This past Saturday President Barack Obama turned the commencement speech at the University Michigan into a full-throated defense of his big government agenda.

At this Monday’s Heritage Foundation President’s Club meeting, nationally syndicated talk-show host and New York Times Best-Selling author Mark Levin responded:

In a speech on Saturday, Obama said that “what troubles me is when I hear people say that all of government is inherently bad. When our government is spoken of as some menacing, threatening foreign entity, it ignores the fact that our democracy, government is us.” He added that “Throwing around phrases like ‘socialists’ and ‘Soviet-style takeover,’ ‘fascists’ and ‘right-wing nut’ – that may grab headlines,” but it also “closes the door to the possibility of compromise…At its worst, it can send signals to the most extreme elements of our society that perhaps violence is a justifiable response.”

We conservatives don’t hate government. We revere the Constitution. Government that exists within the framework of the Constitution is legitimate and worthy not only of our respect, but our defense. Government is not us, as Obama put it, when a president and Congress usurp the will of the people in matters as far-reaching as health care, cap-and-trade, and immigration. They operate in secret, they reject any real input from the other party and the American people, and use the law to plunder and punish us, not promote this society. How do you compromise with such an ideology and abuse of authority? You don’t. You defeat it. If you want respect and support, Mr. Obama, then respect and support 200 years of American history, traditions, customs and beliefs.

Conservatives do not send messages to the most extreme elements of our society that perhaps violence is justifiable. You might recall, Mr. Obama, that we embrace ordered liberty and civil society. It is you and your true believers who are always charging the ramparts, always looking for something or someone to tear down, always looking to transform and transgress. To accuse people who rightly, legitimately, and peacefully protest object to your abuse of power of fomenting possible violence is contemptible intimidation tactic. We conservatives reject the likes of William Ayers and Louis Farrakhan, just as we reject the likes of Timothy McVeigh and the neo-Nazis. We don’t hire lawyers for al-Qaeda terrorists and place them in the highest positions of the Justice Department. You do. What kind of signal does that send the kooks and loons? We conservatives do not encourage violence against the government or any government official. We actually support law enforcement. Do you?

I don’t give a lot of speeches, as by now you can probably tell, but I close every speech I do give with a quote from Ronald Reagan — the same quote I use to close my book, Liberty and Tyranny, and which Obama might find offensive or even provocative. Reagan said: “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States when men were free.”

God bless you.