David Horowitz made these introductory remarks when Glenn Beck spoke at this year's Restoration Weekend.
Editor's note: Below is David Horowitz's introduction of Glenn Beck, who spoke at Horowitz's Restoration Weekend on Nov. 19, 2011 at the Breakers in West Palm Beach, Florida (Nov. 17-20, 2011). We will run the transcript of Beck's speech in tomorrow's edition.
I am honored and privileged to introduce my friend Glenn Beck. Glenn is a man who began life in circumstances that would crush most of us, and almost did him, and has gone on to become one of the most successful and important political figures of our lifetime. He is a major force in American media, the host of top ranked radio and television shows that have reached millions of listeners and viewers. He is the author of six New York Times best-sellers in both fiction and non-fiction, and the organizer of unprecedented mass demonstrations -- in Washington to restore hope for our country and in Jerusalem to declare his solidarity with the Jewish state as its citizens are threatened with a second Holocaust by their Islamic enemies.
As the organizer of the 9/12 movement and March on Washington, Beck is the real creator of the American Tea Party, the most important development in conservatism in our era, and in many ways the last best hope for America’s future. He is currently in the process of launching Glenn Beck TV and Mercury Enterprises a media complex designed to break the virtual monopoly of the left on American audiences, which it exerts either through direct control of media channels like MSNBC or through vicious attacks on advertisers who provide sponsorship for conservative programs like Glenn Beck’s on Fox.
Glenn has been the target of the most vicious attacks of which the left is capable. He has been ridiculed and derided, his sanity has been questioned and his character has been assaulted as racist, sexist and Islamophobic --and every other term the verbal assassins of the left regularly deploy to stigmatize and destroy the conservative voices they fear the most.
Like many other conservatives in the crosshairs of the left, he has also been attacked by conservative elitists in Washington, and in identical terms: “nutcase,” “reactionary,” “conspiracy theorist,” “extremist.” Call it the Stockholm syndrome. It is a crippling disease of the Republican Party and the conservative movement – to want the approval of their enemies by attacking their friends. To treat their enemies as misguided friends. To be polite and courteous to people who want to slit their throats.
Let me tell you a personal story that will illuminate this problem. Twenty-five years ago when I was a recent refugee from the left and had begun addressing conservatives, one of my first invitations came from the Cardinal Mindszenty Foundation in St. Louis Missouri, named after a famous hero of the anti-Communist struggle during the Cold War.
I had been a leader of the New Left, a Marxist, a self-styled revolutionary, a small “c” communist and a large “A” anti-American. But when my conservative host introduced me, he said, “This is David Horowitz, a former civil rights worker and peace activist.”
It is not just that my conservative host was too polite to notice that I had been a self-declared enemy of our country and people like him. It is that conservatives either do not want to believe that this nation has enemies among its own citizens or that they do not want to be seen by the New York Times or the Washington Post as believing that this nation has enemies within. That is how Barack Obama got elected to the White House. All that conservatives permitted themselves to see was a “community organizer” -- a civil rights worker and peace activist. All they saw was a “progressive.”
My parents were card-carrying members of the Communist Party and wanted the Soviet enemy to win the Cold War. Otherwise they were decent, law-abiding citizens (much more decent and more law-abiding than the “Occupy Wall-Streeters” who represent the left today). But my Communist parents invariably referred to themselves as “progressives.” When the Communist Party ran a candidate for president in 1948, they called the organizational front they had created for the purpose the Progressive Party. Calling it “progressive” was a ruse to hide their anti-American agendas. Progressive was a good old American thing to be. And conservatives bought the ruse – and continued to buy it -- hook, line and singer.
Until the arrival of Glenn Beck.
What distinguishes Glenn Beck from other conservative figures with a national platform – what makes him such a game-changing force in the struggle for America’s future -- is that he puts his finger on the enemy, names him, and won’t let him go.
This is why Glenn Beck is attacked by the anti-American, anti-capitalist, anti-Wall Street left in the streets, and by conservative elitists in Washington. Because his message is a discomforting and unpleasant truth.
Until Glenn Beck came along, former radicals like myself were endlessly frustrated by conservatives’ refusal to look at history, refusal to connect the dots, refusal to understand that there is a dedicated anti-capitalist, anti-liberty, and anti-American left, which numbers in the millions; which is financed by billionaires like George Soros, and billionaire foundations like Tides and Ford, and government unions like the SEIU, and criminal organizations like ACORN, with powerful links to the socialist international and to our Islamist enemies in the Middle East, Europe and Asia.
Former radicals like myself who know these people up close and personal spent years in the conservative wilderness beside ourselves with frustration as we watched conservatives call communists and socialists, and anti-American radicals “liberals.” And they call them “progressives.” They did so and do so because that is what the socialists and radicals who dominate our culture call themselves. They call themselves, although there is nothing liberal about them. They are bigoted and and intolerant: the last thing they want to see is a dissenting voice in the room.
As the term “liberal” in their hands has become associated with character assassination in politics and the promotion of an ever-expanding, ever more oppressive state, they have adopted the term my Communist parents used and increasingly call themselves “progressives.” There is a “progressive caucus” on the Democratic side of the Congress which now includes more than 100 members.
Of course conservatives have obliged their leftist enemies by referring to progressivism as a form of idealism rather than the nihilism it is. Being generous to ones’ enemies and turning a blind eye towards their malice is the polite thing to do.
And then along came Beck. Before an audience of millions, Beck began to connect the dots and restore the history, and describe the destructive agendas of this leftist movement, and its cynical deceptions and its monumental crimes. Beck saw that the link between the anarchists and the radicals, the socialists and liberals lay in the very term “progressive.”
Progressivism is the religious idea that history is headed in a positive direction, and that it is within the political power of human beings -- within the power of political activists and governments -- to remake the entire world, and to bring about a millennium of social justice. They believe that the way to do this is by increasing the power of government until it is able to compel every man, woman and child to be just, and good, environmentally friendly and healthy: progressive.
But you cannot compel human beings to be just and good without abolishing their individual freedom. This is the totalitarian idea. And it is the “progressive” idea.
This is the truth that Glenn Beck has brought to millions of Americans. It is why leftists hate him and attack him, and why conservative elitists want to disown him. In 2011, Beck spoke to the most important conservative gathering in Washington. During his speech he wrote the word “progressivism” on a blackboard and said: “This is the disease. Progressivism is the cancer in America and it is eating our Constitution.”
And conservatives attacked him. Not the grassroots conservatives at the CPAC conference, but the elitist conservatives at the Weekly Standard. The Weekly Standard said it was “nonsense” and “conspiratorial” and “tangential to the political realities of our day.” Those are quotes. “Tangential to the political realities of our day.”
The conservative elitists have it exactly wrong. The threat from progressives is the political reality of our day. Our nation and its institutions are under siege. Obamaism is not a mistaken policy or several mistaken policies carried out by civil rights workers and peace activists. It is the latest incarnation of a two-hundred-year-old movement to destroy the American Constitution, the system of political liberty and the economic system of private property and free enterprise, which is its foundation -- what in the old days its defenders used to proudly call “the American Way of Life.”
Glenn Beck has been teaching these truths to millions and millions of Americans. To Tea Party activists and Joe Six Packs. He has been naming the enemy and revealing his agendas. He has taken on the dragons of American socialism and international socialism, which have penetrated the heart and brain center of the Democratic Party, and he has documented their unholy alliances with Islamic jihadists and America’s secular totalitarian enemies.
Glenn Beck is the most prominent voice of freedom in the face of the tyranny at our door. He is a champion of the Jews and their fragile democracy in the face of a second Nazi holocaust currently being organized by rabid Islamists and their progressive friends. He is a man of formidable personal courage under relentless personal attack, an indispensable leader to millions of conservatives who believe in America and who want its glories to continue.
I am not a man given to prayer, but if I were, the person whose safety and whose health I would be praying for daily -- for the sake of my children and my friends and my country, would be this man, this great American, Glenn Beck.
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