…and growing more formidable.”
In the last line of the book, Levin asks what is surely destined to be the real question of 2012—and beyond.
“So my fellow countrymen, which do we choose—Ameritopia or America?”
It is alarming to say, but the jury is still out.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?