GOP Obamacare struggle shows tyranny of progressivism infects party.
The headlines are almost daily now. Here are a few:
From Politico: “Boehner: Republicans won’t repeal and replace Obamacare”
From CNN: “Why Senate Republicans can’t agree to repeal Obamacare, in charts”
From the Washington Examiner: “Byron York: Why can’t House repeal Obamacare? Because a lot of Republicans don’t want to”
From the New York Times: “Why Republicans Are Battling Republicans on Obamacare Repeal”
And so on and so on and so on.
Mark Levin’s new bestseller is Rediscovering Americanism: And the Tyranny of Progressivism. And what does his latest book have to do with those headlines above? Everything.
Writes Mark in a chapter on “The Progressive Masterminds”:
The end of the nineteenth century saw the rise of a movement thoroughly hostile to the underlying principles of the nation’s founding — the “Progressive Movement.…
Progressivism was imported from Europe and would result in a radical break from America’s heritage. In fact it is best described as an elitist-driven counterrevolution to the American Revolution, in which the sovereignty of the individual, natural law, natural rights, and the civil society — built on a foundation of thousands of years of enlightened thinking and human experience — would be drastically altered and even abandoned for an ideological agenda broadly characterized as “historical progress.”
Progressivism is the idea of the inevitability of historical progress and the perfectibility of man — and his self-realization — through the national community or collective… progressivism’s emphasis on material egalitarianism and societal engineering, and its insistence on concentrated, centralized administrative rule, lead inescapably to varying degrees of autocratic governance.
This is, of course, exactly the thinking behind Obamacare. What’s worse is that this thinking has thoroughly infected the Republican Party as all those headlines above illustrate vividly. While the Charlie Gard episode is unfolding, not in America, but in England nonetheless, the spectacle of a government telling parents they have no right to decide the fate of their own child and that the government will in fact act as a “death panel” — with a “conservative” prime minister going along with it — speaks volumes on the dangers that surround the progressive agenda.
Which is why Rediscovering Americanism is not just an important book but a necessary book at exactly the right time. In chapter after educating chapter Mark illustrates the dangers of what can only be described as a fundamentally anti-American philosophy — and why a return to “Americanism” is vital to the very life of the country. He is nothing if not thorough in illustrating through the actions of American presidents like Woodrow Wilson just how far from American principles the country has been taken.
He underlines an all-too-frequently unobserved problem:
Since the principles undergirding America’s founding are beyond mortal law, they are beyond the reach of the progressives and the administrative state. Hence the war on the founding values, beliefs, and traditions was and is intended to, among other things, stop legitimate inquiry into and teaching of first principles or purposes. They are to be made intellectually and culturally off-limits. Consequently, what is left is only one acceptable and overarching agenda-the progressive agenda. The only relevant political and historical discussion is about is about progressive ideas and, more specifically, about their promotion — secularism, value relativism, social experimentation, unified political power — but never about slowing the pace or altering the main thrust and trajectory of progressivism. There can be no serious consideration of constitutional limits on the administrative state; no serious debate about governmental spending and debt; no serious argument about the ‘science’ of climate change; no serious discussion of effective reforms for governmental entitlements and programs, such as Social Security, Medicare, or ObamaCare; no serious thought of eliminating governmental departments and agencies. Ignorance is knowledge and centralized power is progress.
In other words? If the principles that gave birth to America are off-limits and only the progressive agenda is acceptable, America is headed for a seriously dire future that will in fact make the financial collapse of 2008 look like a Sunday school picnic.
Speaking of which, Mark points out that in fact the 2008 collapse was itself a result of the progressive agenda:
The progressives’ interference with the housing market through the Community Reinvestment Act resulted in the collapse of that market, a calamitous disaster for millions of homeowners who lost the equity in their homes or lost their homes outright.
Also discussed in detail here is the importance of protecting private property and the relationship between liberty and property, the latter explained by James Madison. Progressives will grind their teeth as this book punctures the historical myth that the New Deal saved the country when in fact “it was the New Deal that actually prevented a more rapid recovery.”
But most importantly of all, Mark Levin has once again written a thorough, passionate, and eloquent book on “the principles that define Americanism.” Over the years, both through his radio show and books like Liberty and Tyranny, Ameritopia, The Liberty Amendments, and Plunder and Deceit, his passion for the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution has single-handedly launched a serious national discussion about the founding principles of America and exactly why they are so critical to the country. His book signings routinely draw thousands, a testament to the fact that his message is being heard.
Rediscovering Americanism is the necessary book at the right time. As the Republican-controlled Congress struggles to find its footing in the fight to repeal Obamacare, it comes not a moment too soon.
Gage Skidmore/Creative Commons