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GOP Needs More Mark Levins

Conservative radio commentator and author Mark Levin is one of the more under-appreciated political minds of our day. His radio show is entertaining, thought-provoking and generous. Yes, generous. In a business that is always taking, Mr. Levin give listeners a lot of free advice while he alienates himself to people in the Republican Party.

You either like Levin or you really dislike him. A few years ago when he started on WMAL, I did not enjoy the show. Another commentator seeking to make a quick buck at the expense of the GOP, or so I thought. I was wrong. Levin, like Limbaugh, is carving an important niche in the conservative movement this is needed because many of our elected leaders – local, state, and federal – have lost their way.

In a city that, for at least the past decade, is primarily built on egos and Pollyannaism rather than thinkers and great minds, Levin especially rubs a lot of people in this region the wrong way. What do I mean? We have elected a crop of cookie cutter politicians. People are more interested in writing a political autobiography after a few months in office, rather than defend the Constitution as well as the very principals they were elected to uphold once in office.

My grandfather, a lawyer and born in Cuba, told me an expression that reminds of Levin’s French Republican comment: “Las cenizas Senador.” (Mr. Senator, Your Ashes Please). The story goes that in the Pre-Communist Cuba Congress (now there is no Congress at all), the equivalent of Congressional Pages would scurry about the Senate Floor with spittoons to capture ashes and, well, you know …  That phrase also became synonymous for “yes men” as well as special interests, who would agree with whatever the Senator had to say if it meant they could stay in the good graces of the elected class. Too many yes men, in my view, as well as some of mediocre leaders in prior years (not Batista), paved the way for the likes of Fidel and Raul Castro.

A year or so ago, a very senior Member of Congress told me that the new editorials were twitter posts and that all that really mattered was the latest public relations cycle. This is not an isolated viewpoint. I’ve had Congressional staff tell me the same thing. No substance.  Just fluff and sizzle, says one well placed lobbyist, is all we need to win elections. In other words, that gray matter in between our ears is not being used to full capacity. In some cases, not at all.

In fairness to the GOP, not every up and coming leader is this way; however, there is an element within the party that has always looked at conservatives with the evil eye and treat them like troglodytic elements within the party to be tolerated, but never taken seriously. These are usually the same folks that advocate outreach to minorities, but prefer that people like me just go away (More on this latter point for another post that I will upload in a few days).

In a recent interview on Fox News, Brietbart reports that Levin said that “[o]ur biggest problems are the French Republicans … noting they often like to “give up” and are comfortable with the status quo … We have to defeat them.” French Republicans! Classic Levin. He may have said it before, but, it was the first time I had heard him use it in this context. But how apt and appropriate it is.

Levin gets fired up because he cares about the country. There is nothing wrong with showing some fire in the belly. Just because someone is passionate does not make that person wrong or irrational. Amigos, we left the stiff upper lip in 1776. We need more people like Levin at the local, state, and national debate. It is the only way that the Republican establishment will listen.

The Republican Party could use more thinking and a lot less public relations, poll crunching, and slick political consulting. The GOP can be brainy and conservative and appeal to a wide-range of voters irrespective of race, economic background, or just about any other identity political label you can think of. Levin makes you think, if you listen. And the country needs both if it is to get out of the rut it is in.

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