It's a sad indictment of the industry that serious books about ideas are rarely discussed, and if the serious book is written by a serious conservative, then rarely becomes never. Not even when there is a screaming market demand for such a book will the TV bookers relent.
See Mark Levin's "Liberty and Tyranny: A Conservative Manifesto," which sat atop the best-seller list for 12 weeks in 2009. Network TV coverage or interviews? Zero, not even a mention of his name or book title. Levin's bestseller made big money for the Threshold Editions label of Simon & Schuster -- a CBS company. But somehow he could not be granted even five minutes on CBS News to talk about liberty.
Why doesn't Mark Levin deserve a turn on CBSs "60 Minutes" or NBCs "Rock Center" or "Nightline"? Why can't the conservative taxpayers be granted a forum for Levin or "Charlie Rose" on PBS or on NPRs "All Things Considered"? In short, why not a slice of Levin in all of the places where leftists like Paul Krugman and Tom Friedman are treated like the greatest minds of our time?
Was there a market demand? Ultimately, Levin sold over one million hardcover copies -- all without a second of so-inaccurately-called "mainstream" media attention.
Levin is back, now with "Ameritopia," and it is safe to bet they'll ignore him. But this time it's not just because it's Mark Levin. It's also because he's tackled a subject these media outlets have simply refused to touch for three years.
In short, is America becoming a socialist nation, how could that be possible, and more importantly, what exactly does that mean?
It's an interesting paradox: So-called "progressives" are, in fact, traditionalists in the worst way. They are not sailing toward the New World. Their agenda takes us back in time to a form of government that has been tried, time and again, and has always failed. How then do they reconcile it? They ignore history.
Columnist E.J. Dionne has insisted "Liberals and Democrats tend not to view themselves as the inheritors of a grand tradition. Almost on principle, they are suspicious of such traditions, of too much theorizing, of linking themselves too much to the past." Jonah Goldberg has noticed this tendency to avoid history: "The standard response from social planners is that 'we may not have been smart enough to plan the economy the day before yesterday, but now we know everything.'"
Levin poses the sober question: Do we wish to conserve America as the bold experiment in human freedom as envisioned by our founders or have we committed ourselves to a radically socialist Ameritopia? Levin believes we are dangerously close to choosing the latter. In "Ameritopia" he explains what it means.
Utopia is promised; tyranny is delivered. Plato. Thomas Moore. Hobbes. Karl Marx. The story is as old as history itself. All were utopians whose dreams resulted in a crushing loss of freedom at the hands of the omniscient and despotic elite.
Levin decries the liberal masterminds, their rejection of our founding documents and the actual experience of government. "The mastermind and his followers mostly ignore the Declaration and pick the Constitution like an old scab."
On the campaign trail in 2008, Barack Obama proclaimed, "We are five days away from fundamentally transforming America." What did that mean? Now we know it meant a dramatic radicalization of the federal government. It meant a cronyism of the most corrupt sort, with hundreds of millions of taxpayers' money transferred to major donors while entire industries are overtaken by the federal government and their ownership then transferred to loyal unions. It meant hiring dozens of czars answerable only to the president to run the federal government. It meant circumventing the will of the legislative branch by unilaterally launching regulatory measures specifically rejected by Congress (Cap and Trade), while rejecting sacred, Constitutionally-mandated practices (recess appointments). Speaking of the Constitution, it is summarily ignored (Obamacare).
Our media elite either do not understand -- or do understand, but prefer not to discuss -- that this rapid and metastasizing growth of what Levin calls a "soft tyranny" is exactly the transformation Obama promised.
If our news media were sober stewards of information who were interested in an actual discussion of political philosophy, they would grant Mark Levin a TV forum. Instead, they'll probably stick to silliness and silly authors. They only make it obvious that the media have long been conquered territory for the forces of "Ameritopia."