Stephen A. Smith, the personality most well known to fans of ESPN was recently interviewed on the Mark Levin radio show. I was astounded. Not that he is a black man that is also a conservative, because studies show that there are a great many black conservatives in America. No, what really struck me, was in the way he put into words how he felt about, not only our President, but also about what it means to be a conservative. He is eloquent and direct. And as Mark asks him in the interview, he could very well run for President, or at the very least, public office. This man is exactly what the Conservative cause needs at this time.
Mark Levin: Now Stephen, one of the things that impresses me about you is, you fundamentally understand liberty. Doesn’t mean we agree on everything.
Stephen Smith: Right.
ML: But you fundamentally understand that this is what we have to defend. I don’t care who we’re defending it from, this is what we have to defend. What do you make…what do you make of what’s going on today with all the government push and all the racism charges and all the rest of it?
SS: Well I’m disturbed to be quite honest with you. Ah, you can hear me clearly, correct Mark?
ML: Yes sir.
SS: Yes sir, I’m very, very disturbed. I mean, you know as an African American growing up in the streets of New York City I understand what poverty is all about, I understand, you know, what trials and tribulations mean. But at the same time, I’m looking at what we’re witnessing from our President, a man that I voted for; a man that I was proud to vote for at the time simply because, from a historical perspective what he represented. And then I’m looking at, you know, what I consider to be a government takeover. And I’m quite alarmed; I don’t think it’s what he campaigned on. I know that his record was radical, I listen to Sean Hannity a lot and Sean Hannity made it a point to say that everyday. But I certainly didn’t expect us to own 80% of AIG. I didn’t expect us to own a part of the automobile industry. Its one thing to put forth a $787 billion stimulus package, but to drop on top of that $410 billion omnibus package, a $3.6 trillion budget, a cap and trade bill, and then to come with universal health care that ultimately leans towards a government takeover of the health care system. Um these…I did not have to listen to Mark Levin or Sean Hannity or Rush Limbaugh to recognize that this is something that should make all of us extremely uncomfortable. Because as a young black man growing up in the streets of New York City; no matter what you say about so many of the critics that were perceived as leaders within the community, people may have advocated Mark, government intervention in terms of supervising things and making sure that we all were operating under a fair and equitable system. But I don’t recall anybody, and I do mean anybody that has ever walked into the black community and advocated a government takeover of anything. It’s about handling your own business, grabbing yourself by your own bootstraps and lifting yourself up. We may all need assistance, but a takeover is an entirely different situation altogether, and I’m extremely uncomfortable with it, and I’m even more uncomfortable with the fact that race has become a part of the discussion.
We all know racism exists to some degree, but to act as if it is as prevalent as it was years and decades ago is completely untrue and it serves to divide this nation, which I think is a catastrophic thing.
ML: Are you running for president? Cause I’ll vote for you.
ML: I – I’m not kidding. What you just said was so damn good and I’m not kidding, because, uh, in fact I have, I have shivers going down, uh up my leg, or whatever the guy said, Chris Matthews.
SS: I tell you something; one of the things, listening to your show, listening to Sean, listening to Rush, I’ve agreed with Rush in a lot of the things in the past, but I remember…I’ll tell you a little story Mark. Just a few days ago I was in Washington D.C. for an event and an African American happened to be driving me. He was a cab driver and I’m talking to him because he’s a big time supporter of Obama. And I said to him, “Listen you’re not going to be able to put that tag on me, ‘Oh, you know what? You’re being critical of Obama, so therefore you must be against him.’” No, no, no, no, no. The fact is, he is the President of the United States of America, he received 69 million plus votes, he received 52% of the popular vote; he has sworn to be a president to ALL Americans, not just African Americans. I appreciate his sensitivity or what would appear to be his sensitivity to some degree, but that doesn’t mean we don’t get to be critical of his policies. And you can’t tell me that what you’re seeing from his policies right now should make you comfortable. If it makes you comfortable, it’s because you must be ignorant to the issues. Because if you are paying attention, then you cannot be comfortable with the American way of life that you knew before, watching what’s taking place right now. And I was, I ended up surrounded by about 15 or 20 people, and I was basically saying to them, Mark, “Listen, at the end of the day, its about, if you walked up to any African American in this country and you said to them, ‘You know what? I’m gonna give you universal health care, or I’m gonna give you a cap and trade tax, or I’m gonna give you X,Y and Z.’ If you gave them that option, or the option to have money in their pocket and for them to make their OWN decisions. They would choose the latter.” I said, “I got news for you. That would make you somebody with a conservative point of view. You better wake up and recognize.”
ML: I think I just found a superstar. I-I’m not kidding you. Now, by the way, do you know I get –
SS: Yes sir.
ML: I get notes from cab drivers all the time asking me for a copy of Liberty and Tyranny? I mean people make assumptions, bigoted assumptions about people based on their race, or what they’re doing in their lives or something like that. You know I just think if we explain liberty more, if we explain competition more, and you’re right, if we, if we, and we spend a lot of money, if we’d spend it the right way to help people that truly cannot help themselves, I’m all for that. I’m not an Anarchist, I’m a Conservative. But that said, there’s no reason to destroy the entire health care system in order to help people. There’s just no need for it.
SS: I-I’ll tell you what, if you don’t mind me saying so. I’ll tell you what the conservatives and the Republican Party is up against more so than anything else. You don’t have a great messenger, outside of talk radio.
ML: You’re – It’s true.
SS: That ultimately, that ultimately is your problem. I like Michael Steele, I certainly don’t want to do anything that would impugn his integrity, or, or stain him in any way. But, you know he has to do a better job of making sure that the message of the Conservative party is coming across because I don’t think it’s reaching the masses. I think you’ve got to have people that can go in any community because the reality is that when you look at Conservatives, when you look at Republicans you know that you’re going – you know that there’s a vast majority of white Americans that are going to vote in that direction. But when you talk about the Hispanic and in particularly the Black community then it becomes a problem. You’ve got to have somebody that can walk into these disenfranchised and minority communities and really explain what it is all about.
I didn’t know who Mark Levin was from a can of paint. But when I listened on a radio show, and I listened to him, I said, “You know what? When it’s six o’clock on the East Coast, if I’m in my car, to hell with music, and the hell with talk radio, everything else –
SS: I’m turning on Mark Levin, because I wanna LEARN something.” And even if I disagree, I’m still going to learn something even in the process of disagreeing, and therefore it’s going to make me more intelligent about the arguments that I make for or against whatever somebody like you is saying. Too many people do not do that and that needs to change, especially when we’re witnessing what we’re witnessing what’s taking place in our country today.
Wow. That is really all I can say. We need more people to orate the conservative position this well.