Levin suggests eleven potential amendments which in the aggregate serve the purpose of restoring the Constitution to the principles of the Founding Fathers. He proposes term limits, a balanced budget, limits on sales taxes, opportunities for the states to amend the Constitution in the future, protections for private property and protection for the integrity of the vote. And in the end, he solicits suggestions for ways to improve these suggestions further. This is an excellent book and should be read by every serious scholar of the Constitution and every citizen who cares about the future of the country.
Sep 03, Brad rated it it was amazing Shelves: Explains his point of view clearly and explains the current problems with the Federal government.
A lot of people complain about the things that are wrong, but Levin does an excellent job at laying out clear solutions to the problems that many people see with the Federal government. Article V of the U. Constitution enables for Constitutional amendments to be proposed at special conventions called by two-thirds of the state legislatures.
These amendments can then be ratified by a two-thirds majority of the state legislatures, thereby bypassing the need for input from the federal government. In theory, this would provide Americans with a method for passing strongly supported legislation that the federal government refuses to implement usually at the behest of special intere Article V of the U.
In theory, this would provide Americans with a method for passing strongly supported legislation that the federal government refuses to implement usually at the behest of special interest groups or powerful donors.
See a Problem?
In practice, however, there is very little precedent for amending the Constitution in this manner, and to do so represents an uphill battle of the highest order. However, that doesn't make it impossible. I wish both men all the luck in the world, but my pessimistic nature tells me they are grasping at straws here. I just don't see two-thirds of state legislatures standing in defiance of the federal government anytime soon.
Then again, with Obamacare all set to implode as the Republican-majority senate stands idly by and watches impotently while it goes up in flames, perhaps there is cause for hope that someday a super-majority of states will stand up and wrest some of their power back. Much of it could be categorized as "conservative talking points," so don't go in expecting anything mind-blowing.
However, I thought there were a couple surprises, such as Levin's criticism of the Seventeenth Amendment for decreeing that senators should be chosen through popular election rather than by the state legislatures. At first, Levin's stance on this issue seemed almost anti-democratic, but his explanation of why America was actually better-off under the previous system ultimately made a whole lot of sense.
Other of his proposed amendments, such as federal spending caps and term limits for senators, are simply no-brainers. Oct 04, Jill rated it liked it. This book is a good primer on many of the issues conservatives seem to value today. Personally, I find this method much more convincing and deserving of further consideration that the alarmist and blustery tactics used by those prominent in conservative media. The book was strongest using historical context, but I found the modern examples lacking. This was perhaps done by design t This book is a good primer on many of the issues conservatives seem to value today.
This was perhaps done by design to appeal to the widest audience possible. The heat on some modern debates is still a bit too strong to win over anyone not already predisposed to the positions. Dec 15, Lance rated it really liked it. I am by no means a fan of Mark Levin, and in fact this book is the only thing written by him that I have read. While I don't agree with everything he proposed in his book, I do agree that we need to have a larger conversation about the principles upon which we will base our society. We need more voices, not less, engaging in dialogue about facts.
And Levin does a good job of laying out facts. Our government is filled with corrupt, self-serving politicians who have warped the system slowly but sur I am by no means a fan of Mark Levin, and in fact this book is the only thing written by him that I have read. Our government is filled with corrupt, self-serving politicians who have warped the system slowly but surely to their advantage. Levin proposes several constitutional amendments designed to turn the system back towards its original intent: I like a number of ideas Levin proposes, though I disagree on a number of points.
Perhaps the biggest disagreement I have is with the whole approach of fixing the system through constitutional amendments. That approach assumes that the government or whoever is in power respects the rule of law.
The Liberty Amendments
That approach won't work with those who think that their agenda and its need of implementation supersede the rule of law. If those in power will do what they want to do anyway, then adjusting the supreme law of the land which they don't respect won't suddenly solve the crisis. You can pass all the constitutional amendments you want to preserve private property rights, for example, but if a government which cares not for the law still wants to take your land, guess what happens.
Now, if those in government will actually submit to the law, then amending the Constitution can offer some promise. The bigger problem, though, is not a broken system but rather a broken people. The system is working much as the Founders designed it to work. Those who are elected to represent the people are by and large representative of the people who elected them. So if our government officials are corrupt, it is because we as a society are corrupt.
If our government officials are immoral, it is because we as a society are immoral. If our government officials are unethical, it is because we as a society are unethical. Clearly every barrel will have one or two bad apples. And those outliers don't define the distribution. But when we see such abuses of power as we have witnessed on every level of government by those who think it's okay to trample on the Constitution because the people just don't know what's best for them, we see a reflection of what happens on a smaller scale in the lives of individuals people who cheat their employers or cheat on their spouses, people who lie because it appears to give them advantage, people who drive with no respect or consideration for others on the road, people who step over others in order to get ahead in their careers or to get that hot deal on Black Friday.
The people we complain about in government simply reflect who we are as a larger society. The fix is to back to the home and reinforce family values. One such value is respect.
- 1776 and all that: the mysterious appeal of Mark Levin's originalist fantasy.
- European History for Dummies;
- More books from this author: Mark R. Levin.
- Broken Yesterdays.
- The World and a Very Small Place in Africa: A History of Globalization in Niumi, The Gambia;
- The Enlightenment.
- Absent Feet;
We don't have to agree with everyone in order to live peaceably with them. But to live in peace we need to respect our neighbors. That value is best learned as children by observing parents practice that value and then practicing it ourselves later as adults. So it is with every other virtuous value promoted in home and family. That fix is for the long-term. Political solutions play better to the short-term, and Levin puts his chips on that number.
Where some systemic changes are proposed, I don't think Levin goes far enough. For example, he suggests giving power to the states to nullify acts of Congress. The Founders were right to restrict the power of the federal government through a system of checks and balances among three branches.
What I think they missed was the fourth branch of government. They thought it was the media, who would keep corruption in check through public criticism. But the state legislatures themselves can play the role of restraining the federal government much better.
They should be able to nullify acts of Congress, but they should also be able to overturn Supreme Court rulings and impeach members of the executive branch. The people, as represented by their state legislatures, should be able to constrain the government. Instead what we have seen is government which imposes itself in every aspect of the lives of the people, constraining their liberty.
It's all upside down. Levin and I are agreed on one point. We need to engage a dialogue about that next best step, and that dialogue is best held in a convention of states, which has the constitutional authority to institute the type of changes that Levin proposes in his book. Though the powers that be may not all respect the supreme law of the land, that doesn't mean that we the people should also cast it aside. We need to do what lies within our legal power to seek after liberty.
I don't agree with all of Levin's points, and I have questions about his approach, but I do recommend his book, if for no other reason than to provide a basis upon which to start a conversation about the society and the legacy that we want to pass on to future generations. Mark Levin provides an excellent platform for laying out a plan to save the USA. The USA is currently on course to become a has-been country which is very bad for the entire world. The world has depended on it to provide political stability which allows for economic and technological growth.
Love it or hate it, this is the reality. Without the USA as it was, before the stateists ruined it, the world will begin to recede into a new dark age. It is already happening. We need the USA to return to its constitutional roots; its people to revive the American Dream and strive to be that place on a hill; a place where others that suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous tyranny can look up and, with hope, shrug off the yoke and stand tall as all humans should.
From this review, you may think I am an American right wing "nutjob" but I am not American. I live in a country where people are having the yoke of tyranny slowly placed upon their necks. The freedom of the press has already been curtailed. Government hides its corruption under "The Protection Of Information Act" which makes it a severe crime to publish "confidential" government documents. Only their greed and general incompetence has prevented the institution of total tyranny but they grow confident and are no longer afraid of backlash from the middle class.
They now brazenly drain the economy of life-blood as they build "Elysiums" for themselves. Our political system is one election away from becoming irrelevant. I live in Africa, and this is normal for Africa. It is too late for this continent, don't let it be too late for yours. Aug 28, Paul rated it it was amazing. The systematic centralization of governmental power and violation of the Constitution has been happening since FDR and Mark Levin blows it all out into the open with The Liberty Amendments.
This isn't a 'soap box' book. This is well thought out with direct references to support his views. The Constitution isn't broken. It has just been twisted and allowed to be corrupted by the very people who will do anything to maintain their power over the states and individuals. Mark Levin makes a compelling The systematic centralization of governmental power and violation of the Constitution has been happening since FDR and Mark Levin blows it all out into the open with The Liberty Amendments.
Mark Levin makes a compelling argument and plea for citizens to retake America through legal and credible means. The genius of the Framer's in providing, what Levin calls, a "backstop" for American citizens to pass Constitutional Amendments via Constitutional Convention called by States not Congress, is a testament to the brilliant men who formed our country. This isn't left wing or right wing. This is about restoring the proper distribution of power across the three branches of government, restoring the intended power of state rights, and protecting citizens from a handful of individuals who serve their own power interests rather than the country.
This should be required reading for high school government classes but doubt it will be an 'approved' text. A dumb populace is easier to control. Thanks Mark Levin for providing a road map. All we need now is the courage to take action. Oct 18, Lynette rated it it was amazing. This was one of the most provocative books I had read in a long time. I only thought I understood the constitution and how "we the people" are really not getting a deal from our three houses of government.
The congress, senate, president and supreme court all need an overall. It takes we the people to get out and vote and demand what the founders of the this great nation intended. I This was one of the most provocative books I had read in a long time. I am proud to be an American. I just want my libery and freedon restored as outlined in this book.
Mark Levin has invoked the heart of America in this book as he has done in others he has written. Well written and spells out what America has been and can be again. Thank you for this book. I agreed with Levin's point of view and thought the amendments he proposed were excellent. However, I think there is a fundamental flaw in the book. I see no way that there will be enough state legislatures willing to petition congress for a constitutional convention to amend the constitution.
Politicians use local and state offices as stepping stones to higher offices. They are just as corrupt as the U. State politicians will be unwilling to amend the constitution for the same reason. They hope to one day get their turn at being corrupt statists. Aug 23, Beccihall rated it it was amazing. We all know greatness when we see it, and Mr. Levin's "Liberty Admendments" sets a new standard. He has done an exceptional job supporting his views, and the Amendments, with historical and modern-day facts.
He, wisely, omits the "social issues" of our time because America's troubles are systemic. As such, I didn't have to block out any agenda-driven noise; I got to read a smart, respectful and fresh depiction of an approach to solving our 21st century tyranny problem. Give this book an HO We all know greatness when we see it, and Mr. Be an American, first.
The Liberty Amendments: Restoring the American Republic by Mark R. Levin
Throw out the labels. Don't listen to the nay-sayers. I promise you will be enlightened! Levin, for sharing this with all of US! Aug 20, Jim Brown rated it it was amazing Shelves: Sooner or later the opposing party will be in office and you will not like what it is doing to America. Mark Levin has identified a solution to not being able to control the people in power and this book defines the solutions currently available to American citizens by identifying 12 Amendments to the U.
Constitution that can be achieves by State Governments. I would add a 13th and that is that all members of Congress, the White House and the Republican, Democrat, Independent. Time will tell but I think this may be the most important book written in our time. Sep 12, David Vanness rated it really liked it Shelves: An analysis of the validity of Levin's reasoning for extra credit would be nice. My introductive required reading was a world history volumn of six or eight hundred pages that was quite old. Needless to say I enjoyed it.
Jul 25, Stephanie rated it it was amazing. This man needs to run for public office. Aug 29, Lily Brown rated it really liked it. Levin is biased like every author, but carefully researches material that is accurate and presents in a way that lets the reader decide if the amendment is valid. Even with the recognition of his bias, Levin lacks in his crossover thinking and validation of the modern governmental climate. This book is steeped in ideas of returning government power to the states and the local legislator.
Levin depends heavily on the original writings in the Constitution and the ideas that dominated the making of the original document. The original colonies were fearful of large government because of their historical conflict with England. Without just representation in the body that governed them, the Framers created a constitution that allowed for the most transparent and limited government, one that never again would take advantage of those who occupied the nation.
Levin proposes a return to this mindset, as he evaluated that American today is the opposite of what was first established. With these ideas driving the book, Levin caters his amendments to a specific audience: This American is one who desires their government be handed back to them and their vote to actually count. This American wants the issues in their backyard resolved and cares less about issues thousands of miles away.
This American wishes to cut the politics out of Washington and return to the political service of politicians. What this book lacks is an evaluation of the other side of the coin, and the viewpoint of the other half. While Levin addresses the possible negatives of the proposed amendments, he lacks in his truthful and honest assessment of what the other side of the ticket may think. His amendments offer little compromise, which would make it nearly impossible to be accepted by the entirety of Americans. Levin proposes changes to the Constitution that are radical, in frank words, and they offer little flexibility.
All in all, his amendments lack practicality and thoroughness for the realistic American social and political climate. In conclusion, Levin offers an informative, well researched, politically acute proposition of amendments that appeal to a largely conservative audience. This mindfulness is effective, yet it misses an opportunity to be realistic in showing how a limited government might help your country better itself. With this lacking, the book still presents eye opening solutions to problems that are widespread and concern many Americans.
Levin is concise and well written, with a vision of both sides of an argument, but a lacking of realistic carrying out. Jul 11, Joey Bredesen rated it liked it. How I came to that number? It's a rough number; it could be different. This would be in many ways like the BBA that Indiana has that reads: During times of recessions it is not needed to increases military spending, but social welfare programs, but I will add for an exemption to the BBA as it relates to military spending in times of war.
What if the cut creates surplus or still leaves debt? I think that would nullify the purpose of the amendment and exemptions to this amendment shouldn't be general, but be for specific reasons. This would also be a great way to make sure that the President appeals to congress to declare war.
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Lastly, I wouldn't cap spending to a certain amount, because I think that that is presently a very open debate and shouldn't be dogmatically answered, but what I would do is make spending increases subject to a supermajority, while taxes would be subject to a majority as they are now. I think that history has taught us that it is easier to cut taxes than cut spending and visa versa therefore to naturally balance the desire to tax with the desire to spend I would have that provision in there.
I would also like to add, because at times we have can a surplus namely under Anred Jackson and state's tend to run lower debt than the federal government a part that says that any budget surpluses would be sent back to the people that paid them; this would not account for a expenditures that are put aside for future potential spending our a "rainy day fund. Congress shall adopt a preliminary fiscal year budget not later then the first Monday in May for the following fiscal year, and submit said budget to the President for consideration. Total receipts shall not include those derived from borrowing.
Total outlaws shall include all outlays or the United States government those for the repayments of debt principal. All spending increases are to subject to a supermajority. All budget surpluses either military or domestic are to be sent back to the people that paid them. This does not account for expenditures set aside for future potential spending or a "rainy day fund. This Amendment shall take effect in the fourth fiscal year after its ratification. I think that with regards to the court it needs to be independent and any way that you go about it an override would strip it of its independence to some degree.
I think the argument for term limits could be made along the times that it keeps them from being puffed up with price. Also he just lists a bunch of bad decisions, and they are not perfect, and also I would have to look into why they made those decisions, but it seems that his thoughts almost nullify the authority of the SC and brings it to "priesthood of all citizens. He simply says well they would simply distort the constitution again. My point is that what it the purpose of the SC then. His trust is pretty much at zero. With regards to the commerce clause it goes back to the original point.
Wouldn't it be better to let the SC interpret what it means, but secondly it might be good narrow it, but the difference it "redefining" and making it something different. With regards to the amendment protecting private property I think that it is a great idea. The founders never had excessive regulations that could devalue your property. The question is to what extent should it reimbursed. With regards to the amendment to protect the vote he doesn't go in enough detail to argue that voter fraud is a big deal, but I think that he does make a good point on the topic of us not having a way to see if someone is a citizen or non-citizen.
Rand Paul proposed the idea of having a list of people that come here on visas and have it sent to the voting booth. I also had some other ideas like Rand Paul's amendment saying a just law applies equally to government officials as well as citizens congress exempting them from both Obamacare and Social Security in the past This could be a good idea with regards bringing back what our Republic should have originally been are kings above the law? I also have liked a lot of Milton Friedman's economic bill of rights in his book "Free to Choose.
I also think that an anti-monopoly amendment is very, very important. It could take the lines of the 2nd amendment: Lastly, I think that at times there can be a sediment that the courts job is to filter out bad laws, and that congress doesn't have an obligation to seek to uphold it. I might add a 3rd provision between "yea" and "nay" for normal votes and it would be "nay because I think that it is unconstitutional. If rules constitutional it would become law.
Besides that I think that this book was good. The one things that I might take criticism with is that at times it seems that all you have to do is quote the founding fathers to make your point. I appreciate that, but to a point. Oct 01, Connor Bulgrin rated it really liked it. This book is a great read for people interested in the history, substance, and different interpretations of the U.
Levin proposes we use this method of amending the Constitution that does not depend on the federal government to bring the nation back to the Founders' vision. It prov This book is a great read for people interested in the history, substance, and different interpretations of the U.
It provides a lot of questions that require careful considerations: Should congressmen have term limits, should federal spending be limited by an amendment, etc. These are complex, difficult questions to tangle with and Levin sets forth his arguments for all of them.
Almost all of his suggested amendments have to do with returning power to the states most dramatically by repealing the 17th amendment and reducing federal spending requiring bureaucratic departments costing over million to be approved by congress every 3 years, along with other limitations. While most of these are admirable, I do have a few criticisms. Levin's attack on the Supreme Court is most troubling. He believes that more than 9 people 5 for a majority should get to rule on the Constitutionality of some issues, because that is far too few people to decide issues that can change the nation.
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