If you haven’t bought Mark Levin’s The Liberty Amendments, Restoring the American Republic, you should. I’ve read two of his previous books, Liberty and Tyranny, and Ameritopia. Of the two, I thought Liberty and Tyranny was far better, but The Liberty Amendments has both of them licked hands down, and I’m not even done reading it yet. In fact, I’m only a few chapters in. The beautiful thing about this book is it not only analyzes what has gone wrong with our constitutional republic over time, but it answers those wrongs with precisely what needs to be done in order to correct them. Its not just another partisan political hit piece meant to gin up emotions. There are some really novel solutions in this book, that despite my trepidation for the future of this country, are refreshing and exciting to dwell on.
All conservatives agree that the federal government is out of control. Believing that as government grows, liberty decreases, is what makes conservatives conservatives. Many of us conservatives sort of weep for the future in that we fear America’s best days might be behind her. It’s not popular to say, but this is the thought in the back of many conservatives minds, even though publicly they may hold out hope for the future. This book may very well change that feeling of inevitability for many people. It actually seems possible for renewal, and for an American revival to happen after reading what Mark has to say, and this could happen if just a few key amendments were made to the constitution, something I really didn’t think was possible before, but that this book makes clear is really possible. It might be more difficult to change American society and culture, but that’s not what this book is primarily talking about. What this book is about is the possibility of changing the structure of our government so as to actually empower the states once again, among other things, and again, its really possible.
I’ll give you just one example. I’ve read quite a bit of American history. It’s a passion of mine. I’ve read about the 17th amendment before. The 17th mendment changed the election of senators from something the state legislatures did to the popular vote of the people which we do today. I’ve heard conservatives rail against the 17th amendment in the past; how it transfers more power to the federal government and gives less power to the states. I never really understood how that was the case. I mean, whether you elect a state legislature, and that legislature elects a senator, or whether you elect your state senators by popular vote, it shouldn’t make much of a difference since its the people of that state deciding in both situations, right? You should get roughly the same type of senator since it is the people of that particular state choosing them, whether it be more direct or a bit more indirect, right? Well, maybe, but how those senators vote would be vastly different; something I never understood until reading what Mark had to say on the subject. If this one amendment were repealed for example, the 17th amendment, it would VASTLY empower the states against the power of the federal government more than they are today….I mean vastly. How so?
Well, ever hear of Obamacare? If the 17th amendment did not change how our senators are elected, and those senators were still elected by the state legislatures, something the authors of the constitution very purposefully did to empower the states against the federal government, then Obamacare would likely not have passed! So, how do you like the idea of repealing the 17th amendment now?! Let me explain why this is the case:
I believe the number shortly after Obamacare was passed was 27. 27 states are suing the federal government to stop Obamacare. That’s over half of the states. As it is currently structured, many senators voted for Obamacare when the states they came from were against Obamacare! Mark gives Virginia as an example. Both of the senators from Virginia, both Democrats, voted for Obamacare. The state of Virginia is however suing to stop Obamacare, against the will and vote of its own senators. This is because senators who are elected by a popular vote, rather than through the state legislature, are not in ANY way beholdent to the state legislature. They don’t have to represent their state legislature at all in fact.
A state’s senators and its legislature are often wholly at odds with one another. However, a senator, if chosen by a states legislature rather than through popular state vote, would be much more answerable to the state legislature. So now you see, considering that over half of the states are suing the federal government over Obamacare, if this trigger for electing senators were still in place, like it was for the first half of this countries history, it’s not hard to see that this law would likely not have passed the senate….and it wouldn’t be law. Obamacare is just one example. Imagine how much effect this would have had on blocking so many other laws that trample all over states rights. The senate was initially meant to be a buffer against he federal government; something that helped secure the states rights. This is not the case anymore, and its a big reason we are where we are today with our ever-diminishing states rights, and our ever-growing federal government.
That is just one single amendment, out of the 11 in his book, that would vastly change the structure, or I should say, restore the structure of how the founders of our country intended this place to actually run. I just read an amendment on the judiciary as well, and how it also was intended to operate by the founders but of course no longer does. What mark proposes in this area would overnight stop much of the tyranny that is now an oligarchy of 5 unelected lawyers on the Supreme Court who dictate with impunity what our laws are in this country; 5 lawyers who hold office for life, and are answerable to NO ONE. Again, not something originally intended by the constitution. Mark details how the judiciary was originally intended to work, how it was thought of, and how to restore its proper place in our government. Then he answers how to remedy out current situation. This book is packed with some great history and some great starting points on restoring the republic.
I hope that gives a few people a taste of what this book is about. If you are for real substantive change and renewal in this country, this book is, dare I say, revolutionary in my opinion. It’s one of the reason I love listening to Mark’s show when I’m able. He’s not just another talking head that talks. Sure, he gets pretty loud and proud. But he gets down to the brain-stem of many of the problems we are running into nowadays in our government, and offers solutions to them; something that at times seems rare in our hyper-partisan country, that is, someone who actually knows what the hell he’s talking about! I think this book may have started a discussion. I hope it has. It won’t be easy, but we can start turning the tide with a blueprint like this. We just need some patience and persistence.