At the Freedom Center's recent West Coast Retreat at the Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes (April 5-7, 2019), David Horowitz discussed his discovery, during the Vietnam War, of the hate and malice in the leftist movement -- and how this led to the creation of the Freedom Center and its mission. Don't miss the video and transcript of the talk below. [Order Horowitz's new book, Dark Agenda: The War to Destroy Christian America: HERE.]
Horowitz: Peter [Collier] and I came out of the Left 35-40 years ago, and we launched, actually in June 1988, the Center. And we had two agendas. The first was that we dedicated ourselves to searching out where our destructive comrades were and exposing them for what they were.
We had discovered, really in the course of the Vietnam War, that we were involved in a movement that was evil. The new Left claimed to care about the Vietnamese. They had pictures of Madame Binh, who disappeared eventually, on their dorm walls. But when they forced the United States to betray their allies and leave Vietnam and the communists proceeded to slaughter 2-1/2 million people, there wasn’t a single protest, and that told us quite clearly that the Left just hates America. There’s no anti-war movement. There probably never has been an anti-war movement in this country. It’s just a hatred for this country. We saw the malice in the heart of the left. So that’s what we focused on.
It’s interesting because one of the first people when I -- I think this was probably after we voted for Reagan without actually even talking to each other about it in ’84. I went to visit Norman Podhoretz, and he had seen -- actually, he printed in Commentary one of the chapters from Destructive Generation, and he said, “David, you know, this is good, but this is a fringe group. You should be focusing on the Mondale liberals.”
But Peter and I saw that the Left had set out, after the Chicago Convention of ’68, in the course of the McGovern campaign, to infiltrate and take over the Democratic Party, and we saw that they were going to do that one day and were very advanced even in the ‘80s. So we made our mission to expose the Left.
And the second idea we had was to talk to the Left and about it the way it talks about everybody else. To use a ‘60s phrase, to tell it like it was. These are not nice people. These are incredibly destructive, nasty people, and in their hearts, they’re totalitarians. And we’re still doing that today. It’s gotten so much worse.
I mean, for the first time, I think a lot of conservatives finally see the world somewhat the way we do. I spent many frustrating years, as did Peter, watching conservatives call vindictive bigots "liberals", which they still do. I mean, I just was reading -- Heritage has a good magazine called Daily Signal, but they refer to these people as "liberals". They’re not liberals at all, and it drives me up the wall when I see conservatives call them that.
You know, I understand that, you know, politics is a sort of complex art, and particularly for Trump. Now that he’s president, he can’t be quite as polarizing as he was during the campaign, which was a lot of fun, but he has referred to the "dumb" Iran deal. It wasn’t dumb. It was evil. It was treason. These guys want to destroy the United States.
I’ve written a book, which I think is in all your bags, called, Dark Agenda: The War to Destroy Christian America, and, as an agnostic Jew and former radical, I have a kind of unique, I guess, view of it, as an outsider, but what struck me from the beginning of [reading] it, you know, this country was settled by -- 98 percent of the settlers were Protestants, Protestant Christians. It was created by Protestants. It is a product of the Protestant Reformation. There is no other group -- I mean, maybe the Jews could have done it, but there weren’t enough of them. But, certainly, there’s no other religion, there’s no other group -- certainly not my friend Christopher Hitchens, atheists -- could have created this country and the unique political arrangement it has.
I mean, can you believe Elizabeth Warren? She’s a professor and she thinks that the Founders wanted, you know, one person, one vote, get rid of the Electoral college, get rid of the Senate. No.
And why didn’t they? Because they were Christians and they understood that the root cause of all our problems is us. It’s not society. And who creates society, after all? It’s just a reflection of who we are, and that’s why the revolutionaries are so damn dangerous, because they are intoxicated with the idea that they are gods, which is what the serpent said to Adam and Eve, “You eat of this tree, you shall be as God.”
And, absolutely, they have no humility. Well, you can -- I mean, I love this wonderful Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Talk about arrogance and stupidity combined.
However, the Democratic Party is now there, and it’s there in part because the Democratic Party is a racist party. Identity politics is just pure racism, and that’s what it is, and it’s directed against, obviously, white Christians, males and so forth. Guilty before the fact. Whereas, if you’re a person of color, you’re innocent, even when the facts show that you’re guilty, like Jussie Smollett.
We are in the midst now of a -- well, it’s fortunately failed so far -- attempted coup d’état, the first time in American history. We have had two years of absolute sabotage of a duly-elected president. There’s nothing more un-American than that. That’s a formal attack on our constitutional democracy, and, unfortunately, people on the right are still too polite, too nice to mention this. This is the context in which this all occurs.
And, of course, Democrats who are totalitarian -- I mean, my parents were communists. I don’t see any difference. Actually, my parents were nicer than these Democrats.
Yeah, they have no compunction. This idiot Schiff saying that Donald Trump was deeply unpatriotic. Well, yeah, if you identify with Iran.
So this is the mission of the Center, and this why we put together events like this to collect like-minded people, cause this is -- it’s a war. We need the troops. And I will say -- I don’t want to single out anybody, but I will, but when I read Michael Anton’s Flight 93 essay, I said, “Wow, this guy is an actual conservative and he understands this is a war.” That gave me a great hope, and that’s why I invited him. Of course, Charles Gessler, who gave him a platform, is another actual conservative.
I always said, you know, I feel somewhat guilty as a former radical coming to teach conservatives bad manners -- (laugher) -- but I thought, you know, 10 percent would do it. If you’d just be a little -- 10 percent less polite than you are -- (laughter) -- and confrontational, we might win this war.