Though the egregiously biased and transparently liberal Time Magazine picks their Man of the Year based upon sheer newsworthiness without regard to whether the recipient had a positive or negative impact, I do not share their lack of concern for the results. My Man of the Year nomination can only go to someone who has made positive contributions to my country.
Every conservative in America should be familiar with Mark Levin. If you do not know him you are missing out on perhaps the sharpest mind in conservatism, and you are doing a disservice to yourself by not taking advantage of his knowledge and deep intellect. The more you listen to “the Great One”, as his good friend Hannity calls him, the more prepared you will be to intellectually battle those on the left who seek to make us all slaves to the State.
Before early 2009 my exposure to Mark was limited to seeing him once or twice on Hannity & Colmes and hearing him call into Hannity’s radio show a few times. To be completely honest, though it was obvious that he is brilliant, I considered him a little obnoxious. Then last January, after the inauguration of the least qualified president in US History, I discovered the Mark Levin Radio Show podcast and started listening to it on my Zune whenever I was driving. Being from the Atlanta area, I grew up listening to Neal Boortz, and I went through periods of listening to Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity and Martha Zoeller, but with a demanding job as a software developer I could not sit around and listen to their shows live. My job simply requires too much concentration. Additionally, coming from the libertarian side of conservatism I had little patience for GOP talking points and defense of their watered-down conservatism.
Unlike most of the rest of the syndicated conservative radio hosts, however, Mark Levin provides his radio show in podcast form for free. In fact, it is almost always posted on his web site within 30-45 minutes of the end of the show, which runs live from 6-9pm eastern time. Free access to his radio show in podcast form allows people like me to listen to his show when convenient, and I typically listen to the previous evening’s show the next morning while commuting. In addition to clearly articulating the positions that I have been espousing for years, to a certain extent he has also restored my faith in my fellow Americans. On his Friday show he closes with Ray Charles’ incredible version of America, and though I would initially skip it to get to those last three minutes of his show, now I listen to it and take strength from it.
In the spring of 2009, Mark released the most significant political book written in my lifetime. The book, Liberty and Tyranny, is simply brilliant. In one rather short book he very cogently brings together the most important concepts and historical perspectives of conservatism and American liberty that I have ever seen, and I have been reading the works of thinkers like Friedman and Hayek, as well as our founding documents and the Federalist Papers, for 20 years. The fact of the matter is that if you are conservative and have not read Liberty and Tyranny, you are truly doing yourself a disservice. Carefully reading this book will arm you for philosophical exchanges around the water cooler, or your favorite blog, like nothing else can. To gain the insights that you will get from Liberty and Tyranny, you would have to read dozens of other books, but Mark has pulled together the most important concepts and historical examples into this one short book. Furthermore, it is a remarkably good read, which is more than one can say for most political books by conservatives.
Libertarian leaning conservatives like me have been quoting the founding fathers and the US Constitution from memory for a couple of decades, but thanks to Mark Levin’s book and his radio show regular people are now doing the same thing. They are actually reading the text of the Declaration of Independence, the US Constitution, and even the Federalist Papers. They are learning more about the history of their country, the greatest nation in the history of mankind, and are gaining more depth and perspective to fight this battle against statism, a word that Levin has pushed back into the lexicon. Mark Levin has made that happen through his great book, his entertaining radio show, and the force of his honest and direct personality. Mark also shares my feelings of respect for our country and the people who serve her, giving a shout out to the military, police, and firefighters at the close of each show.
It is unlikely that I will ever be fortunate enough to meet Mark and express my gratitude and respect, but he is and will always be a brother. One need only listen to Mark for 10 minutes to realize that what he says and the positions that he takes are based upon a deeply held love for America and what it stands for. His show is not just entertainment; it is full of deep philosophical thought and reverence for the greatest country in history.
God bless you, Mark Levin. You are the man of the year in my book.
Now let’s kick ass and take names in 2010.