Three Important Lessons I Learned From Mark Levin’s Rediscovering Americanism

By Alan W. Cohen

You are never too old to learn some  new tricks about understanding the Constitution, and Mark Levin just gave me a few pointers on how I can do just that with his new book, Rediscovering Americanism. I am not a longtime fan of Mr. Levin, but I am now. In fact, it was just about four months ago that I turned on my radio and listened to him make an argument that I made in my latest book,  Private Vows: The Case for Ending State Regulation of Marriage and Divorce. As you might expect from the title, my conclusion is that government interference in the family is not only unconstitutional, but it has been, especially for the past 50 years, completely destructive to the institution of marriage. Until I read his book, I could not understand why.  Now I know, thanks to Mark Levin.

As Mr. Levin has maintained, the Founders of our great nation believed in Natural Rights, and they considered those rights unalienable (or inalienable), meaning that they cannot be transferred or surrendered.  In the words of the Declaration of Independence, those rights are God-given. We are born with them and they remain with us until our demise. The Founders so believed in what John Locke and Aristotle called right-reason and Natural Law that they did not even consider the possibility that any government in America would interfere in the individual families of its inhabitants. After all, as Locke tells us, religious liberty was and is at the heart of the freedom the Founder fought, and died, to achieve, and the family was and is the heart of religious liberty. After the Revolution, the newborn Republic tossed out the Anglican Church, and with it state control of marriage and the family.  And, at least for the first 50 years of our nation, that was the rule, as the Supreme Court so admitted in 2015, that marriage in America began as a purely private affair. The Founders, with the Contracts Clause, made it part of the Constitution. Marriage is a private contract, and government interference would be prohibited. Yet, a little more than 100 years after the Declaration, couples could not get married or divorced without the permission of the state. And, if they were interracial, they might as well forget it. If they wanted to practice some other religion other than Protestantism, like Mormonism, and marry within its tenants, forget it. Catholic vows were irrelevant. The government was in charge.  Yet, for the vast majority of people, government interference in the family was minimal, if not infinitesimal. That all changed in the 1960s, when socialism began to overtake the religious right and wrestled control of government.

Now here are the three important lessons I learned from Mark Levin and his new book, Rediscovering Americanism:

  1. We are already a socialist nation. Political parties are useless descriptions.  In fact, with the exception of three in the Senate, and a few more in the House, there is little difference between Republicans and Democrats. That’s because, as Levin tells us, the Mainstream Media has taken charge of the Socialist (Progressive) Agenda. Politicians only care about their reelection, and they are too frightened of bad press to cross it. That fact became all the more clear with the election of Donald Trump. The media is hell bent on his destruction, even more so than that of his Republican predecessors.  As I stated in a prior blog, journalism is not dead. It was never alive. Fair and balanced is nothing more than a tagline to convince the viewer (or reader) of its truthfulness. Even Thomas Jefferson complained about the dark side of the free press, that newspapers were the voice of the wealthy, not of the People. Film buffs will recall Citizen Kane, where the protagonist declares that his newspaper would not report the news, but rather make the news. We see that now with RussiaGate. Many of the Main Stream Media (CNN, Washington Post, New York Times) have thrown off their false bravado to achieve their ultimate goal: what Levin calls a Silent Coup Timid Republicans in Washington acquiesce, cowering in a quiet corner. They know who the boss is and it’s not the People. I join in most of mid-America that have taken Levin’s advice, and have turned off the noise that is the media because we know that they are not looking out for our interests, only their own.
  2.  Socialism is evil  Therefore, we cannot compromise, for every compromise with the Progressives gives up territory that cannot be easily regained.  Just like their compatriots, the Bolsheviks, Progressives chose their name to convince the masses that they speak for the majority, knowing that the opposite is true. And just like the Bolsheviks, Progressives have largely succeeded in taking power. But, as Levin tells us, this is not a new plan, or even, as I had believed, a plan that came to pass in the 1960s. Rather, the counterrevolution in America has been mounting for more than 125 years. In fact, it has been there from the beginning, waiting in the darkness, seeking the right time to strike. When Benjamin Franklin emerged and told his public that we have a Republic if we can keep it, he knew of this darkness. All the Founders did. It was the same tyranny they had fought to overcome. It was not limited to a monarchy. Mob rule was just, if not more, dangerous. As Levin explains, the Founders rejected Rousseau in favor of Locke, unlike the French, whose revolt ended in mass murder and the emergence of a savior who promised order from the madness, Napoleon Bonaparte,  who would, in turn, lead his people to utter destruction. We saw the same with the likes of Hitler and Mussolini, and a slew of dictators of would be socialist countries, most recently Venezuela. For socialists, America’s exceptionalism has proved a more difficult quarry. The ride from freedom to tyranny has been gradual. Socialists understand that, given our stubborn individualism,  it is necessary, to steal our freedom little by little, generation by generation, relying on a left skewed educational system as Levin tells us is their Mein Kampf. For example, historians celebrate Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson. Yet, as Levin teaches us, those leaders disavowed the Founders as historical creatures, that their time has passed, as had their beliefs in Natural Law and unalienable rights. The Bible teaches us about recognizing evil, and our character is built on how we overcome it. Mark Levin is our filter. He points out for his millions of listeners the sheer folly of compromising with socialists (or Statists) because any breach in the wall of freedom is a pathway to tyranny. Unfortunately, we are well on our way to that end. More than ever we must teach the virtues of capitalism and purge socialism from our midst.
  3. Property rights are just as important as liberty because it is our ability to acquire property and to control it that ensures our liberty. In a recent broadcast, Levin cited a laundry list of Socialist (a/k/a Democrat) politicians that have become super rich as a result of what our Founders described as public service. Bill Clinton was dirt poor as a governor. Now he is worth hundreds of millions, as is Al Gore, Bernie Sanders, and most recently Barrack Obama. Even liberal icon Maxine Waters, who claims to act for the poor, lives in a four million dollar estate in a 95 percent white and affluent neighborhood outside of her poverty-stricken district. She entered into politics, as many of her counterparts, not to serve, but to earn. These so called leaders demonstrate the folly of socialism. Marx and Engels said in their manifesto, each according to their needs, but who would decide those needs? A ruling elite of experts that, by the nature of the system, would be exempt from the scrutiny of the rest of the masses (see e.g., Bernie Sanders wife, Hillary Clinton, etc.). Levin tells us that our Founders  devised a system that divided economic power from political power because they knew that property rights kept tyranny outside that wall. That is why our Founders rejected government interference in the family, because historically, wealth is built on the stability of its shoulders. That is how Great Britain got to be great, by focusing on property rights and the right to inherit. Wealth is the ultimate incentive of capitalism, to not only provide for yourself in the here and now, but to provide for your offspring and their families as well. Socialism disdains wealth, and the destruction of family has been its long term goal, a goal that is within their grasp. As I explain in  Private Vows: The Case for Ending State Regulation of Marriage and Divorce,  as well as my 2015 book, America Solved: A New Family for the 21st Century, federal policy has been, for the past half century, to punish virtuous behavior and to reward bad behavior. Levin explains why. It’s all about control of the all powerful State that we must worship as a deity. Even billionaires, who built their fortunes on capitalism, now disavow it, because they fear the wrath of the so called Progressives, just as Republicans are terrified of the Main Stream Media. Destruction is just a step away, and the Progressives are watching, waiting, and ready to pounce on any indiscretion.

There is much more to learn from Mark Levin and Rediscovering Americanism. But these three lessons stand out for me personally. Every right minded, or as Aristotle said, right-reason minded, American needs to not only read this book, but to study it, and to preach its gospel to anyone who will listen. It is our duty as Americans to save our nation from the tyranny that is already inside our gates.

Alan W. Cohen retired after practicing family law for more than 25 years in St. Louis, Missouri.

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Memo to Elite Media from Mid-America: We Don’t Care! So, Shut Up Already!

By Alan W. Cohen

I speak to you from the breadbasket of American journalism, the University of Missouri-Columbia.  As a graduate from the world’s first, and best, journalism school in the nation, and as a dedicated Libertarian, I think I can speak for my fellow Mid-westerners, deep in Trump Country.

Shut up! We don’t care. We have memories. We know that you didn’t mind it when Barrack Obama did far worse than that you daily accuse Donald Trump. And we know you were embedded in the Hillary Clinton campaign, thanks to Wikileaks. Heck, if either of them were Republicans, you have already had them in prison for their offenses.

It does not matter to us that you have rid us of Bill O’Reilly and the conservative, but rational, thought process that used to be Fox News. We don’t have to watch you. We don’t have to, and who actually does, read the New York Times or the Washington Post. We don’t care.

Here is what we do see. Hysteria. And, hysterical people convince no one of anything but the fact they are hysterical. We know that you have anti-Trumpists deep in the federal government who are willing to leak classified information because they are desperate to retain power. We see you for what you are. We went through this with Ronald Reagan and the Bushes. But times are far different. We can listen to Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin and Sean Hannity, and read conservative bloggers, or my fellow Libertarians. So, the only people you are convincing is the ones that are were already convinced. So enough already!

And every day it’s something different. Some new minute detail that you blow completely out of proportion in your Group Think echo chamber. We can turn you off, just like I turned off Fox News when they began their program with the feigned Democrat press conference about how awful it is that Donald Trump may have given away some bit of information that might be classified. Wow! Is that funny or what? Here’s a hint: Think Hillary Clinton.

So, Elite Media, look at yourselves in the mirror. What do you do everyday? You get your deep sources, and publish that same classified information. It has been going off for years. I remember learning how Fidel Castro learned about the Bay of Pigs invasion. He read it in the New York Times.

And, you will notice that the polls haven’t budged. We know who you are and we will never believe you. All you are doing is destroying what is left of your credibility. As I wrote in a blog earlier this year, journalism was never what you said it was, fair and balanced. It has always been political. Therefore, it has always been biased. It was you that had to daily convince us that you were seeking the truth, that you could give us context. But that has stopped, and your credibility is now completely gone.

So, when I have my choice between watching the news and watching some boring pregame show before the Cardinals play, I will choose the latter. I vote you off my island. And so do my fellow citizens from the Heartland.

Alan W. Cohen is a retired attorney, blogger and author. His latest book, Private Vows: The Case for Ending State Regulation of Marriage and Divorce, is available on Amazon.

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I Have Come to Praise Bill O’Reilly, Not to Bury Him

By Alan W. Cohen

I am now in rehab. Yes, I was a Bill O’Reilly addict. And now I must go cold turkey. But as with all twelve-step programs, I must start with that admission. I have a problem. Almost every day at 7 p.m. my time, or when it repeated at 10, I watched. Bill O’Reilly kept me going. No, I was not a Bill O’Reilly dot com member. No, I was not a reader of his books, although his historical TV series Legends and Lies was amusing and interesting. I did not attend his frequent tours with Dennis Miller.

I often wondered how he did it all. But, as John Stossel wrote yesterday in his blog, Bill O’Reilly got too big for his britches. He was a cottage industry unto itself. Twenty years as the most watched TV show on cable might do that to anybody. True, his shows were becoming more and more about Bill O’Reilly and less and less about anything else. Still, I watched faithfully. And if I missed it because I had something else to do, I searched for his Talking Points on social media. I had to have my fix.

But in my moment of loss yesterday when I heard he was gone from Fox News, I began to consider all of the good things that Bill O’Reilly had done for me. Contrast The Factor with what Megan Kelly’s program had become before she mercifully left to join her fellow liberals at NBC. Megan Kelly would have nothing but for Bill O’Reilly, and rumor has it … Well, I won’t go there, because I have come to praise Bill O’Reilly, not to bury him. Anyway, Megan Kelly’s show was hideous in comparison. She would put on two Republican and Democrat mouthpieces who would spew their daily talking points without challenge. It just gave me a headache to listen to it. Bill O’Reilly refused to as well. He invented the No Spin Zone, the one place on TV (other now on Tucker Carlson’s show) where real reporters ask real questions, hard questions. In this way, Bill O’Reilly exposed the other networks for what they are, left wing hacks. And for that, he was hated.

Bill O’Reilly’s biggest contribution to our nation, however, was his war on political correctness. With the mainstream media in tow, leftists had adopted the view that everyone was a victim of free speech, something that has devolved into safe spaces and campus protests against conservative speakers. Bill O’Reilly recognized it for what it was. A Leftist Power Play. He called it out almost on a daily basis, and we addicts could not wait to get his take on whatever nonsense was spewing out of the crazies that were featured so prominently on the three big networks and CNN. Bill O’Reilly made it OK for his fellow journalists to challenge those that would threaten or ironically call others Nazis that disagreed with the Leftist viewpoint.

Like Julius Caesar, Bill O’Reilly loved his power too much. I often wondered what his life was like, so immersed in work. I know that he was divorced and he never talked about his family. What else did he have to live for? He was all about his job. He thought highly of himself, and perhaps that was a requirement for his success. Those of us who are willing to challenge the existing narrative appreciate him all the more, because he was willing to take on his detractors, and make himself the television icon that he became. Bill O’Reilly, you were and remain and inspiration to hard work and dedication to a core belief. It would have been so easy to get along with your peers, and live your life out as another TV reporter. You chose to be different. But, like Julius Caesar, the knives were ever present, waiting for the opportunity to strike, in search of the tragic flaw that would end you. Early on, I noticed how you chose your peons. They had to be blonde and pretty. I thought it was a contrast, but apparently it was about something more, a casting couch.

But I have come to praise Bill O’Reilly, not to bury him.

Alan W. Cohen is an author and blogger, retired from the practice of law after 25 years. His new book, Private Vows: The Case for Ending State Regulation of Marriage and Divorce is available on Amazon.

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Susan Rice and Unmasking: Where is the Democrats’ Moral Compass?

By Alan W. Cohen

My former party has lost its collective soul.

Those that know me know that I was once a Democrat party official at the township level and a Gary Hart delegate to the 1984 Missouri Democratic Convention. I worked on his campaign in both Missouri and Illinois. It was there that I learned of the complete lack of morality of my colleagues on the far left. During the Illinois primary, it was widely known that the Mondale people were buying votes in a very African American area, permitting them to vote for Jesse Jackson in the beauty contest, but voting exclusively for Mondale’s delegates.

I was a Bill Clinton supporter in 1992, but when it was discovered that he had committed perjury, I lost all confidence. I truly believed the impeachment was stupid, but was taken aback by my colleagues’ claims that lying about sex was somehow immune from perjury. By that time, I was a practicing attorney who routinely dealt with perjured testimony. Clinton’s claims, and the support of my former colleagues only fueled the belief of the average citizen that lying about sex, or anything to do with family, was perfectly acceptable. After all, the President did it, and he got away with it.

John Kennedy stood for patriotism. Robert Kennedy stood for fairness and moral thought. Ted Kennedy stood for win at all costs. Since Ted survived his car crash and indiscretion that would have thrown anyone else in jail, his way won out. It was Ted Kennedy who proposed the changes to our immigration policy in 1965 that would open the doors to more and more poor people who would go on welfare and vote Democrat. Never mind what it might do to the country. Win at all costs. Power at all costs. Create a nation of auto bots that will vote us in no matter what we do or say, who will protest whomever or whatever we oppose, and of course, vote us back into office without questioning our character. Pretty sweet.

By 1996, my party left me. That’s when I quit, and eventually became a Libertarian. Twenty years later, the Democrat Party has no soul. It is completely devoid of ethics, of any sense of right and wrong. My former colleagues in the media, who also joined because of Mr. Woodward and Mr. Bernstein, have likewise lost their collective souls. I would urge them all to enter into some commune, or take that trip to Nepal. Or, better yet, seek repose in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

As I stated in my last blog, the media has left all semblance of fairness and jumped back into time a full century to the days of what we call Yellow Journalism. There is no truth, only our convictions. And damn it! Our convictions are right, regardless of the facts that parade before our eyes. Now comes Susan Rice, and serious allegations of civil liberties violations, violations that used to make us quiver and scream for our freedoms, freedoms guaranteed in the Constitution. But mercy! It’s one of our own that stands accused, so we ignore the story completely, or better yet, as a CNN anchor claimed, that the story is just fake news. Never mind that Susan Rice admitted to the unmasking of a private citizen. We believe her when she says she routinely unmasked persons, but did not do it for political reasons, completely ignoring that Susan Rice was just a political operative. But so what? It’s just a Republican. Republicans, after all, have no rights. Right? Susan Rice acted for the greater good. Winning. Winning at all costs. Because that is the party that we have become.

Thank God that I no longer consider myself part of that We.

Alan W. Cohen is a retired attorney and author. His latest book, Private Vows: The Case for Ending State Regulation of Marriage and Divorce is available at Amazon.

 

 

 

Journalistic Ethics is a Myth, Just Like in Any Other Business; Long Live Journalism

By Alan W. Cohen

Conservative commentator Sean Hannity says Journalism is dead. The truth is, however, it was never truly alive, at least not in the sense that journalists want the public to believe. From the beginning of our country, journalism, that is newspapers, were political instruments. Both Alexander Hamilton and James Madison published what we now fall the Federalist Papers under pseudonyms in “friendly” newspapers. The election of 1800 was marred with false rumors published in similar friendly outlets. The election of 1824, certainly the most mean spirited in our history, was highlighted with a claim that Andrew Jackson’s wife was a bigamist. The turn of the 20th Century was the era of the muckrakers. These were the original investigative journalists, the high minded that saw the evils of the Gilded Age, with its sweat shops and child labor. Yet, the bottom line was that the business of journalism was to sell newspapers. Circulation increases advertising, and advertising revenue pays the bills.

These high minded ideals were painted on the hallowed halls of the nation’s first journalism school, where I am still a proud to have graduated. There I was indoctrinated in the myth of my new profession, that we were seekers of the truth, where ever that might lead. The real truth was that all publishers, owners of radio and television stations have a political agenda. They hire like minded journalists to preach their agenda to the masses of respective readers, listeners and viewers, not the truth mind you, but their version of the truth. Every story has an angle, a spin. Yet, like any good snake oil salesman, the job of the news outlet is to convince the world that their truth is unvarnished. We see it in their advertising. Channel X, your trusted name in news. The news you can count on. And so on.

Like many of my era. I was once a true believer, drawing inspiration from the muckraking work of Woodward and Bernstein, Yet, when I graduated from Mizzou in 1981, I entered a world completely unprepared for the truth about my new profession. There were no idealists out there, just people trying to make a living, doing anything and everything to please their bosses, including, and especially obeying their edicts as to story choice and placement. Anyone who violated those rules was sent packing.

We have returned to the era of Yellow Journalism, when the very wealthy publishers had no illusions of purity.  Their agenda was to create the news and to shape public opinion. Their goal is to create as many auto bots as possible to carry their message forward. We see that in politics with the likes of billionaire globalist George Soros who finances scores of agenda driven organizations of the far left and the libertarian leaning Koch brothers on the right.  Big Media is nothing more, using past reputation as fodder to convince the masses, attempting to destroy any that would oppose their views. Journalism used to be about protecting free speech. Now it is about protecting only the speech of those that agree and support your message. We see this scenario play out over and over again on the streets of Ferguson and Baltimore, and on college campuses across the nation, as  the media driven auto bots repeat the hate and intolerance while at the same time proclaiming themselves as completely right. At the same time, the media justifies their violence and destruction as protected protest.

Yet, true journalism lives on in the spirit of the muckrakers that did deep to uncover corruption, especially of those in power. Unfortunately, those are few and far between. What remains are the snake oil salesmen that pitch their truths to anyone who will listen. The worst of these are the sanctimonious who actually believe their version is pure. Ironically, if every reader, listener or viewer attended journalism school, they would know how to filter truth from the politically driven garbage that masquerades as news.

Alan W. Cohen is an attorney and author. His most recent book, Private Vows: The Case for Ending State Regulation of Marriage and Divorce is available on Amazon.