Horowitz Video: 'Our Mission is to Teach Conservatives to Fight Fire With Fire'
Freedom Center founder speaks at his 80th birthday celebration.
On August 21, 2019, the David Horowitz Freedom Center held an 80th birthday celebration for its founder at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills. David spoke on the origins and successes of the Center. Check out the video below:
Michael Finch: Well, I get the task or the honor to introduce David. I'm going to keep my remarks very brief. We've had such a great collection of people and speakers talking about David. I want to thank all of you for being here. And I'm in my 18th year now working with David, which is a long time.
And it's been incredible, it's been really a dream of mine, to be able to do this, to be able to consider this a job. I'm a very blessed and lucky man. And a lot of the -- Alan, you mentioned, some of the other speakers mentioned it, that pretty much for me, everything I've learned about the Left I've learned from David and, of course, his writing partner, Peter Collier, who of course can't be here tonight.
And I think I can speak for most of us in the room and, I think, for hundreds, thousands of people all over the country, that David has educated us about the true intensions of the Left and how dangerous they are. And it's interesting. When I read articles, I'm watching TV, I hear people say -- or even someone like President Trump -- probably through Steve Miller, who knows -- but I hear things. I'm like that's David! I've heard David say that 10 years ago. And I'll even write David or call David and say, David, did you hear what so-and-so-said or read what so-and-so wrote? They sound like you. That's what you had been teaching us for the last five or 10 years, or 20 years.
And I'm not saying everyone sat at the knee of David and caught wisdom. But there's no denying that his impact and influence has reached so many. It's an unheard-of amount of people. And I think we're finally, hopefully, reaching a critical mass to where we can make a true difference. And David will kind of realize the second half of his life has not been in vain, that he's actually had tremendous success in trying to educate us about the Left.
You know, one quick story. It was probably about seven years ago David called me, and he said, you know, I've written my last book. Right.
Well, not only was that seven years ago; that was about 11 books ago. And he still has two, he's got two more coming out: I think one next year, then one in 2021. It goes on and on.
And thank goodness, thank God, that he does have these, more books coming. For 50 years, the Left -- and he'll talk about this in a few seconds -- they've been on the march, they've taken over academia, education, Hollywood, the media, our culture. They've taken over one of the two major parties. And it feels like they're this close to taking power in Washington. And I know it's not about reelecting Trump, it's not about elections -- those things are important -- it's about a lot more than that. But when people say if we go socialist we're going to turn into Sweden, I would think, in our dreams; we'll probably be Venezuela in about a year. So that's how important all of this is.
And that's why David's work, and Peter and the Center, educating Republicans -- we're educating conservatives, educating citizens about the Left and how dangerous the Left is. Nobody understands the Left better than David. And that's a great quote, but that was actually Senator Jon Kyl who said that a number of years ago, that nobody understands the Left better than David.
So with that, I'm going to cut this short. I think we want to hear from David before we close the evening. Ladies and gentlemen, the reason why we're here for these over 30 years, running the Freedom Center, ladies and gentlemen, David Horowitz.
David Horowitz: Thank you.
Actually, I'm a pretty shy guy. Coming onto this platform after hearing all those nice words about me, I can feel the hives running up my chest.
Actually, that's not quite true.
This is my third public birthday. We put on these events to raise money for the Freedom Center, which I think is a vital institution, and still unique on the conservative side. I actually relish these public birthdays. Because it puts me in the same room with you, so I can thank you for all the support you've given to the Center and its people.
I'm pretty overwhelmed by this evening. People have traveled across the country. Rich Little came up from Las Vegas. And then, when I look at this sea of faces, I see a lot of people who've been with us for many, many years. As you know, we're an embattled institution. The Left is consumed by hatred for anybody who disagrees with it, and especially for people who are as blunt as I am. And I see now we have a President who is pretty blunt, too.
Without you all, we wouldn't be here. Thank you for standing behind us.
When Peter Collier and I began the Center in 1988, it was to atone for the sins we had committed as anti-American radicals. That Left has grown so strong today that it elected one President and is sabotaging another. We set out to take on this Left. For years, we lost all our battles, because too many lovers of this country took too benign a view of their enemies and were not ready to fight.
Consequently, we realized that our mission as former radicals was to teach conservatives bad manners, to fight fire with fire. It is this confrontational attitude that makes us controversial. Also, we were a little ahead of the curve, because we knew them so well, having been part of their movement.
When we started the Center, conservatives were referring to their adversaries as liberals, even though they were anything but. Liberals should want there to be two sides to a conversation and want it conducted civilly. Liberals today are more like vindictive bigots. Anybody who disagrees with them is a racist. We called them what they were: radicals and socialists who wanted to shut down their opponents. It took 20 years to persuade conservatives that we might be on to something. And of course, we were helped by the election of Obama, which brought the Left out of the woodwork and now by, I call them, the Hateful Four.
In 1999, I published a book called "Hating Whitey and Other Progressive Causes." When the book appeared, my invitations to the Bush White House came to an abrupt end. It was a bridge too far. But 20 years later, it's pretty obvious to everyone that there's a racial assault on white America, which is really an assault on America itself and its multiracial success story.
We were also too early in sounding the alarm over the subversion of our colleges and their conversion into one-party indoctrination centers. We created Students for Academic Freedom to restore two sides to controversial questions in our schools. For this, we were attacked as witch hunters while receiving little or no support from conservatives. Consequently, we lost these battles, too.
However, we did have an impact. The leader of the Students for Academic Freedom chapter at Duke University and of our Terrorism Awareness Project was a young man named Steven Miller.
Steven is now the Senior Policy Advisor and Chief Speechwriter for President Trump.
I bring these facts up to throw a little light on our role and to make clear why we are controversial. Our sins have been to tell it like it is and not sugarcoat the threats we face, and to have been 10 or 20 years too early in doing so. And we are not stopping now. The Left is a totalitarian movement whose agenda is to shut their opposition down.
One of the ways they intend to do this is by suborning the financial industry to close off our sources of income. As you may know, MasterCard shut off our donations until our lawyers backed them down. We are in the forefront of the fight against censorship.
We also have launched a campaign against indoctrination in the public schools and have proposed a code of ethics for K-12 teachers that would end this child abuse. We're also in the forefront of the fight against the anti-Israel, pro-terrorist forces on our campuses. You have been our partners with us in these battles, despite the mud that has been thrown our way. And we thank you for that.
I have been blessed not only to have your support but also by the people who work for the Center to advance its mission. I'll only mention by name one, which is Mike.
Mike Finch administers the Center and also guides it. I have no idea what we would do without him. He's a workaholic, a generous soul, a talented writer, a wise leader and a good friend. He's made my latter years here a pleasure.
We have extraordinary writers, some of whom are here tonight. And I apologize in advance if I leave out anybody. But Daniel Greenfield, Bruce Thornton, Raymond Ibrahim, Robert Spencer.
And they're all here as Shillman Fellows, whose work is made possible by the tremendous support we receive year-in and year-out from Dr. Bob Shillman and his wife, Mao.
And Mao. Stand up, Mao. And Mao, too.
Dr. Bob is a fighter in the Freedom Center [abode], which means he's a take-no-prisoners warrior who either completes my battle cries or provokes them. He's a comrade in arms.
I want to close on a personal note. Through all my trials, I have been lifted up and inspired to go on by the woman who is the love of my life, whose spirit kindles hope and optimism in me, and who, like the Flappers in "Gulliver's Travels," keeps me from disappearing into my head and falling into wells. I do not know what I would do without you, April.
I'm also blessed in my children, and my three sons who are here tonight. I can't begin to describe how much in awe I am of them: their remarkable achievements, the fact that they're a lot smarter than I am. And I'm in awe even more of what good, kind and generous people they are. It has been an unimaginable comfort in my embattled life to have their love and support, and that of their families as well.
My oldest son, John, is here with his wife, Rene, who has brightened his life and mine for 27 years. My son, Ben, is here with my grandson, Jules, my talented grandson, Jules, who's a comedian; and members of our extended family, which is a gift from his wife, Felicia, whom you've already met; and a gift to me, too, bringing joy whenever I am with them.
Felicia is an amazing woman. She has filled her life with good works for other people, overseeing charities in Haiti, India, Uganda, and here as well. She's the family matriarch who brings us all together. And she got her great spirit from her mother, Loretta Nana Wiley, who's here with us tonight as well.
Thank you all, all of you, for your love and support, too, and for all you have done to help us in this fight for our country and its freedoms. Thank you.