By Alan W. Cohen
I begin with an admission. I went to fine schools, including our nation’s first and best journalism school and a top 20 law school. I learned history in high school when high schools actually taught history. I practiced law for more than 25 years, and considered my self fluent in Constitutional Law. Yet, the sheer volume of what I did not know about our nation’s founding is frightening.
Last week, radio host Mark Levin spoke about his time in law school, and how they taught him nothing of the Declaration of Independence, nothing about the true nature of liberty. That was me two years ago, before I began to write for a living, and forced myself to read and study and truly understand the brilliance of our Founding Fathers. A few weeks ago, I heard my former Mizzou fraternity brother, Glenn Klein, on his internet/Wisconsin area radio program query as to the nature of the Right to Privacy. I dutifully called into explain that those rights a vast majority come from the Constitution, are actually Natural Rights, described in the Declaration as unalienable, meaning they cannot be transferred or surrendered. The silence on the other end of the phone was deafening. It was like I was speaking Japanese.
I would think that less than 1 percent of the population of this nation know that fact. We speak of Constitutional rights. We argue over what is and what is not in the Bill of Rights. What does it matter? The Bill of Rights is a negative document, something Levin calls negative rights, meaning it is an insurance policy against the federal government intruding on what the Founders knew to be Natural Law, part of what John Locke called The Social Compact. In essence, those rights are there when we are born. No document grants them. The Declaration adopts them, but they preexist both it and the Constitution.
This weekend I have trudged through Levin’s new book, Rediscovering Americanism, and, trust me, it is no easy read. But Levin confirms for me the one think I discovered about the birth of the United States of America. They rejected any type of state control in favor of individual liberty. While it is true that, especially for those of African descent, that they never reached their ideals, most of what they believed in proved successful, as opposed to Autocracy, Theocracy and Socialism, all that has failed miserably. I shudder at the ignorance of anti-Trump protesters who call Conservatives Nazis, short for National Socialists, for it is these socialists and communists like Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Castro that preached state control over the individual, and annihilated any person, and there were tens of millions of them, that refused to adhere, or were simply considered inferior by their birth.
Levin writes about Woodrow Wilson and other early American Socialists that openly rejected the rights of the individual, who openly trounced the Declaration of Independence as a mere historical document valuable only for how things were in 1776. Socialists like Herbert Croly executed their planned takeover of America without hesitation, and just as Hitler laid out his plan for world domination in a book, so did they. They call themselves Progressives, but are anything but because they want to take us back to a time before liberty, before the Magna Carta, when people were forced to bow to those with Divine Right. In 1917, Vladimir Lenin called his tiny wing of the Socialist Party the Bolsheviks, meaning the majority, claiming, as his fellow socialists did, and as Bernie Sanders still does, pretend they speak for a majority, when they spoke only for a tiny fraction. That trick has worked for Lenin and it has been working for Sanders. But that is the way Socialists work. They lie.
That is because Socialism is a lie. It is an impossibility because it is Utopian, and directly against human nature. Humans are perfectly imperfect, but Socialism predisposes perfection in its elitists who would dictate what is just and what is virtuous. It is said that Vladimir Lenin and his revolutionary brother Leon Trotsky waited by their radios after the October Revolution of 1917, expecting to hear of a worldwide worker’s revolt against those governments that had sacrificed millions of their young men in a useless and stupid war that only proved the ineptitude of their leaders. That revolution never came. The Soviet Union, once considered the darling of the far left, fell thirty years ago. Many of its leaders were still waiting, as Lenin and Trotsky did, for a socialist revolution in America. Little did they know how much they succeeded.
Thanks to Croly and his compatriots, socialist teachings took over our nation’s universities and high schools, even our elementary schools, and Civics, the true understanding of our Founding, has long disappeared from educational requirements as an anachronism, just as Wilson had preached. Bernie Sanders is among those that demand that every American have free college, not because he wants Americans to understand their history, but because he wants to continue what Wilson and Croly started, the creation of generations of Hitler Youth, those that would reject personal liberty in favor of the all mighty State. The past three generations have been so indoctrinated, and seem to have little argument with the idea of state control, that is as long as the state leaves them alone. They have little consideration for the rights of others, especially those that are not in complete agreement with their agenda.
Levin is right when he says that most Republicans are no better. That is why they have refused to eliminate the biggest and most treacherous socialist takeover, Obamacare, and return to an era that preceded the 1960s, when health care was a purely private matter.
Education is the key to counteracting the evils of socialism. The Tea Party movement was just the beginning of that counterrevolution. Levin is an excellent teacher, and I urge all of those reading this blog to listen to his radio program, to read his books, and to educate yourselves of the war that lays ahead. We are at a crossroads, and there are but two paths for which there can be no compromise. There is capitalism, and there is socialism. There is freedom and there is tyranny.
As we celebrate our 241st birthday this week, we must educate our children of the miracle of our founding, rejoice in our Natural Law and unalienable rights, for, if we do not, we are soon to lose them forever.
Alan W. Cohen is a retired attorney, blogger and author. His new book, Private Vows: The Case for Ending State Regulation of Marriage and Divorce, a rejection of socialist takeover of the family, is available on Amazon, as is his 2015 book, America Solved: A New Family for the 21st Century.