Congratulations Sen. Mike Lee on the release of your new book, Our Lost Constitution: The Willful Subversion of America’s Founding Document! It’s currently placed at No. 4 on our Conservative Book Bestseller List. Can you give us an overview of the book?
My book highlights several key provisions of the Constitution that have been neglected and, while still technically intact, have effectively been "lost" over time. It explains these provisions by telling the stories behind their adoption and decline. The book concludes by offering readers suggestions on how best to restore what has been lost.
A timely topic indeed! What three takeaways would you like readers to leave with after reading your book?
(1) Most of our federal laws are currently made not by Congress, but by executive-branch bureaucrats who collectively impose $2 trillion of regulatory costs on hardworking Americans every year. Far from being shouldered only by large, wealthy corporations, costs are passed "downstream" and result in higher costs, diminished wages, and unemployment.
(2) The Constitution was radically transformed on April 12, 1937, but not by means of a constitutional amendment. On that fateful day, the Supreme Court bowed to political pressure from the White House and interpreted Congress's power to regulate interstate commerce so broadly that the federal government--which was intended to exercise powers that James Madison described as "few and defined"--now wields authority that is almost limitless.
(3) Although many of the Constitution's key provisions have been lost, they can be restored as the American people develop a more complete understanding of our founding document. The stories behind the Constitution's drafting and gradual decline, as outlined in this easy-to-read page-turner, will help train and motivate anyone who wants to enlist in the noble cause of restoring constitutionally limited government.
Which founder(s) do you admire the most, and why?
While this is a difficult question to answer, I'd have to say that I most admire James Madison. He was an unassuming, steadying force at the constitutional convention who helped negotiate exceedingly difficult but essential compromises.
Some news outlets, i.e. The Washington Post, have been critical about your book saying you’ve used too much creative license, or outright made things up. We’ve seen what the Post and New York Times can do to books like yours and we wanted to give you an opportunity to address this.
In a few instances in which no detailed historical record exists regarding the specific words that might have been uttered in conversations relevant to our constitutional history, I try to imagine dialogue as it might have unfolded, consistent with historical records. In each instance in which such dialogue appears in the book, I acknowledge it as imagined. I do this in an effort to draw readers into the stories behind Our Lost Constitution.
What books or conservative-themed books, influenced your political philosophy?
What does Sen. Mike Lee like to do for fun, when not being a constitutionalist advocate?
I enjoy running, hiking, skiing, and spending time with my family.