Horowitz and Beck

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Editor’s note: Below is a transcript of David Horowitz’s appearance on Glenn’s Beck’s radio show last Thursday, September 8, to discuss his new book, A Point in Time.

BECK: A guy whose parents were actual Communists. He now spends more time fighting for the other side and is probably one of the biggest American heroes alive today. I want you to meet him. Everyone wants meaning in their lives. There is no such thing as social justice. We have to find meaning in the pain. We have to find meaning in joy. When we find meaning in whatever it is we’re doing we not only survive we thrive. David Horowitz has written a book called, “A Point In Time: The Search For Redemption In This Life And The Next.” I just asked David before we came on the air, “Are you dying? Because this is a very philosophical book. You’re not dying are you?

HOROWITZ: No I’m not. I’ve written three books about mortality.

BECK: Why are you fascinated by it?

HOROWITZ: I’m 72 years old. When you get to pushing 70 you have to think about final things.

BECK: Man, you don’t look 70. I would have never guessed that. To put you in a context for anybody who doesn’t know, give us a little bit of history of your childhood and the 1960s.

HOROWITZ: I was born into a Communist family. Both of my parents were card carrying members. My whole family circle and their friends were Communists. I was a founder of the New Left in the Sixties. The New Left was founded by children of Communists who felt that Stalin had tainted socialism. We were going to revive it the socialist/Communist dream. That’s who we were.

BECK: Back then did you hang out with Bill Ayers?

HOROWITZ: Yeah. I despised him. When he was a senior in college he boasted that he hadn’t read a book in a year. Yet he was playing with people’s lives. He was a violent and destructive human being. I despised him.

BECK: I have to tell you that by page four of your book I said to myself this is one of the most beautifully written books I have read in a long time. I have to make decisions quickly as to which books I’m going to read all the way through. By page eight — this usually doesn’t happen by page eight — I knew it was going to be a book I was going to read all the way through.

HOROWITZ: Thank you. I put a lot of work into making it a book one would want to read.

BECK: Here you are a guy who knows it inside and out, and then people like me come along who don’t. The first time we talked I didn’t know who you were. I didn’t know what progressivism was. How have you stood as a sentinel for so long with so much hatred, so that so many people have tried to destroy you? How have you done this without losing your mind watching what was happening to our country?

HOROWITZ: I was brought up that way in combat. My parents Communists were in the darkest moments of the Cold War. We were an isolated community, and my fights in school were all over Russia. I was brought up to engage in this battle. Now, to use a California term I’m living out a karma. I felt I had to take make sense of what I knew, to resolve it all in the end. This book, A Point in Time is really a summation of what I have learned. It’s a small book but it took me three years to write. I thank you for recognizing the effort I put in to make it what it is.

BECK: It’s beautiful.

HOROWITZ: You have to ask yourself why people hate America. Why do they hate conservatives the way they do? It’s evident practically every time they open their mouths. They hate us. And I understand this in my bones because I grew up in the hate.

BECK: The hate.

HOROWITZ: What it comes from is a vision of a possible future that is perfect — where there is no racism, no sexism, no war, no poverty. Where there’s social justice instead. If you believe that you can achieve a world like that then you see yourself in effect as part of the Army of the Saints, and everybody opposing you is the Party of Satan. If you think of hellfire and damnation preachers you understand exactly who “liberals” are.

BECK: You see it in Al Gore.

HOROWITZ: Of course.

BECK: You see it in anybody who’s on this climate thing. If you disagree with them you’re going directly to hell.

HOROWITZ: Exactly. Where does all this secular crusading come from? If you look at the decline of the organized religions which begins around the time of Darwin, that’s when you have the rise of socialism, Communism, fascism, all secular chiliastic faiths. All of these secularisms are really searches for redemption. But redemption in this life and achieved by human beings.

BECK: This is where President Obama gets the idea of collective salvation that he is always preaching about, which is the exact opposite of the Christian idea. The exact opposite understanding of what Christ, a divine being, did.

HOROWITZ: Exactly.

BECK: There is no collective salvation.

HOROWITZ: The one addition you have to make to this analysis, is to include the Islamists who are not secular but who believe in redeeming this world. A true Christian or Jew understands that only God can make this world right. The first chapters of Genesis reflect a very profound understanding of who we are.

When God expelled us from the Garden of Eden he put an angel with a flaming sword at the gate to prevent us from returning. We are the problem, not society. Society is just a reflection of who we are. We are the problem, and we can’t fix it. If you understand that, then you are a conservative. If you think that the human problem can be fixed by other human beings then you’re a leftist and dangerous.

BECK: I believe there are two categories in the left. There are those who really do have this hope, this idealistic, hope and they’re generally young. They believe if we have a big enough government we can get rid of all the bad guys.

HOROWITZ: It’s a youthful mistake. Young people do not understand. You have to have lived to witness how normal it is to be betrayed.

BECK: Over and over again. Betrayed by good people who were your friends who had a moment in time where they went off the tracks, and all of a sudden betrayed their friends.

HOROWITZ: You have to see into yourself, and see your own weaknesses.

BECK: There are the youthful naifs on the one hand, then there are the nasty ones who know and who are doing it for power.

HOROWITZ: Exactly. You start off as an idealist, but soon you find yourself chanting “Hey hey L.B.J, how many kids did you kill today?” which was the big slogan for my generation. I remember as a leftist thinking, “Would I rather be a prisoner of Lyndon Johnson and trust my fate with him or Ho Chi Minh?” The answer was obvious, even to a Marxist. That was one of the beginnings of my understanding of how wrong we were. It starts with idealism perhaps, but the higher the ideal — the more the beautiful the idea of what you can achieve in this life — the more destruction and hate that will enter your soul.

BECK: Unless it’s based on the individual ideal.

HOROWITZ: If you’re talking about the salvation of an individual soul, a truly religious person will understand that we see now through a glass darkly. Only after we die will we see face to face and learn whether there is meaning to our existence. Of course nobody knows whether there is or not. You can’t know. That’s why it’s a matter of faith.

BECK: You were raised in this hatred. You have a reason to hate now. So many people have tried to destroy you. I know what this is like from the last 4 years. It is exhausting. It really is exhausting. I have found my way to being able to find meaning in what I do and find meaning in their hate, and I’m actually growing in love. I actually am less angry today than I was four years ago which I think is a miracle in and of itself. How did you do that?

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  • Abraham83

    (continued from above)
    In 1941, the left–a vocal and active part of the political opposition–was an ally of our government, and did not hinder our efforts against the common enemy. Today, the situation is quite the reverse with the left in active opposition to our defense and strongly in league with our enemies.

    • Indioviejo

      Abraham, the left supported the war only after Hitler attacked Stalin. I hope you can see this.

  • Chezwick_mac

    Interesting revelation here by David (though I'm sure he's spoken or written about it before). His early perspective that LBJ was certainly a preferable captor than Ho Chi Minh – at the very time that he was advocating against the former and for the latter – shows that he had creeping doubts long before his actual epiphany.

    David is a complex man, almost enigmatic. He is a brilliant intellectual who – during a significant portion of his adult life – was remarkably misguided. He is a profoundly ethical man, reflected in his life-long search for the truth and his continued ability to learn, to grow and to change. Yet, he was also a man of pronounced (and self-acknowledged) personal failings.

    And therein lies the quality that impresses me the most about the man…(and in many respects, is the litmus test for all of us, distinguishing the enlightened from the less so): David's ego – which I'm sure he'll admit was considerable – was nonetheless transcended by his honesty. And what he learned about himself – both good and bad – he volunteered to the world in detail…in order to give context, depth and insight into his story…and his message.

    I'll certainly be purchasing my two copies of 'A Point in Time'.

  • Ron Livaudais

    Horowitz is a rare breed in that he is intellectually honest. he was a Communist, saw the
    Error of his ways, and now promotes ideas that really work, ideas of individualism,
    Self-reliance. Limited government. His is a Story that needs to be heard. it is a wonderful
    Story that he tells in a very articulate manner, both honest and transparent…May God
    Continue to bless you and give you a long life so many others can be blessed by your
    Unique story…

  • Steve Chavez

    I see Ahmadinejad is coming to Columbia again and already is said to get a warm welcome. Huh? Then David Horowitz shows up and all hell breaks loose?

    David Horowitz is the enemy of the Left and every fight David has been in, he's never lost. This man is a Walking Encyclopedia and it's impossible to out argue him.

  • StephenD

    Excellent comments Abraham, Chezwick, Ron and Steve. I can't add a word though I want to heap praises on both of these men. I've read David's works. He is that voice crying in the wilderness it seems. Beck being off Fox is a blow to many folks. Regardless, we can't afford to be without either of them and if there is anything we can do to ensure their voices are heard we should do it. I hope they'll let us know.

  • Asher

    David and Glenn are both courageous Heroes. Keep putting the Truth out there, Freedom knows no Cowards!

  • TK Heekin

    the best modern autobiography is Horowitz's "Radical Son" only Hirsi Ali's "Infidel" comes close and they both are attacks on totalitarianism

    • tanstaafl

      Hirsi Ali has another book out – "Nomad". It's a good read as well.

  • Abraham83

    What seems to be the difficulty in Frontpagemag printing my comments on the Horowitz interview? I was automatically warned several times that my comments were too long and to shorten them. I did so by breaking up my entry into 4 segments, which seem to have been promptly accepted without further protest, but none but the last segment appeared in the "Comments" column for the Horowitz interview.

    Now I see that Chewick_Mack has a quite long comment printed in its entirety. What gives? How does one get a longer comment accepted? Why does it work in some cases (Chezwick_mac) and not in otheres?

    • tanstaafl

      I've had similar problems as yours. I purposely keep my comments brief.

    • Chezwick_mac

      Hang in there Abraham.

      I've never gotten a 'shorten your entry' notice, but on several occasions, I've gotten a "your comment is awaiting moderation by the web-master" or something to that effect. It then disappears into a black hole.

      So, the site has a few bugs in it. But be patient. While it draws some real nut cases from the extremes of both left and right, it is overall an invaluable tool to access stories and opinion that are otherwise blacked out by the MSM. And David himself is an icon, an aging warrior who continues to battle with wit and grit on all of our behalfs.

  • devita

    No one one this earth can explain the Left like David! Thanks for writing about David’s interview for those who don’t listen to Glenn Beck – Everyday I am inspired by Mr. Horowitz and his insight into what I, as a conservative, never knew existed!

  • Fred Dawes

    Horowitz and Beck have a point but that point can become a weapon for good or evil.

  • mlcblog

    Having been in those same commie trenches in Berkeley with Mr. H and having also had my epiphany, brought to me be Christian businesspeople who taught me about myself and our country, things I did not know or had only hoped could be true, I rejoice greatly at his success in telling his story to so many and alerting the sleeping giant that is America, the great experiment, about the evils of our enemies.

  • crackerjack

    Just a little history for glenn and David.

    1941, the USA went to war together with the communist Soviet Union, even occupying Iran as a route to ship arms to Stalin.
    In the 80's, the USA allied with the Afghan Radical-Islamists against the Soviet union, providing arms and cash while the Mujihadinn stoned women, burnt schools and dicapitated enemys.

    So much concerning the US as the center of global moral, freedom and democracy.

    So much concerning

    • fiddler

      Hey crack, did we get it right later? Where is YOUR standard? Do you enjoy armchair quarterbacking? Glenn and David talked about PEOPLE not being the paragons of morality. Nope, mankind is at best flawed. GW gave a lot of money to Africa for aids, many of our people were mowed down at Omaha beach. We have contributed millions and millions of dollars of foreign aid to many nations. Those nations come to us when they're in trouble.

      I'll tell you what, to assuage your guilty conscience, get a big map of the US and throw darts at it every day. Get a mirror, hold an American flag next to you and spit repeatedly at the mirror until you have no spittle left in your mouth. Bang your head against the wall until you collapse. Just do it out of sight of others. Perhaps after doing regimens such as these and wearing yourself out, you might consider looking at what other nations have done for us. I say, "Send back the Statue of Liberty" to France. After all, "Give me your tired, your poor" is not part of our constitution. Rather, it should say, "Give me your GRATEFUL, your PROUD". Grateful people give a rip about this nation. Perhaps you don't!

  • crackerjack

    Lets be real fiddler. The US was founded on the genocide of the native population and erected with slave labour. The US is no more exeptional than any other nation.

    And Glenn and David are making no sense. If its the individual counts, why glorify the nation? If the individual must battle against the institutes and administration of the nation to preserve his freedom, why should the individual be grateful and proud of the nation?

    • Chezwick_mac

      The Atlantic slave-trade and the Native-American genocide are indeed formative features of American history. This is undeniable. But violence, mass murder, and displacement of people are features in the historical development of most nations on earth.

      What makes America exceptional – among many other things – has been its open acknowledgement and subsequent rectification of its historical sins. We fought a Civil war to free the slaves…and a Civil Rights movement to end discrimination against their descendents. And after the Indian wars, Native Americans were granted complete autonomy to live under their own laws. Those among them who wish to assimilate have been welcomed to do so. Their population over the last century has recovered impressively.

      America is a country inhabited by all races, creeds and colors; where racial and ethnic discrimination is prohibited; where – unlike throughout the Muslim world – gender and religious equality is the law of the land; where (legal) immigrants and refugees are welcomed with open arms; and where traditionally – a meritocracy invites success by most anyone willing to work hard enough.

      Contrast this reality with Turkey, which stubbornly refuses to acknowledge the Armenian genocide of 1895-96 and 1915-16; with Sudan, which actually celebrates its genocide of southern Christians and animists (1982-2003); with Malaysia, which has affirmative action laws to protect its Muslim MAJORITY at the expense of its Chinese and Hindu minorities; with India, where a thousand years of Muslim genocide against Hindus have been whitewashed via a grotesque historical revisionism; with China, where the Tibetans and other minorities have their cultures brutally repressed up to this day; in fact, with country after country around the planet where denial of historical sins is the norm.

      And we haven't even touched upon America's remarkable economic, cultural, and technological achievements.

      Yep…I'd say America is pretty darn exceptional indeed.

      • crackerjack

        Every nation and culture is exceptional in its own rights and has ist merits and demerits. Addressing historic wrongs is no justification to claim exeptionalism. Germany is not exeptional for addressing the holocaust.

        This constant US exceptionalism mantra has the feel of insecurity and an inferiority complex being counterbalanced.

        • Chezwick_mac

          "Every nation and culture is exceptional in its own rights and has ist merits and demerits"

          Ahhh yes, the relativist mantra…"all cultures are equally valid"

          It's a vapid as saying all ideas are equally valid. As we all know, some ideas are brilliant, some are conventional, some are downright stupid. Similarly, some countries have advanced human progress ever so slightly more than others.

  • polipath

    " The US is no more exeptional than any other nation"
    So what's your explanation for why so many people keep coming here to live? Do you think it might have something to do with the abundance of opportunity here and the freedom (fast disappearing) to take advantage of it?
    Your criticisms are right out Howard Zinn. Lame.

  • Fred Dawes

    You do know that Beck wants the VAT TAX And he is now about helping to get a World tax and that total corrupt carbon tax that we Americans will pay for or be put in prison or killed? its called evil,
    for one i will not pay the obama healtcare tax THAT BECK WANT US TO.
    and if the money is taken from my pay check or out of my bank i will not work and i will close that bank and get out of the cities and do the right thing, if you know what i mean?

    • Sara

      No, I do not know what you mean. You need to prove your assertions about Beck because I think they are complete garbage.