Mark Levin on Liberty And Tyranny
HH: Indeed, I’ve got the tag team to end all radio tag teams today. Joining me, the author of the number one bestselling book at Amazon.com, The Great One, Mark Levin. Mark, welcome, always a pleasure to have you, friend.
ML: Hugh Hewitt, my brother, and we are good friends, and you’re terrific. I appreciate it.
HH: Well, congratulations. Are you astonished by how your book is like the rocket?
ML: Well you know, I thought it might do well, but I was just told, literally before I came on your program here, you’re not going to believe, it’s in the 11th printing, 707,000 copies.
HH: And what’s that tell you, Mark Levin?
ML: It tells me that conservatives want to be confident in their principles. It tells me that people are very, very concerned about what’s happening in their country. And it tells me that there is in fact a growing and vibrant backlash against all of this.
HH: And I couldn’t agree more. It also says it’s a very well-written, concise reminder. I call it a kick in the pants for down in the mouth conservatives who want to throw in the towel and walk off the sidelines and call it game over. And it’s very timely, Mark Levin, congratulations. I want to go through a number of the points you make in Liberty And Tyranny. It’s linked at www.hughhewitt.com. But I want to start by thanking you for telling me, and I thought I knew my English history, that Cromwell died of malaria. I never knew that until I read your book.
ML: That’s right. They needed DDT back then.
HH: You know, that argument about DDT, very few people know about this, but is actually an argument that will save millions of lives if it gets into the right people’s minds that this green stuff kills babies in Africa.
ML: It cannot even be proven that DDT has ever killed a single human being, not a single human being. In World War II, we lathered up our soldiers with it when they fought in the jungles in Burma and the Philippines and other places, as did our allies. DDT used to be dropped on major American cities in the 30s and 40s to kill malaria. Malaria used to be in the United States. It used to be in parts of Canada.
ML: And so…but what happened, obviously, is in the early 1960s with Rachel Carson’s book, Silent Spring, which had more phony science and groups like the Sierra Club, in the end, it was banned in the United States, which means it was banned in most of the free world, which means since most of the free world produces it, Africa went without DDT. Southeast Asia went without DDT. And so the environmentalists succeeded in allowing the death of tens of millions, particularly of children in Africa and other parts of the world, because of their adherence to this. And my point in including that and other examples in the book is here we go again with this global warming, where they want to create a regressive situation not only in the United States, but who will be affected the most? The undeveloped third world where they want to have lights, where they want to have running water, where they want to have food, and they want to do all these things. But instead now, here we go again with now it’s global warming.
HH: In the last two hours of today’s show, Mark Levin, I’m talking to Thomas P.M. Barnett, whose new book is Great Powers, wrote The Pentagon’s New Map. And you and he and I are all fellow travelers on this. We cannot expect the third world to live in the misery which it has inherited from previous generations because it did not have capitalism. But that’s where the statists that you talk about, they’re condemning them. If they continue, Obama will be condemning his cousins, his aunts, his uncles who remained behind in Kenya to the terrible effects of an economy that doesn’t grow, a health system that does not produce, and a security that does not exist.
ML: Yeah, this has been tried all over the world before, these statist experiments. And what it does is it spreads misery and death. And what they’re going to do in this country, you know, Obama has said frequently that we’re 5% of the world’s population, and use 25% of the world’s resources. Well, we use 25% of the world’s resources not just for ourselves, but for the entire world, because that’s how the free market works.
ML: That said, he wants to make that, those numbers more comparable. And he is trying to make us poor. Whether it’s his energy policies or his industrial policies that he’s setting in place now, his taxation/regulatory policies, nationalizing various industries, threatening and intimidating various executives and management teams in various businesses, this is a wholesale assault by our government now in the hands of the statists against the private sector.
HH: I want to recommend to the audience that has not yet bought Mark Levin’s book that they get one for themselves to remind themselves of the key, core principles of conservatism, and also to give to the independents and even Democrats out there, and to bookmark Page 72, where Mark borrows the research of Bianco Research president James Bianco to, I think, more completely and more coherently and quickly communicate the size of the fiscal adventure we’re on, Mark, than I’ve seen anywhere else, because as you point out, you add up the inflation adjusted costs of the Marshall Plan, the Louisiana Purchase, the race to the Moon, the S & L crisis, the Korean War, the New Deal, the invasion of Iraq, the Vietnam War and NASA, then you begin to approach what Obama has spent in the first two months of his administration. It’s staggering.
ML: If you add that to the inflation-adjusted costs of World War II, which is about $3.6 trillion to the $3.9 trillion, Obama through fiscal monetary policy has spent more than all those events and World War II put together.
HH: It is stunning, and it’s going to mean, I don’t know if it’s going to be hyper-inflation, Mark Levin. What’s your guesstimate on that?
ML: Well, first of all, I think it will destroy the dollar at some point. And some president with a sound economic team is going to have to spend his entire administration putting this back together. You cannot have trillions of dollar bills floating around the world without them eventually coming back. And they will come back. And my biggest concern is they say too big to fail? Well right now, the full faith and credit of the United States government is on the line, which means everything that we do in this country, the dollar is a creation of our government. The currency is a creation of the federal government. It’s right there in the Constitution. And if that fails, everything fails, and I think it’s going to be a huge problem. There may be ways to try to respond to it if it’s done soon enough and well enough. But I think we’re really off into some really dark corners right now.
HH: One more alarm from Liberty And Tyranny: A Conservative Manifesto, Mark Levin’s book, and we’ll come back and talk some more after the break about it. It comes from Page 103. One of the reasons I love this book is that it communicates quickly the key points that conservative activists are going to need. We’re going to talk about where to find them after the break. “19 million individuals initially enrolled in Medicare,” Mark writes, “As of 2006, it covered 43 million people, about 36 million elderly, 7 million disabled. In 2030, not that far away, Medicare is expected to cover 79 million people and consume 11% of the nation’s economy, up from 3%.” You know, we’ve almost got socialized medicine now, Mark Levin. It’s in pace, it’s moving, and Henry Waxman certainly isn’t going to reverse this destructive course.
ML: No, and it’s destroying the health care industry over time. About a third of the people in this country receive directly some kind of government health care, or are subsidized by the government for health care, and it’s growing. And the statist answer is to nationalize it so that all of us are forced into some kind of a government system over time. It’s utterly unsustainable. Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid right now are unsustainable. Medicaid takes up on average 21% of any state’s budget. Medicare is growing faster than Social Security. Right now, we have a $53 trillion dollar unfunded obligation according to the government. And they want to nationalize health care and put more people on the dole? I don’t see how this ends well if we allow this to go on.
HH: These are the sorts of numbers that will wake up the rational, and ought even to disturb the irrational. It’s the kind of sound and thunderclap that ought to bring to everyone’s attention reality, especially on Capitol Hill. When we come back from break, we’re going to talk a little bit about foreign policy in the age of Obama. I’ll leave you with this quote to think about in the course of this conversation. “The conservative does not seek rigid adherence to any specific course of action – neutrality or alliance, preemptive war or defensive posture, nation building or limited military strike. The benchmark again is whether any specific path will serve the nation’s best interest. It is difficult to imagine a theory under which a society could otherwise survive.” Mark, I want to thank you for making finally clear there is no conservative foreign policy. There is the national security that must be defended no matter what the circumstance are, no matter how they change.
ML: That’s exactly right. The preservation of our society, that is the number one, two and three requirements of government, whether it’s domestic or foreign. And if it means attacking, it means attacking. If it means not attacking, fine. If it means allying ourselves with putrid foes for a given period of time as we did in World War II, then we do that. If it doesn’t, then we don’t.
HH: If it means tilting to Saddam in the 80s, you tilt to Saddam in the 80s. And if it means taking him out in 2003, you take him out in 2003.
ML: Exactly, exactly.
HH: But that seems to be lost on the left, Mark.
ML: Well, and somewhat it’s lost on the right. You know, democracy building or slaying the monsters before they slay us, it depends on the circumstances. And you know what? Washington’s farewell address, which has been distorted by isolationists, he basically says that. He says look, we don’t want permanent alliances. That doesn’t mean we don’t want alliances. What he means is, we want alliances that promote the preservation of our society. And if that means a long term alliance, great. If it means a short term alliance, so be it. And look at Obama. He never talks about this. It’s always as a global citizen.
HH: Yeah, and in fact, that global citizen has landed as we speak in England where all the other global citizens are getting together to look at the global citizenship reform act, because they’ve got to do something.
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HH: The Great One, Mark Levin, is here with me this hour. And a lot of you have already sent e-mails, and are wondering why would I invite a competitor on, and that’s because Mark and I aren’t competitors. We are cooperating hosts who try and do right by the country at the same time slot in many markets, and there’s plenty of listeners to go around. And you know, Mark Levin, I think this is another indication that the left just doesn’t get us, doesn’t get Rush, doesn’t get Hannity, doesn’t get any of us who are…all the Salem hosts, Bennett through the rest of them, that we are all on the same team here. We might disagree and fight among each other occasionally, but boy, we are united in making sure the country understands we can’t go down this road.
ML: Well you know, not only is that true, but let me tell your audience something. You are universally adored by all of us.
HH: Oh, now I’m blushing.
ML: And hold on now, hold on. Let me say it. All of us, on the other hand, are not. But you are universally adored by my brothers Rush and Sean and all the rest of us because you’re so smart and you’re kind, and you’re on the game. And we do appreciate you, Hugh.
HH: Well, let’s talk about this couple of paragraphs from late in the book, Liberty And Tyranny. “Republicans seem clueless on how to slow, contain and reverse the statist agenda.” And then you go on to say on the next page, “In order to turn that around, it will require a new generation of conservative activists, larger in number, shrewder, more articulate than before, who seek to blunt the statist counterrevolution, not imitate it, and gradually and steadily reverse course.” Where are we going to get them, Mark Levin?
ML: We’re going to get them from our children and grandchildren. I don’t know about anybody else, although a lot of people do this, I spend a lot of time with my children, explaining to them the principles of this nation, why they’re important, why it’s the only way humanity’s going to survive. Whatever the schools have taught them, they’re going to understand who we are and why we are who we are. And if every parent and grandparent does even that over the dinner table, over the breakfast table, when you’re driving your kid to some sporting event or play, when you’re putting them to bed, this is home schooling, even if they go to a government school. This is absolutely crucial. There are tens of millions of us. We far outnumber ACORN and all the other leftist propagandists out there. And there are many resources out there we can use on the internet that didn’t exist 20 years ago that are absolutely free. We have got to be the Paul Reveres in our own communities, talk to our friends and our neighbors. And come election time, we need to bring two or three people with us, because if 20 or 30 million of us do that, they cannot stop us. Now it’s more elaborate and sophisticated than that, but that’s the nub of it.
HH: Mark Levin, I’m actually an optimist, and I went through the 70s as you did. We arrived in town roughly the same time, we worked for the same people, Ed Meese and President Reagan. And we know what the late 70s were, which was a spur to the greatest period of economic growth and political realization that the country has ever had, because Reagan came out of that era. And it’s an ugly thing to have to go through, but it does correct itself, because liberty and freedom are the preferred methods of living.
ML: Yeah, the only question now, though, is this. The reason Obama is in a hurry is because he only got 52.7% of the vote. The numbers the Democrats have in the Senate are not going to hold up the next election cycle, and certainly not the cycle after that. So they’re trying to install as many programs as they can, and protect them through the administrative state, that is the bureaucracy, and protect them through the judiciary, so that the public’s ability to affect it and to reverse course is limited. And this is the modus operandi of the statist, to make as much, to disenfranchise us as much as possible, and to create these never ending programs, and it’s going to be very important that we get our hands on the elected branches of the government as soon as possible to contain this damage, and eventually reverse it.
HH: And that calls, by the way, and I think we’re seeing this, a daily commitment to delay and defeat of that which is disastrous, not to give them a few easy wins and go along, but to every single day fight in the United States Senate to slow it down. The House can’t do much right now, but I also hope, and I’m going to turn to you as the author not just of Liberty And Tyranny, but also of Men In Black. Do you think the Roberts Court has what it takes to stand in the gap for a while?
ML: Well, as to your first point, they need to start using political guerrilla tactics, and I mean threatening filibusters, doing filibusters. If we lose a few Republicans here and there, then let’s identify them. Demand that these so-called moderate Democrats, if they really are moderate, join in the ranks. Start filibustering nominees, turn, use some of the medicine that the left used which I rejected. They have got to become really hungry for victory, regardless of their numbers. As for the Roberts Court, you know, there’s only four originalists on that Court, so you never know what Anthony Kennedy’s going to do. But you know, I think those four justices will do what’s right. The problem is, as you know, certainly since the New Deal, we have a line of cases that makes it very difficult for the justices, unless they return to the original language of the Constitution, to thwart the statist ambitions, because they’ve almost been constitutionalized by prior Supreme Courts.
HH: What’s interesting, Mark, I taught the campaign finance cases today, this very day. And there have always been, this is one where Kennedy is rock solid. He’s been with Thomas and Scalia in denouncing these obvious impositions on our free speech. Now we’ve got Chief Justice Roberts, Justice Alito, you worked with them both, I worked with one. I didn’t work with Justice Alito. And you know that they know that this stuff is wrong. I wouldn’t wonder if they don’t try in the case that we heard last week to sweep away the impediments to the full, fair fight that exists now that have empowered the George Soros and the 527s. Do you see any hope there?
ML: Well, I hope so. I mean, I hope they do the right thing, because you know, Hugh, it’s a little complicated, but they take an oath to the Constitution, not to every ridiculous Court decision that’s been handed down and every precedent. And at least for me, I’d be looking at the Constitution to try and figure out if what’s being done is Constitutional or not, and not so much what the Warren Court or even the Berger Court or whatever court preceded it. Is there hope? There’s hope, but I don’t think ultimately the Supreme Court’s going to be our salvation. We the people are going to be the salvation.
HH: Oh, I agree with that, I’m just looking for some gap fillers here. Last question, Mark Levin, and again, Liberty And Tyranny is linked at www.hughhewitt.com. It’s at bookstores…actually, it’s not in bookstores everywhere.
ML: Well, hold on now. They’re being moved by the tens and thousands as I speak.
HH: I sent an intern running around trying to find a copy yesterday. The poor guy was exhausted.
ML: Try Costco. But they’re all going to be there starting tomorrow from what I’m being told in the next day.
HH: All right, that’s, it’s important to get this book out there and flood the zone with Liberty And Tyranny. But I just wrote a piece for National Review, it’ll be up either today or tomorrow, on the future of talk radio. I am quite bullish, given the numbers I have seen. What do you feel?
ML: I’m bullish if the same guy who didn’t just fire the head of GM doesn’t start mucking around in the talk radio business through attacking the corporations that own our shows.
ML: And do it in very devious ways, you know, diversity ownership, local rules, local news, all the other propaganda that they put out, the purpose of which is destroy shows like yours and mine and others, and Rush and Sean and so forth. So I’m worried about that. Now if the market is allowed to operate, all of our shows are growing.
ML: The other stuff on radio is shrinking. All of our shows are growing, and they’re growing not just because conservatives want to have a place to talk and listen and so forth, but I think there’s other people out there starting to say wait a minute, $9 trillion dollars? I have kids, too. This doesn’t smell right to me.
HH: I think that’s exactly right. They are looking and saying where can I get an objective assessment? Where can I find first principles? Where can I find an alternative? And one place you can do that, America, is in Mark Levin’s brand new book, Liberty And Tyranny: A Conservative Manifesto, extraordinary success. Mark Levin, always a pleasure, my friend.
End of interview.