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tv   Life Liberty Levin  FOX News  July 21, 2019 10:00pm-11:00pm PDT

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mark: hello, i am mark levin, this is life liberty and levin, we have a great guest dr. charles kesler. >> good to see you. mark: it has been 30 years. >> i have been following you. mark: thank you, and i you. editor of claremont books. considered the greatest publication on book reviews. i read it, i love it. also you are a professor of government at claremont
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mckenna college, reason i want to have you hir here today, is k about the declaration. its relevance to today. a lot of discussion about racism and slavery. a lot of discussion about centralized government and the administrative state. versus say capitalism and federal implement yoism, and yon expert on them. let's start with declaration of independentindependence. what is this natural law, natural right reference in declaration, why is it important. >> it requires an explanation today in a way it don didn't in8 century, we're not used to idea you can derive right and wrong from nature. the way things are, nature is that part of life which we don't
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create. it is not humans don't make it. nature of the thing is what it has in common with others like itself, so nature of trees and puppies, and rabbits and human beings have a nature. also essence of what these beings are that we don't make and that have form a species. there is a bunch of them but they ar different kinds. the notion you can derif derivem human nature, rules of right and wrong, based on what we are, that is natural law, natural right, natural justice are about. in modern philosophy courses this unpopular notion in university, it is unpopular, for a long time we thought you can't
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derive an ought from an is, a val you from a fact. and no one in fill of see thought that for thousands of years before essentially the 19 century when it became a popular line of argument. this means to based on what we are, you could derive from our human nature a rule about how we ought to treat each other. mark: golden rule. >> do on to others, as you have them do on to you. we are the same type of human being, we're equals. i do have some natural authority potentially over horses, dogs, cows and other parts of nature that are subhuman, and over yourself. but you don't have authority over others like yourself. rational beings who are your
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equals, that means i don't have authority over your life, liberty, your property. there is no natural government, any government that we justly can operate among ourselves has to be agreed to by consent of equal human beings. >> is that the significance of the declaration, at that time? there they are, revolution started. they meet, second continental congress. and they are declaring to the world, why they have to stand up to the most powerful military in the face was earth. they talk about natural rights, natural law. unabl-- unable yen able rights,t given rights, this monarchy cannot control them. you have to consent as you said. and so they were promoting
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representative government, is this not the basis of our constitutional system. >> yes, the constitution is in a way the means to the ends that are outlined in the declaration, protects our rights, securing our rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of levin. -- i am sorry, happiness. that is -- those are the goals of government. safety and happiness are ultimate goals of government which the declaration speaks about. how are you going to secure those? you need a form of government and the constitution is what that is, our form of government, our highest law, the supreme law of the land, the se supreme hum, there a natural and perhaps divine law of justice above that human law, that human law is trying to achieve.
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it is looking up to an aspiring to pe perfect justice. you have to be conscious of your obligations to try to do justice. and that is what leads to the creation of the constitution. that is what leads to throughout american history, reform movements of various kinds to a- abolish slavery for example, and bring president law and community to line with natural law with the way it should be. mark: blakbreak it up. mark: break it up, declaration, at key you say is individual liberty. what is the civil society? >> it is what exists between the
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individual and the state. or the national government in the case of america. civil society is what individuals by their own voluntary transactions and mutual consent. how we corporate with one another, we form churches, townships or local communities. we form stamp collecting clubs. mark: businesses or whatever. >> which pursuing our own views of our interests and happiness, we're free. the government leaves us free to construct a whole rich tapestry of ways we relate to each other. the government has nothing to do with them, unless they break a law. or unless they are engaged in some nefarious activity or
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another. idea -- i mean in china, you know you are kept under kind of constant surveillance, there are cameras in the churches, designed to make sure that nothing that is preached goes against the government line. and in america, a glory of a free country is the government is not always surveilling you, watching you. and it presumes that you as a free person can run your life on your own, fro for the most partn conjunction with other free peoples you want to associate with. mark: so, the declaration talks about the individual. the civil society. and will talks about life that goes on all around us. constitution focused on a piece of that government. federal government.
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state government. left alone. a little piece of that. that little piece is getting bigger, bigger, bigger and bigger. as we move into an increasingly post constitutional period. >> yes. mark: which is compelled by the progressive movement. so more and more was civil society, private live, individual lives are being doe devoured -- are being devoured by the government that getting bigger and bigger beyond the couldn't talkatheconstitutional. >> yes. they constructed a system to plant the levels of government. with progressives have you a counter revolution against the american revelatio revolution, s that declaration endorsed,
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progressivism encountered. the notion that rights are based on your individual status as a human being, the rights preexist government, did they come from god or nature. that is rejected by progressive implement you geprogressivism, r rights from states of civilization and skype of statee you have. the notion that government should be limited to the protectiontion of these rights and should and can be a danger, so has to be kept under control by the active public. that too is rejected. the notion is that government is not opposed to your rights or potentially opposed to your rights it is an expression of your rights, so the most important rights are not any rights you might have as an individual preexisting
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government. the most important rights you get come from the government. they give you -- we give the government power it gives us rights, that is the social contract. the new social contract. the new republic that progressivism built. it has been a very intoxicating bargain. for a lot of americans, you know increasingly in 20 century, now iin in 21. hard to resist the notion, what could go wrong? government is more powerful. it gives us more rights, what is not to like about that? i think we have lost touch with common sense. with the founders common sense understanding that government is run by human beings took very imperfect human beings, the more powers it accumulates, the more
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dangers it can pose. mark: central power versus dispersed power. when we come back, how does progressivism, and constitutionalism, coexist? over the long haul can they. >> most week nights you can watch me on levin tv, this is how you seen up, call 844- levin tv. and will freedom of the press, two months on new york bestseller list, they hate it we love it we'll be right back. bookers are booking getaway deals starting from 15 percent off so their tacos are 15 percent tastier they're scooting 15 percent smoother and their kids love them
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i'd rather not. mark: professor kesler. constitutionalism, and progressivism, is this the battle we have today? how do they coexist?
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different ideas? >> well, we really -- america is in a very odd and perilous condition. in a way we have, we're one country with two constitution, one is the original constitution, as amended. you might call it the conservative's constitution, the other is what liberals call the living constitution. a phrase, woodrow wilson was among first to use. and as between the conservatives constitution and liberals onestutioconstitution we're whi. in the beginning up to middle of 20 century. it was thought that the two consititutions could coexist because they were gradually
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converging. because the living constitution as the original progressives talked about it was an evolutional product, not revolution air bu ari but overte would agree up. incorporate anything in the old constitution that was valuable and worthy, they never thought they would come to a fight, because they would grow together. but, then the 60s, happened. and instead of growing together, the liberals radicalized and conservatives in react to them in their open way radicalizes instead of a surrender of the te old constitution, had a fight, a cold civil war. now the contr the contradiction0
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individual rightbetweenindividup rights, between a ever changing frame of government, that is in a permanent stac state of transformation, as in brac barak obama 5 days why election, 5 days from fundamentally reforming the united states of america. that is nothing but transformation. >> if nothing but transformation. that is a long way from the constitution. so my question is wh where doest take us? where is there a blueprint? they do this on the fly? >> it is in their mind it takes us today an ever more perfect social democracy to put it in its most harmless form.
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in which each of us would be transformed to a ohr and more perfect human being, in a more perfect society. and it is an -- >> let me. to get there, you have to surrender our free will, your individually to the state. you really can't realize the full extent of your how many huy unless you are part was bigger picture, correct. >> yes. you see in the phenomenon of political correctness, so powerful, in a way it came from the universities but now it is dominating american politics, if
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you look at democratic presidential candidates, you look at the squad in congress, their agenda is driven by political correctness, that means, you hate and cannot told tolerate the imperfection, the moral imperfection of your fellow americans. fellow american citizens, the deplorables, ir-- irredeemables who have not evolved, we're all supposed to be evolving to a perfect society, the fact we're not there are recalcitrant people who insist on ruling themselves. than the kind that we want and we think that history promises, left is not prepared for that and it sees no reason why it should toll lat tolerate, that,n
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that sense it is like a strange way an established religion, a medieval established religion, an inquisition, index of forbidden books and thoughts we're not supposed to read or think. and there is a strict moral patrol to make sure that you are not caught thinking things you should not be thinking or saying things, you should not say. it is the antithesis of freedom, what happens to your rights? you have no right to be politically imcorrect, that is the point, you have no right to think differently from the progressive menu of the day, it is a you know americans have reached a or i think are reaching a breaking point, where even a lot of old fashion sort of liberals, first amendment
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liberals, so few around, free speech liberals look around and say we don't recognize the america that these people are leading us towards. it does not seem to be a free country any more. >> when we come back, i am to tackle the issue of racism, slavery, the american founding to today. blood pressure we'll be right back. ♪ applebee's all you can eat is back. now that's eatin' good in the neighborhood. ♪now i'm gonna tell my momma♪ ♪that i'm a traveller
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[♪] aishah: live from "america's news headquarters." i'm aishah hasnie. the east coast going through another weekend of hot weather. the temperatures soared up i to the upper 90s and combined with the humidity it felt like 110. the heat claimed the lives of six people nationwide. protests in hong kong turning violent with police launching tear gas cannisters while protesters attacked train passengers. they have been protesting against a proposed extradition bill. even editorial says beijing views this protest as a challenge to central government and will not be tolerated.
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i'm aishah hasnie. mark: profess, we hear a lot of talk today slavery, systemic racism. more than i can remember 20 years ago. seems to be a crucial part of rearadical agenda. does the -- >> the best line about declaration, i think, was spoken by bernard beylin great harvard historian of the revolutionary period, saying that declaration did not solve the problem of slavery, it created the problem of schif slavery.
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of their way of life, they saw no contradicting between the two, but you start a republican form of government, and a way of life by saying all men are created equal, you make schiff -- slavery problematic, you make it wrong and a problem. but the moment that it declared its independence in name of human equality it mad slavery a problem to be dealt with. the constitution being a bundle of compromises among 13 states with different opinions about some things.
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compromised also on issue of slavery. it foit -- fobad for example, ay interfering with international slave trade for 20 years, fast forward 20 years, first day it was possible for congress to pass a law interfering with the international slave trade they did, they made it illegal that very first day they were constitutionally able to do so. founders, in wrestling with what to do about slavery in the constitution, every founder you heard of, virtually had the same opinion, slavery was unjust. the question was, what to do about it. how do we get rid of it. and on that there was disagreement, in a way that
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disagreement was compromised by the assumption, which was shared widely in founding generation that slavery would be put on the road to extincttion. there would -- states by themselves would emans pa emanse -- slavery was abolished in every state, new inland and new york and working its way down. but then something happened that they had not app sis pa -- antit process of emancipation halted at mason-dixon line. rather than proceeding down,
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beginning in 1820s and 30s there was a resistance movement, argument for slavery not any more a necessary evil. but it was a positive good. so at this point, the tragic sequence of events began that culminated in the coming of the civil war, the constitution itself does not mention slavery, as such it contemplates i say its eventual extinction. nothing in the constitution had to be accommodated to ajust to civil war, the argument now is that racism is the sin. not slavery, our original sin was not bondage of part of humanity but thinking will of a part of humanity or other parts.
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mark: we hear all of the time that founders were racist. nation was founded on the concept that the racism is still systemic and pervasive in the country. despite the civil war and end of slavery, you have a supreme court in the decision. jim crow in the south, i had shelby steele here, he acknowledges all this, says he was horrendous, then he says, we're free. he is talking to his fellow, we're free, be free, live free. do what you to want to do, but n you watch media today, and you watch individuals, the president was talking about today, a constant drum beat, i am starting to think, i want your
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opinion on this when we come back, it not about racism at all. it is about progressivism, if you don't agree with progressive ideology and the agenda more centralize different and redistribution of wealth, and so forth, you must be a racist, i will be interested in your take on that, we'll be right back. offers free so bookers can book now... and ask their boss later. [do you want breakfast or no?] free cancellations! [definitely breakfast.] how good is that? be a booker at struggling to clean tough messes with wipes? try new mr. clean magic eraser sheets. just wet, squeeze and erase icky messes in microwaves and on stovetops for an amazing clean, get the power of mr. clean magic eraser in new disposable sheets.
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mark: professor, i ended that last segment with the notion that we talk about racism, we're not really talking about racism. we talking about rea radical progressive ideology, if you challenge or reject it, somehow the word race is introduced, as if you don't agree ori brace or
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confirm the agenda you are racist, am i wrong. >> yes racist is now an all-purpose accusation. i think you know it has to do with your view of human nature in the world. from the founders point of view, common sense point of view, you expect people by nature to prefer their own. you prefer your own children over other children, own family over others, people you know over strangers, prefer you know, those who are closer to you and more like you to those who are not. and that was regarded as the starting point as it were moral growth. moral life, to grow you have to learn to work with others who are not your friends, not just like you. but it takes a process of trust building that people who are
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different from you, can be your allies, your friends, your fellow citizens, you can die for them in political in war. and stand by them as a kind of a band of brothers. to use that language. all those great world war ii movies, showed platoons you know made up of the italia italian-americans, polish-american, you know mexican-american and so forth, living example in miniature how moral growth and political life were understood in the past, you can work with people in larger, circles and you expand yourself and your circle of trust outward to pro city -- from city to county to state to nation.
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and that was you know that was regarded as a process that every generation would have to repeat, you start from a human nature, that is selfish and prefers people that are more known and more trust worth t trust worth , liberalism today, political correctness begins from assumption of human perfec perf. at end process of a historical progressive you o evolution. any preference of ones own is re guarded at original sin, a defect that must be obliterated, there is not be a redempshin for that sin or any abs absolution r it, it is unforgivable and must
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be stamped out in some ways. modern a accusation of racism ia accusation of human evil, imperfection, selfishness, preferring your own, as such it saitis an endless indictment. mark: yet pro fes -- pro profesh individual-- ideology uses -- based to different categories set up by politicians and bureaucrats is that the progressive. >> there is, there something of a contradicttion there. if you take the -- high progressive point of view, politically correct point of view, let's say, their argument is, there is nothing -- no such
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thing as a natural individual, we're all by nature members of groups. there is a need for group to raise their conscious now and understand that other groups like themselves are also opressed and need government assistant and recognition to escape that oppression, that is intersectionality, that terrible word that has become so common these days, you know it is amazing, i teach freshmen. in american government, for first day of class they all know the inter sectionalty, they learned it high school or someplace long before college, it is very interesting and surprising how pervasive that moral education is. maybe it i an immoral education but it seems to be everywhere. that is the meaning of racism now is -- the goals are
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continually moves and redefined by what progressives think is the worst outrage of the age. that is why martin luther king, preaching color blindness is considered a racist today, on many campuses. because color blindness is regarded as a privileged white, male idea. designed to disguise the very structural racism and the kinds of things you know inner basis we don't realize but are still there and need to b expunged somehow, that has unfortunately polluted the conversation in america about these things. >> i want to ask you about immigration. when is purpose historically, and is that the purpose today. >> you can check me out most week nights on levin tv, join
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mark: what is the purpose of immigration? >> well, it has several purposes, i guess you could say, it is to refresh and repopulate the country but not designed to change the country in a fundamental way. the way that americans in pass generations thought about problem of immigration, was that america was always an extraordinary open country, we had open borders for a hundred years, with no immigration laws for a hundred years. mark: huge country, very small population. >> very small population, and hard to get here. open borders but you had to cross you know 3,000 miles of ocean to make it. and so not etc everyone did tha,
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even then, franklin, jefferson, hamilton, they talked about the moral and political qualities of the people who are coming to us. they had a debate about this. jefferson wanted you know farmers, and hamilton want peopled who are interested in manufacturing and finance. different ideas what what would work best for america. but they agreed they all work agreed you want people who a strong worke work ethic who spoe english or would learn english and love republican government, love to live in a free country unlike the miserable place they are probably fleeing from. mark: would cut their allegiance from country they came from and give all allegiance to our coun. >> yes, that meant.
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eventually, a strict sense, you follow the constitution, you are loyal to the constitution, will fight for the constitution, and the republic, and slightly larger sense you will culturaly be an american which this larger sense became known as assimilation and americanization as teddy roosevelt called it, means, you would learn to identify with, to like and to love your fellow citizens. and their way of life in general. it did not mean you could not live as a believing jew or a quaker in your own city, township or whatever. but it meant that you saw something important in common
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with people who were not quakers or orthodox jews, you see them as fellow citizens and imagine sacrificing for them. mark: what do you make of the situation today omar, tlaib, and others, democrat party, really standing for a proposition they will not secure the border, people have a right to be here, they come here they have all rights of a citizen, more and more there is a the distinction between citizen and noncitizen is less and less so. what do you make of that? >> it is -- perverse. to say the least. in a way a complete reversal of the understanding of the past. we look upon the immigrants as coming to teach us a higher way of life. in how, they come -- somehow, so we may in sacrificing for them, elevate ourselves, you know we can overcome ourselvesishness,
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our americanness by embracing an ever wider diversity, the strange thing about that argument, even on campus they talk about diversity and inclusion, they go together. but they are different. the fact that you need both of them is in a way a concession from them, diversity in -- you know can have so much diversity you don't are community left, there has to be inclusion, stlai communitthereis a community to l be included, that is that community. mark: the? >> they are weak on that subject that is the problem. they face. they are quite prepared to answer that question, and as you know, the answers will differ from dec decade to decade, and e they can be in favor of closing the border, in others, opening
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the borders, it all depends whoo what advances of the progressive agenda. mark: i find this notion that immigration exists for purpose of 7 billion people outside of united states, if they manage to get in united states all of a sudden rights are conferred upon them, economic benefits. a way to destroys society, we'll be right back. fact is, every insurance company hopes you drive safely.
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mark: dr. kesler, you were an early supporter of president trump before he was president, how is he doing? >>, i think pretty well. he has faced the kind of opposition or resistance that it hard to believe any very few american presidents have had to face, only one who clearly face a worse situation was lincoln in 1860. by the time he was in
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washington. you know half of the union was -- in secession. you have two year long investigation. mueller investigation, all other investigations. it is unprecedented situation, not that there were not things that incoming presidents that could not have been investigated for. but they never had to face those kinds of headwinds. and given all that he has had to face, and overcome, i think his administration is going quite well. there much on the agenda that is still needs attention. and i hope and to that it will be attended to. between now and the election to a second term. mark: i agree. and maybe some of the republicans and at some point the democrats will help, although don't hold your breath, a great pleasure thank you.
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>> mutual, thank you. mark: see you next time on life, liberty and levin. chris: i'm chris wallace. president trump keeps attacking the squad. but says he disapproves of that angry chant. president trump: i didn't say that, they did. >> being a somali immigrant refugee by contrast. chris: we'll discuss the debate over race and country. stephen miller, one of the immigration's immigration hardliners. >> the new report is my testimony. chris: democrats prepare to question robert mueller about


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