On Friday, Mark Levin spoke at CPAC, eloquently defending conservatism and fiercely denouncing the threat of Donald Trump. Although he did not mention Trump by name, Levin left little doubt as to whom he referred.
After recounting the history of Ronald Reagan, citing his determination in confronting the establishment and resulting in two massive electoral victories in 1980 and 1984, Levin stated, “Reagan was a full-throated conservative. He was a full-throated, anti-establishment conservative.”
Reagan was not a cult-like figure, to which anyone could project their beliefs upon him; he was a man of strong ideas. He was agenda-driven. There was no confusion about where he stood on matters of faith, national security, domestic affairs, and other areas of life. There was no confusion about whom he blamed for most of the problems in society: big centralized government. He used to refer to it as “The Iron Triangle.” The Iron Triangle of Congress, the media, special interests. And it was Reagan who first coined the phrase: “We will make America great again.”
Levin then referenced Trump, saying of Reagan: “Reagan was not a recent convert to conservatism; he was a long-time advocate for it,” a line which elicited huge applause.
Reagan was not elected because he was a great dealmaker; he was elected because he had solid principles.
… After Reagan left the presidency, having laid the foundation upon which future Republican presidents could build and expand on his success, the Republican establishment resorted to its old ways. They called the return to big centralized government, “kinder and gentler.” Later, they called it compassionate conservatism. Today they call it “common sense conservatism.” Well, conservatism is already kinder and gentler, it’s already compassionate, and it’s already common sense all wrapped in one. There is nothing to apologize for.
… Nor is conservatism about nationalism or populism, phrases that have no concrete meaning or constitutional basis …
Levin continued by noting the enormous success of the Tea Party, from winning massive numbers of seats in the House to taking control of the Senate, to winning governorships and state legislatures. He exhorted, “Don’t tell me the conservative movement can’t win elections and doesn’t have power!”
He ripped the GOP establishment, stating, “But at the federal level, the Republican Party, now in complete control of both houses of Congress, refused to truly engage Barack Obama, the most reckless, lawless, imperial president in modern if not all American history.”
After listing the incredible number of ways Barack Obama has perverted the presidency, Levin asserted, “We conservatives are in the best position in three decades to win back the presidency in a landslide. That is, only if we do something we have not done since 1984, thirty-two long years ago: nominate a true, known, solid unapologetic conservative for the presidency of the United States.
Levin returned to Trump:
… Let me be clear: it is not enough to win the nomination by personally beating down your opponents, with such vulgar ruthlessness, espousing conflicting or ever-changing beliefs, trashing the establishment one day yet bragging about working with them the next. That is playing both insider and outsider; and then expect these disparate parts of the Republican Party and the conservative movement, having been exploited and turned against each other, to suddenly rally to your cause.
As he closed, Levin warned, “If we want to make America great again, as Reagan first said, you, must get behind the most conservative candidate in this race.”
"It is not enough to win the nomination by personally beating down your opponents, with such vulgar ruthlessness, espousing conflicting or ever-changing beliefs, trashing the establishment one day yet bragging about working with them the next."
Levin began his conclusion with the famous Reagan quote: “You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We'll preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we will sentence them to take the last step into a thousand years of darkness. If we fail, at least let our children and our children’s children say of us, we justified our brief moment here. We did all that could be done.”
Levin concluded: “Fellow conservatives, let us justify our brief moment here, and do all that can be done. God bless you all and God bless America.”