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Below is the transcript of David Horowitz’s speech at the Freedom Center’s Wednesday Morning Club event in Los Angeles on September 11, 2014.
I’d like to begin with a tribute to Brian Lamb, the Republican who has run this channel for 35 years and made it the fairest and most balanced cable network. I have a special reason to appreciate this network and Brian’s achievement.
For 30 years, I have been blacklisted by the mainstream media for my political views. As far as they’re concerned, my books don’t exist. The blacklist begins with the New York Times, which sets the standard for all the other reviews. Thirty years ago, the Times reviewed books that Peter Collier and I wrote on the front page of its Sunday Book Review, calling them irresistible epics. But that’s when Peter and I were leftists.
In 1985, we wrote an article for the Washington Post called “Lefties for Reagan,” and the Times retaliated by relegating us to its back pages. As I became a more and more prominent conservative voice, the Times made me an un-person, and other papers followed suit. The last time the New York Review of Books reviewed a book of mine was in 1985, just before Peter and I had the bad judgment to reveal that we had voted for Reagan.
So I take a particular pleasure in thanking Brian Lamb and the C-SPAN executives for keeping alive the fading American principles of tolerance and pluralism, which the Times and so-called liberals have traduced; and for giving me this opportunity to tell people about my book.
Today is the 13th anniversary of the most devastating attack on the American homeland since the British burned the White House in 1812.
The 9⁄11 atrocity was more than an attack. It was a declaration of war against America, against Israel, against the West generally, and against every modern value associated with tolerance and freedom. President Bush rose to this dark occasion as a worthy Commander in Chief, unlike the present occupant of the White House.
Most importantly, he recognized the fact that this was a war declared on us. It was a war whose leader had said that it was the duty of every Muslim to kill every American, every Jew, every Christian and every other infidel he could lay his hands on.
Bush responded to this barbarian threat by declaring a war on terror, a war on the terrorists who had attacked us. Not just al-Qaeda but, as he put it, on every terrorist force with a global reach.
Unfortunately, the war on terror that Bush declared has been a war that Democrats have opposed for a decade and more. The precise moment they openly defected from the war on terror was July 2003, when the Democratic leadership turned against the war in Iraq, which they had authorized only months before.
Since that time, Democrats have been so determined that the United States should not fight a war on terror that when a Democrat, Barack Obama, became President, he eliminated the term “war on terror” from the US government vocabulary entirely and replaced it with “overseas contingency operations,” which describes exactly nothing.
Obama did worse, much worse. He set out to degrade America’s military forces and appease America’s Islamist enemies, bowing and scraping before Islamists who were sworn to kill Americans when they could.
Obama supported and financed the Muslim Brotherhood, which is the fountainhead of Islamic terror. To this evil organization, then in control of Egypt’s government, he gave 1.4 billion American dollars and 16 fighter bombers, which would’ve been used against Israel had not the Brotherhood been overthrown shortly afterwards and outlawed.
For over a decade, Democrats have insisted that the war conducted by Islamic terrorists against Americans be treated as individual criminal acts, to be prosecuted in civilian courts of law where the terrorists will be protected by hard-won rights of Americans. These will be used by the terrorists to tie our hands, allowing them to squander millions of taxpayer dollars, pretending to be innocent.
The war we are in is a war between barbarism and civilization. And Democrats have done everything they could to sabotage our side of the war and disarm us in the face of this terror. When I hear a Republican say something like this, I will begin to believe that Republicans might win the 2016 elections.
Since 1945, Republicans have never won the popular vote in a national election where national security was not a, or the, primary issue of the campaign. Yet in 2008 and 2012, national security was almost absent from the Republican campaign plan. They were afraid to mention Obama’s assault on the nation’s security, because the Democrats would attack them as warmongers.
In the third debate on foreign policy, Romney actually hugged the leader of America’s global retreat and pretended to endorse his policies. How did this happen? It happened because Republicans gave up the national security narrative when they failed to defend America’s intervention in Iraq and, worse, failed to hold Democrats responsible for betraying the war, which was vital to the war on terror.
Bush was right to go into Iraq in March 2003.
He was right to remove Saddam Hussein, one of the monsters of the 20th century, who was supporting terrorism and determined to acquire chemical, biological and nuclear weapons. The Democratic leadership, including Bill Clinton, John Kerry, and the global warming hysteric, Al Gore; all supported the removal of Saddam by force, as did the majority of Democrats in the Senate. Unlike Obama’s interventions in Libya and elsewhere, Bush’s war to remove Saddam was authorized not only by Congress but by a UN Security Council ultimatum.
US forces entered Iraq in March 2003 and toppled Saddam in April. Just three months later, the Democratic Party, with the nation’s media in their pocket, turned savagely against Bush. They called him a liar and a traitor and condemned the mission in Iraq as “illegal, immoral and unnecessary.” That’s Al Gore. These attacks went on for the next five years, until a Democrat entered the White House, promising to throw in the towel and withdraw from the field of battle.
What happened to change the Democrats from supporters of the war in Iraq to its bitter enemies? No Republican or conservative seems to remember this, an amnesia that cripples the effort to expose the dangerous policies the Democrats have pursued. I will tell you. Absolutely nothing took place in Iraq or in America’s conduct of the war to cause the Democrats’ betrayal. Absolutely nothing.
What happened to change the Democrats from supporters of America’s war against the terrorists into saboteurs of that was this. In the spring of 2003, as American troops entered Iraq, a Democratic presidential primary was in progress, and an antiwar, so-called, radical from the ‘60s named Howard Dean was about to run away with the nomination, leaving all the other candidates, including John Kerry, far behind. It was this fact, and this fact alone, that caused Kerry, who subsequently won the nomination, to repudiate his support for the war, to stab his country in the back, and to betray the young men and women he had voted to send into harm’s way. Of course, no Republican used words like this to describe what he did.
In July 2003, the whole Democratic Party fell into line with Kerry’s betrayal and began accusing Bush of lying to snooker the country into war. They said the war was a fraud, concocted in Texas to benefit Bush’s oil cronies and Dick Cheney’s former company, Halliburton. They said the war was immoral, illegal and unnecessary. They said Bush lied and people died. And this began a sabotage of America’s effort to destroy the Islamic terrorists in Iraq and the Middle East that lasted for the next five years.
What was the Republican response to this treason? Silence. Republicans were too scared, or was it too polite, to fight back. After the damage was done, Karl Rove admitted that this was his greatest mistake. But the damage was done.
The centerpiece of the Democrats’ attack on Bush was that he lied to them about the intelligence concerning the state of Saddam’s programs to develop weapons of mass destruction. He lied about the intelligence, they said, to get their support for the unnecessary war.
In fact, Bush could not have lied. Democrats like John Kerry sat on the intelligence committees and had access to every piece of intelligence that Bush did. It was the Democrats who were lying. They were lying because they couldn’t admit that they had turned their backs on a war they supported, that they had betrayed their country in order to win a primary election and attempt to win a national election.
The Democrats said the war was unnecessary because there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. But the war was about Saddam’s determination to acquire these weapons and his violation of 17 UN Security Council resolutions designed to prevent him from doing that.
And of course, there were weapons of mass destruction. But the Democrats have put the whole country in denial. So even when the evidence smacks them in the face, they still can’t see it.
A month or so ago, the big news story was that Isis had stumbled onto a chemical weapons storage plant in Iraq. The plant had been built by Saddam Hussein. The news anchors said that the chemical weapons were dangerous in ISIS’ hands. And they left it at that. What they failed to say was that the existence of this storage facility showed that there were weapons of mass destruction and that the Democrats had lied in order to sabotage America’s war against Saddam and the terrorists in Iraq.
Even Fox’s astute and admirable – I love this woman – Megyn Kelly managed, in the same program to feature the chemical weapons story and then, in a later segment, to accuse Dick Cheney of being wrong about Iraq because there were no weapons of mass destruction. Dick Cheney was right – there were.
This colossal misreading of the war in Iraq has had ominous consequences. If you want to understand why terrorists rule Iraq today, and the Middle East, it is the Democrats’ defection from the war in Iraq and their 10-year campaign to force America’s retreat from the war on terror.
Consider the consequences of the Democrats’ seditious campaign. Because they divided the country and set half of it against the war, America couldn’t follow Saddam’s generals and chemical weapons into Syria. Where do you think Bashar Assad got those chemical weapons, anyway?
Because of America’s impotence, Syria became a cauldron of terrorism, and Iran escaped unpunished for the IEDs that it had placed in Iraq and that killed and maimed the majority of American casualties. Perhaps we could’ve won the war on terror then, when it was manageable, if the Democrats had been on our side.
What the Republican silence did in the face of the Democrats’ betrayal was to allow the Democrats to turn that betrayal into a patriotic act and to stigmatize Republican support for a necessary war into unpatriotic warmongering.
This is why Republicans in the last two elections were unwilling to stand up for their country and why they lost the elections. They were afraid of being portrayed as reckless. To this day, no Republican has the spine to call for boots on the ground in Iraq, which is obviously necessary if ISIS is to be defeated. That is a direct consequence of the false picture of why the war in Iraq went bad.
This is the price you pay if you lose the political battle or throw in the towel before you begin. Republicans will not win the presidential election in 2016 unless they hold Democrats accountable for their years of degrading America’s military and leading America’s retreat.
Unprincipled and unscrupulous as they are, the Democrats will now try to position themselves at the head of the war against ISIS. Republicans should not let them get away with this. If it were not for the Democrats’ determination to turn their backs on the war, we would still have a massive military base in Iraq, with 20,000 troops in-country. Republicans should make this a political mantra and throw it in the Democrats’ faces every chance they get.
That would be a punch in the Democrats’ mouth. It was Mike Tyson who said: Everybody has a game plan until you punch them in the mouth.
Democrats have a massive punch in the mouth for Republicans. Every election, every time they open their mouths, Democrats are accusing Republicans of being racists, sexists, homophobes, enemies of the poor, selfish and uncaring. Those are moral indictments. And they throw those accused off their game plan. You wind up defending yourself against charges you really can’t defend yourself against, certainly not in the political arena, where you have nine seconds to respond. It’s the progressive version of the question “When did you stop beating your wife?”
What’s the Republican punch in the mouth for the Democrats? There is none.
Republicans are busy telling positive stories. That’s what they like to tell. They’re good at it, and I’m not against positive stories. The whole Republican Convention was about people who people who came to America and succeeded, people who were born in America and poor and succeeded, and so forth. Every Republican consultant says we should stick to telling positive stories. But if somebody like Obama is spending $200 million to tar you as a corporate predator, as someone who killed a cancer patient and who mistreats his dog, voters are not going to exactly listen to your positive stories or care about them.
If somebody thinks you’re a racist, they’re not going to listen to your policy proposals in the same way as if they don’t. What could be more obvious?
So what should Republicans do? What should be the Republican punch in the mouth? Well, you have to fight fire with fire. You can’t defend yourself if you don’t. You should, as Marlon Brando said in On the Waterfront: “Do it to him before he does it to you.” That’s basic. Politics is a street fight. There are no referees and no rules.
The problem with Republicans is characterological. They’re well brought up, so they’re averse to street fights. They want to play by the Marquis of Queensberry rules. They would like politics to be a debate about policy. It’s not a debate about policy. It’s a debate about whether you’ve abused your dog or not.
That’s the reality. And it’s been that way ever since the beginning of the republic.
As you are aware, I grew up in the Left. So I grew up as a fighter. It’s beyond me why Republicans don’t fight back. I don’t really understand it.
Here’s the punch in the mouth that Republicans should use. In the first place, the Democratic Party is the party of racism. In the 1960s, the Civil Rights Acts outlawed – outlawed -racial categories in laws and in regulations governing institutions. The Democrats have spent 50 years putting racial categories back into our civic life. So racial categories now define whether you can get into a particular school or not, or whether you can get a job. And in fact, almost every aspect of our cultural life is under the gun from the Democrats’ racial – racist – categorizing of everything.
We just witnessed in Ferguson, Missouri a month-long lynch mob, which is ongoing. That’s what it was, a lynch mob. Convict the officer because he was white, and the dead person is black. Before the trial, try him, hang him. Or else. No justice, no peace. That is a lynch mob threat. The only difference between this lynch mob and the ones of old is that it is mainly black instead of white and that it is led by the Attorney General of the United States and the nation’s leading lynch mob leader, Al Sharpton, who is the President’s advisor on race relations.
If the president is not a racist what is he doing with a racist adviser on race like Al Sharpton? But where is the Republican who has ever called a Democrat a racist? The Democrats control every major city in America – Chicago, St. Louis, Philadelphia, Detroit, New York, Los Angeles – and therefore every major inner city. And they have for 50 to 100 years. Monopoly control. Everything that’s wrong with the inner cities of America that policy can affect Democrats are responsible for. But where is the Republican who will say that?
Democrats and progressives are have destroyed the lives of millions of poor black and Hispanic children whom they trap in public schools that, year-in and year-out fail to teach them. And they will fight to the death to prevent these kids from getting scholarships, called vouchers, so they can find schools that will teach them.
At the same time, Democrats, including the President of the United States, send their own kids to fancy private schools. How racist is that? Yet no Republican will use that word to describe it.
Why aren’t the Republicans holding their 2016 convention in Detroit, the symbol of Democratic oppression of poor black people? In 1961 Detroit was the richest per-capita city in America, the crown jewel of industrial America. In 1961, a liberal Democrat was elected mayor and began putting in place Democrat policies. What are those policies? Those policies are anti-business, and anti-white. That’s what they are. And what they did in Detroit was to drive the business community out and into surrounding cities. Their racist agendas also drove out the white middle class, and thus their tax base.
Today Detroit is bankrupt, and the poorest large city in America. Two thirds of its population are gone. It had two million people; it now has 800,000. Eighty-five percent of them are African-American; 45 percent unemployed or out of the labor force. Thirty percent on food stamps. Progressive Democrats took a first-world giant and turned it into a third-world basket-case in one generation, or 50 years.
That’s what Democrats do when there are no Republicans around to stop them. Why wasn’t the Republican Party running ads about Detroit in the last presidential election? Or Chicago, which is Obama’s hometown and a war zone? I don’t get it. I just don’t get it.
The civil rights movement itself has become a lynch mob. Recently they went after a woman named Paula Dean, who had built a multimillion-dollar business on TV, and they destroyed her business and her wealth. And made her a poster child for racism.
This was a woman who voted for Barack Obama, a woman who gave millions of dollars in charity to poor black children in the inner city. Her crime? Her crime, was in a private conversation with her husband 25 years earlier, she used the N word, which white people but not black are forbidden to use, after she had been mugged during a bank robbery by a black criminal. That was her crime.
Why do Republicans call these people liberals? They’re bigots. They’re not liberal about anything, except sex, hard drugs, and spending other people’s money.
Democrats don’t care about minorities and the poor. If they did, they would have done something in the last 50 years to help these people. What have they done? Think of what the Democrats, with their diabolical, evil welfare program, have done to single mothers for generations now in the inner cities. They give the mother a free apartment, free food, $1,500 or so a month. That’s a life of poverty forever, because you’ve taken away any incentive they have to go out in the world, get educated, take advantage of the opportunities that are out there and make a life for themselves.
And, worse, the Democrats’ welfare system insists that they be single mothers for life and gives them $200 for every child they produce. This is an incentive to turn out children condemned to lives of poverty and crime. A lot of them will die young and violently. That’s what the Democrats have done.
Where’s the Republican outrage over this? Where’s the Republic plan to change this? Why aren’t Republicans decrying this war on women and children every time they make a speech? Every time they confront DNC chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, they should be saying “You are a racist. Look at what your party is doing to poor black and Hispanic children and mothers in this country.”
Since Democrats obviously don’t care about minorities and the poor, how do they convince minorities and the poor that they do?
Before I answer, let me just take a second here to talk about why “care” is the most important word in politics.
Everybody except Paul Ryan knows that policy issues are so complex you can’t make the argument over policy stick in political combat. Since most people can’t bother to sort out the complexities for themselves, what people vote for is somebody they can trust to figure out what’s best for them. What they vote for is somebody who cares about them.
After the 2012 election CNN did an exit poll. The questions were – the candidate shares your vision for the future, shares your policy preferences has leadership qualities – something like that – and cares about you. Romney won the first three by 54 percent. But Obama beat him 80 percent to 18 percent on the question who cares about you.
Asian Americans voted 70 percent for Obama. Asian Americans have Republican values. They have strong families, strong education, entrepreneurship. But they voted for Obama because they thought he cared about them.
How do the Democrats persuade people that they care about them when they don’t? One answer is that the Republicans collude in silence about all the terrible things Democrats have done to minorities and the poor. During the Obama Administration, the only part of the population that increased its wealth was the top 10 percent. Black unemployment has gone off the charts. Why aren’t Republicans hammering them on this.
So how do Democrats actually convince minorities and the poor that they care? By throwing them crumbs while attacking Republicans as racists and selfish and uncaring,
In politics, if you don’t attack first and go straight for the jugular, you’re probably going to lose. Sometimes the Democrats screw up so big – as in the last two years – that they give Republicans an election. So I believe in November, we’re going to see a Republican victory.
But I don’t see that for 2016. Because the Democratic slanderers will be out there in force with hundreds of millions of dollars behind their lies.
Republicans are now talking about outreach to minority communities. Well and good. But if you are black and live in the inner city, why would you vote for a Republican? When have you seen the Republican Party stand up for you? Outreach isn’t going to do any good as long as the Republican Party doesn’t stand up for the underdog in this country.
Why, for example, isn’t the Republican Party proposing a $500 billion voucher program? Why aren’t they proposing to voucherize all the public schools? So that poor black and Hispanic – and poor white children, for that matter – can have a shot at the American dream the way the Obama kids do. When the Republican Party does that, they will get support in the black community. And, better yet, they will get support from middle-class America.
Instead of standing up for the disadvantaged the Republican Congress spends its political capital passing a budget – this was in April – which features budget cuts. Now, what is that for? The Republicans in Congress can’t cut the budget, can they? They can’t do that until Republicana win the White House. So what are they doing? Well, in effect they’re saying – what a good boy am I. That’s basically it.
Now, what do these proposed budget cuts do? Well, I’m just going to pick one item from Paul Ryan’s cuts, and that’s the Legal Services Corporation. It’s a $420 million government program. For all I know, it may deserve some pruning, but the Ryan plan cuts the whole thing. Does Legal Services do no good? What is the Legal Services Corporation? It’s a government program to provide lawyers for impoverished people who need them.
So Paul Ryan and the Republican Congress have made enemies of poor people. They’ve made enemies of advocates for the poor. And, much more important, they’ve made enemies of middle-class Americans, who are charitable people, who want to help the unfortunate. That’s all they’ve accomplished with his budget.
It’s important to understand who these people are who run the Democratic Party. I grew up in a Communist community in the early years of the Cold War. And I have watched that Communist community first transform itself into the so-called New Left, which was a Communist movement, and then take over the Democratic Party.
The culture of the Communists whom I grew up with, who all thought of themselves as patriots while they supported the Soviet tyranny in the Cold War, who falsely claimed to be Jeffersonian Democrats to the American public, is the progressive culture of today. Don’t be taken in by their rhetoric; watch what they do.
They’re progressives. I never heard my parents or their friends refer to themselves as Communists – although they were card-carrying members of the party. They were all progressives. And belonged to the Progressive Party at the time.
What is a progressive? Progressives and conservatives are fundamentally different people. Conservatives look at the past, and they say – this is how human beings behave; if we’re going to create policies, we have to take into account real people and how they behave. There are therefore limits to what we can do. If we exceed them, we can make things worse.
In contrast, progressives look to an imaginary future to guide their policies. These days, the imaginary future is called “social justice.” Social justice, socialism, Communism – it’s all basically the same thing. It’s a world where we all get along. It’s a world where everybody is equal.It’s a world without war. It’s a world without borders, which is why they are destroying our borders as we speak. They see themselves not as Americans but as “citizens of the world.”
This is a fantasy. This future can’t exist. It’s been tried before, and what it leads to is a totalitarian state. Because you have to force people to behave in the way you think they should behave, instead of dealing with the way they do behave and trying to make the best of it. The goal of every progressive scheme is to take away individual freedom so that everybody can be made to do what’s good for them.
Obamacare in its core is a communist program – it takes away your freedom to chose your health care and gives that choice to the state. The goal of its advocates is a single-payer system where the government controls everything.
I remember Nancy Pelosi beaming in the well of the House when they passed Obamacare. She said: First we passed Social Security, and then Medicare, and now Obamacare. For her these were stations of the cross on the road to socialism. But I’m thinking “Social Security – bankrupt; Medicare, bankrupt. Now we’re going to triple down with another…
The passage of Obamacare was unprecedented in the annals of American politics and is a measure of what a radical party the Democratic Party has become. Social Security and Medicare were passed by huge majorities in both parties. Obamacare was rammed through by one party without a single Republican vote. We have never been this divided since the Civil War. And that’s a direct result of this the socialist agendas of this radical president and the Democratic Party. To do what they did is radical, and not within the American tradition of compromise, which is a tradition designed hold a diverse society together and not “fundamentally transform” it according to the whims of a socialist elite.
Obamacare is the archetypal progressive program – and therefore they had to sell it by lying. When Obama ran, if you’ll remember, he said a government system is bad, and a private system’s bad; it’s got to be in the middle. No, it doesn’t. This is not in the middle. They sold it as as a charitable act to cover 40 million uninsured. No, it doesn’t, it doesn’t cover the uninsured. They said it would lower healthcare costs. No, it doesn’t, it increases healthcare costs. They said you can keep your doctor, you can keep your plan. Lie, lie, lie, lie.
Why did they lie? Because the agenda of Obamacare is control of the people. Everybody will be in a healthcare program where the government makes the decisions. Decisions that affect your life and death. They already have the movement to get people to die early, not to do expensive medical procedures that would extend their lives. The government will control your life expectancy. The government will have access to all your information, health and financial.
This is a war on individual freedom. Thanks to Obamacare we have lost a major part of our individual freedom. No longer can you choose your healthcare plan. The government will give you four options now, and later maybe one.
This progressive scheme is all about control. It’s a war on individual freedom. Instead of making this war on individual freedom their campaign theme, Republicans are too tongue-tied to mention it.
The goal of progressives is to control individual lives. Lenin didn’t start out by saying – or even thinking – let’s kill 40 million people. The slogan of his party was “Bread, Land and Peace.” That’s what they were about. But their plans required remaking human beings. And the only way you can accomplish that is by means of a totalitarian state. Everything the Democrats do is an attack on individual freedom and laying the groundwork for a one-party totalitarian state, though they would deny it if you confronted them.
I am waiting for Republicans to wake up. I’ve written this book Take No Prisoners: The Battle Plan For Defeating the Left and I’ve put it in the hands of every member of Congress. I’ve had people on the RNC tell me they want to put it in practice. I’ll believe it when I see it.
The reason for my skepticism is the nature of the Republican Party, which is first of all a party of small business people. If you run a business, you are conflict-averse. You want customers; you don’t want fights. In contrast, if you’re a missionary, and believe that the world is in control of evil corporations and evil Republicans, you’re always looking for a fight. That’s the real problem we face. And I hope we can overcome it.
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