Thursday, April 30, 2009

Mark Levin: "Take Back Our Institutions"

John Hawkins has an awesome interview with Mark Levin at Right Wing News:

Let me play devil's advocate right off the bat here. What would you say to someone who said George Bush campaigned twice as a conservative, won both times and yet he did curtail our freedoms. He did increase the power of the state. He also opposed gay marriage, which means he wanted to limit freedom. So given that, isn't conservatism statist as well?

Well, I think somebody who says that is conflating Republican Party labels with conservative philosophy. There is no perfection in any politician and just because they become President doesn't change that -- and that's certainly the case with George Bush, who on the way out, declared free markets basically dead. There is a lot about Bush I admire and there is a lot about him that I regret -- and I would say that about his father. I'd say it about Richard Nixon. I'd say it about Gerald Ford.

This has been a struggle within the Republican Party, frankly, since the New Deal and I think it's time for conservatives to rally. We are not responsible for the baggage of non-conservatives. We're more than happy to explain it but it doesn't get us too far.

As for the issue of gay marriage, the American people speak to this time and time again when they're permitted to -- and they're opposed to it. So who favors it? The elite, the courts, maybe the Vermont Assembly?

But for the most part, the overwhelming majority of Americans and their representatives oppose it. So, it's not a matter of statism when the people oppose something that they believe is inappropriate -- and we're speaking to the proper role of the state not to the gay lifestyle, per se -- at least I'm not.

So, the question is who decides and how is it decided? For the most part it appears that the courts decided that they're going to decide. Well, why should they? Just because you declare something a civil rights issue doesn't mean that you get to destroy the nature in which our government was established. Same sex marriage, which is what it is, is not a civil right. It is a political issue and it should be decided in that context, not by the courts who are trying to constitutionalize their viewpoints.
Read the whole thing at the link. I really love Levin's response to the question of what to do about the left's dominance of America's cultural institutions, in the schools, the media, and in cinema:

The way we do that is to start becoming part of those institutions. You know, the statist doesn't have a birthright ownership to Hollywood or the media, generally speaking, or the school system and, you know, we conservatives for a very long time believed in "live and let live" and that's completely understandable.

We believed in doing the best you can for yourself and your family and going to church and synagogue and being a good citizen and that's very, very important. But now, I think we have to extend that being a good citizen means being open to being a professor or schoolteacher or an editor or reporter or a director or assistant producer in Hollywood -- and there is no reason why we need to feed forever these very crucial institutions to the statists.

We need to fight back on all levels. We need to become smarter and more numerous. We need to explain to our children and our grandchildren, regardless of what they learned from television and their schools, that America is a magnificent place -- that when we wake up every morning, we should thank God that we're here and that unlike the statists, we are here to preserve and better our society -- not to destroy it and then transform it. These are the over-arching principles that we need to spread. We need to spread the word about the greatness of America. We need to start in our homes and in our own communities.
And check Memeorandum as well.


Dana said...

I think that there's a missed point here: to say that someone opposes same-sex marriage does not mean that he wishes to limit freedom. Freedom in same-sex relationships means that the state does not make the relationship illegal, nor does it prosecute or make illegal homosexual activity.

Same-sex marriage, on the other hand, is about getting the state to recognize homosexual relationships, and hold that they are just as good and desireable as heterosexual relationships.

This was never an argument about rights, though the proponents have very cleverly framed it that way. Were it just about marital rights, everyone would be satisfied with civil unions statutes. They are not satisfied with civil unions statutes, because the real goal is the societal normalization and approval of homosexual relationships.

To say that President Bush curtailed our freedoms is too easy: when you say that, I want to know what freedoms of yours were curtailed. Have you lost freedom of speech or of the press? Have you lost the privilege to vote?

We let our friends on the left off the hook too easily in these debates. When they say that President Bush was a fascist or that freedoms were restricted, they should be asked immediately to defend their position by telling us what freedoms were curtailed and how they were limited. To fail to take this step is to surrender the premise of the argument to our friends on the left.

AmPowerBlog said...

Thanks for the thoughtful comments, Dana.

I think it's an awesome interview!

Greywolfe said...

I've been a fan of Mark Levin for years. "Get off the phone ya dope!" As a part of the Landmark Legal Foundation he's done extraordinary work for us.

He's a class act and principled. Yep, they'll have to start trying to destroy him before he starts getting more popular.

Anonymous said...

Good luck getting hired in American academia as a Conservative.

And don't even think about gaining tenure!

But what's really sad about Levin's comments, is that even he couldn't bring himself to denounce the homosexual "lifestyle." Somehow there is this idea afloat that a legal line can be maintained in the absence of social stigma. Either there IS something wrong with the behavior in question, or there isn't. If there isn't, then normalization and mainstreaming it follows as night follows day. But if the activity is wrong in itself, a malum in se, and not simply a malum prohibutum, than a legal line simply REINFORCES nature, instead of impeding human expression.

Not 20 years ago the homo community simply asked for "tolerance," and assured one and all that there would be no attempt to force a widespread sanctioning of their actions and their attitudes. We see clearly before us a SYSTEMATIC and comprehensive coercion occurring, whereby Conservatives and Christians are not merely being asked not just to legally sanction such behavior, but applaud it, celebrate it, wax enthusiastic over it.

No society in human history has celebrated such behavior and long endured, and this country, the United States of America, won't be the first.