Mark Levin examines a post-constitutional nation in 'Ameritopia: The Unmaking of America'

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," January 17, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: In his brand new book just out today, "Ameritopia, The Unmaking of America," the great one, Mark Levin, explains that all throughout history tyranny has originated from the dream of a Utopian society that can never exist.

Now he argues that Americans are traditionally independent and explains how the battle between centralized government and individual freedom is being played out more than ever right here in American society.

Now joining me to discuss his brand new book, the GOP race and much more, the man himself, nationally syndicated radio talk show host, I call him the great one. How are you, great one!

Can I ask you a question? So, I tried to get you --

MARK LEVIN, "AMERITOPIA" AUTHOR: Have you lost weight, by the way?

HANNITY: Yes, I did. Do I look better?

LEVIN: You look a little thin to me.

HANNITY: All right, this is an inside joke. I'm trying to get you out of your bunker for years --

LEVIN: Congratulations, here I am.

HANNITY: You are impossible to get out and get on TV.

LEVIN: I like being in the bunker. I like being home. What is so bad about that?

HANNITY: No, but your fans love to see you. I had to start a petition on your radio show when I was a guest to get your audience to call in and get you out of there.

Well, first of all, why don't we get your thoughts, before we get into this book. This book, I will argue, is going to be a classic, that one day some society will look at this and make it a foundation. It's that powerful.

LEVIN: When we are dead and gone.

HANNITY: When we are dead and gone, a long time from now, hopefully. Look at this race. See what is happening in South Carolina. We watched Iowa and New Hampshire. You saw the debate last night. What is your take on the race and do you buy into this argument that it will be really difficult to beat Obama?

LEVIN: Well, a couple of things. You know what concerned me about that debate last night? Mitt Romney. Mitt Romney stumbled a lot and he's been running for president since, you know, James Buchanan. And at this point, he should be able to answer these things like this about his income taxes, about Bain, about any of it. So he's not the inevitable anything that the Republican establishment tell us he is.

And the fact is, if he turns out to be the nominee, I'm going to support him, but there are other conservatives in this race who I think deserve a first look by a lot of people, let alone a second look. Newt Gingrich had a hell of a debate. Santorum had a hell of a debate. Perry was good I thought too.

HANNITY: I thought Perry had his best debate showing to date. You now, it's sad because if he would have come out of the box like --

LEVIN: We have plenty of time. You know, let me just be clear about this. We have in many states proportional delegates selection. What's Romney have now, 12 delegates?

HANNITY: Proportional distribution.

LEVIN: That distribution, some states -- Florida has lost half its delegates because it jumped the line and then we have after Florida, Nevada or something and then a month break. I don't know why we have to decide this in Florida. Who says? Why should we?

HANNITY: Well, we don't have to decide it, but look at the history of this. No modern day person, non-incumbent has won Iowa, New Hampshire. We might get different results in Iowa now. And if he were to win South Carolina, we don't know what's going to happen in South Carolina, no one has --

LEVIN: You know what all that means?

HANNITY: No one has won the presidency without South Carolina.

LEVIN: You know what all that means? Butkus.

HANNITY: What, nothing? You don't think it means anything?

LEVIN: When you win in Iowa by six votes or eight votes -- but Gerald Ford won Iowa and he won New Hampshire and lost the presidency. Why does any of this matter?

HANNITY: Let me dovetail this into the book. Without getting into all the details right now, you actually make the case in this book that we live in a post-constitutional America. You have a whole chapter on that. What does that mean?

LEVIN: It means that much of what the federal government does is not authorized by the Constitution. Now, when you say that, you get political responses like, you want to do away with this and you want to do away with that? I'm not talking about that. I'm saying much of what goes on in the federal government -- although I would like to do away with most of it. Much of what goes on in the federal government has no constitutional basis whatsoever.

This was part of a scheme, real scheme hatched by a number of leftists about a century ago. And you know them. Woodrow Wilson. Woodrow Wilson didn't make any bones about his contempt for the declaration and individualism and that's what this is, an attack on the individual. He made no bones about his contempt for the Constitution. Woodrow Wilson said in a speech before he became president that the government is like a body, you can't have one organ working against the other. In other words, you can't have separation of powers. So he spent his presidency, as did subsequent Democrats, trying to evade the Constitution or rewrite it.

FDR, of course, did the same thing. FDR attacked the Constitution. And Cass Sunstein, who now works for Obama, he made the point that we now live under FDR's Constitution. You know what that means? A powerful centralized government, exactly what the framers of the Constitution rejected.

HANNITY: You talk about the sub title, "The Unmaking of America." You end the book with this question. "So my fellow countrymen, what do you choose, Ameritopia or America?" Is America that close of a crossroads that the America that we grew up knowing, loving, cherishing, the one that talked about the individual and freedom and responsibility, is likely gone?

LEVIN: Ameritopia is here. The question is how far are we going to go with this? We are not a truly constitutional republic anymore. The states have so limited power, but yet it was the other way around.

We are not a representative republic really in the true sense anymore. We have this massive administrative state with, you know, hundreds of thousands if not several million bureaucrats who are making laws and issuing them every day, 80,000 pages last year. So that's not a representative republic. So what are we? We are a nation that has heavy centralized you power. It's getting more centralized by the day. Every so-called reform is said to require more government, more bureaucracy, and more taxation in pursuit of what?

HANNITY: You quote Reagan, you know, the freedoms just one generation away from extinction. You quote Benjamin Franklin. Benjamin Franklin after the Constitutional Convention was wrapping up actually predicted that this experiment would end.

LEVIN: For a time. He said, and I paraphrase, the American people will follow this Constitution for a time. But then -- I'm paraphrasing -- they will determine whether they want to live free or they want to live in a despotism.

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