Reflections in a Bleary Eye: Can we bypass the feds to restore our liberties? Will we?
As I write this, Nielsen BookScan shows Mark Levin’s latest book, The Liberty Amendments: Restoring the American Republic, riding at number three after five weeks on the non-fiction bestseller list. It’s clearly struck a chord. But Levin, a highly intelligent and thoughtful man, has done that before. His previous books, Men in Black, Liberty and Tyranny, and Ameritopia, were bestsellers also. What sets his latest apart is that, unlike those books, which describe how America is losing its constitutional underpinnings, this book shows us how we might yet prevent them from slipping away entirely. I can’t say he’s convinced me. I’m willing, though, to entertain his ideas and join in the growing national debate they’ve sparked.
That we have to do something – and quickly! – to thwart the Statists and take this country back to its constitutional roots should be past debating by anyone who values individual freedom.
Levin calls to our attention something most of us have forgotten (if we ever knew it) or have been wary of considering: that “The Constitution itself provides the means for restoring self-government and averting societal catastrophe … in Article V.” Of the two provisions described in that article, it’s the second he proposes we follow: that “… Congress … on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which … shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States or by Conventions in three fourths thereof ….”
Levin is quick to point out that Article V says nothing about a constitutional convention – i.e. a convention for the purpose of rewriting or completely undoing the Constitution. All it does is offer the states an option for amending the Constitution that bypasses Congress should the federal government exceed its Constitutional limits and become too powerful. Given the current administration’s blatant disregard for Constitutional authority, it’s hard not to conclude that that time has arrived!
None of us likely imagines that amending the Constitution by the state convention process would be easy. Levin himself concedes a number of difficulties. Chief among them is overcoming the fear – which you may share with me – that such conventions would be hijacked by Statists and turned into a referendum on the Constitution itself. Levin is comforted by what he terms Article V’s “serious check” on such an occurrence: its reference to ratification by three fourths of the states, either by their legislatures or by convention. Without such ratification, any proposed amendment would be null and void. Levin offers other assurances as well.
But, but, but, but, but …
My biggest fear is that all of this is already moot.
While I have no intention of throwing in the towel just yet, I am very skeptical about this country’s future. It’s no longer so much a matter of whom we elect to lead us, but rather who is doing the electing. I just don’t think we have a citizenry fit for self-governance anymore. Not enough of one, anyway.
Sixty years, give or take, of increasingly leftist-controlled public “education” and conservative helplessness have rendered too many Americans ignorant, slothful, dependent, despondent, diminished in cognitive abilities, delusional with undeserved self esteem, prickly with political correctness, and stuffed to the gills with force-fed, ready-made opinions they think themselves clever for having. It’s not that they lack intelligence. They’re smart enough. They’re simply uninformed or misinformed and bereft of the capacity to see it. Aiding and abetting their blindness is a culture that reinforces both their narcissism and their ennui with an existential outlook that, while it may provide short-term affirmation, often devolves into nihilism.
Levin presents what looks to be a viable alternative to either status-quo resignation, a further slide into totalitarianism, or eventual chaos and anarchy. And he presents it just at a time when I – and a lot of others I know – had begun to think there was no alternative.
The question is, are there enough people capable of appreciating this book, debating its ideas intelligently, and acting on either them or some other plan to set our foundering ship of state aright?
This post was tagged under: National Politics