The year was 2009. In a sign of the times, the new left-wing president, Barack Obama, was photographed greeting Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez with a handshake and a grin stretching from ear to ear. The following day, Hugo wanted to give his new buddy a gift — an infamous Marxist tract called The open veins of Latin America by Eduardo Galeano. Overnight, the nearly 40-year-old screed against yankee capitalism skyrocketed to number 2 on The New York Times bestseller list. It would have made it to number 1, but there was something in its way.
The something was Liberty and Tyranny by Mark Levin, which had already been number 1 for months and would remain there for much longer. It was the Bible of the Tea Party, giving coherence to its message of constitutional conservatism. The language of the founding fathers and the apostles of the free market were ubiquitous in the streets of Washington as masses of hardworking patriots marched on the Capital.
Without a shadow of a doubt, Mark Levin has had an effect on my political development. I got my first copy of Liberty and Tyranny at my very first CPAC (2009), and took it back with me to NYU. There — behind ideological enemy lines — I found my instinctual distrust of leftism and faith in the conservative principles of strong national defenses and free market capitalism were finally vindicated by that book. Combined with the knowledge from my favorite new radio show from 6pm-9pm, I waged an intellectual battle against the liberal hordes with the confidence of my Spartan ancestors. The truth is a powerful weapon.
And I am not alone. Millions have been inspired by Levin to be missionaries for liberty. Levin is too modest to accept the label of hero, but to lead the reawakening of constitutionalism and to shape a mass movement around it is a Herculean feat.
There are those who shy away from the take no prisoners approach to politics, but not Levin. There was a man named "Steve from Fort Worth, Texas" who called into the show in 2012 to declare Levin and his supporters "snobs" for opposing Obamacare, which gave him access to "free colon screenings." Levin told the man: "You ought to be treating me with respect, cause I'm the one paying for all that crap! You call this program telling me 'I get free this and free that.' You get free nothing! That comes out of my paycheck, you know that, pal! And what do you mean 'snob.' Me, and the other hard working people in this country — if it weren't for us, you losers wouldn't have a pot to pee in!"
(A few days later, he returned to that theme, remarking how our ancestors "didn't come to this country for free colon screenings or cheap material things like Obamaphones. They came here because of liberty!")
And Levin does not exempt the enemies of freedom who fall to the right of center. Here at The Daily Wire, there is a former Ron Paul troll haunting the comments section who is still butthurt for being tagged by Levin as a "Code Pink Republican" for his "hate-America first crap."
And most important of all, those who wish to do America harm receive no mercy. There is a Levin version of "Kumbaya" on YouTube of him singing about crushing Al Qaeda "like the cockroaches they are." And those who support totalitarianism from the comfort of the West do not fare much better. Levin has said many times that he wishes he could exchange those who live in America but love tyranny for those who live in tyranny but love America. And he makes no distinction between supporters of Fidel Castro and Vladimir Putin — they are equally contemptible in their worship of evil.
Though his humility prevents him from speaking about himself very often, Levin has at times given details about his upbringing:
Because I lived outside Philadelphia, when I was thirteen, fourteen years old, I used to take the train into Philadelphia, walk about a mile, or two to Independence Hall and I would stand there for hours. I would stare at the Pennsylvania Assembly room, I would even look at the spittoon. I’d say, wow, these men were here. I would walk on the cobble paths where they would walk. I would look at the chair that Washington and others sat in. You know, Hancock, as the President of the Second Continental Congress. I would ask, where did Benjamin Franklin sit? I got to the point where I knew more than the park rangers but I kept my mouth shut. I let them do their thing.
Then I’d go right across the hall where the first Supreme Court met after the Constitution had been adopted and ratified. Then I’d go a little bit further and I’d stand where Congress for a while met. And we had the upper and the lower House and the reason why the House of Representatives is the lower house is because it was on the first floor and the Senate was on the second floor and that’s why we call it the upper house. I would read everything I could. There’s a spirit there. It’s invigorating and I must have done it fifty times. And I would encourage parents, if you ever get around the Philadelphia area, go to Independence Hall and take your time. There’s an enormous amount of history. Franklin’s buried not too far away right near the Philadelphia Mint. You’ll see the old Customs House there. You’ll see the tavern. You’ll see the area where Thomas Jefferson stayed and wrote the first draft of the Declaration of Independence.
This reverence for America is at Levin's core, and has stayed with him as he worked in the Reagan administration, fought for the Clinton impeachment, and now in his work as the unofficial leader of the Article 5 convention of states movement.
There simply is no comparable mind on the side of the Left. We, the conservatives, are way ahead of our ideological rivals. Let there be no doubt that with Mark Levin and Ben Shapiro, we live in a time of giants.
Congratulations on your new show on Fox, Mark!