Editor’s note: Below are David Horowitz’s introductory remarks at the Freedom Center dinner honoring Sheriff Clarke, actor Jon Voight, and radio talk show host Larry Elder at the Four Seasons Hotel in Los Angeles on March 23, 2017:
Good evening and thank you for coming to this Freedom Dinner. We are here to honor three American heroes, Jon Voight, Larry Elder and Sheriff David Clarke, whom it is my privilege to introduce. To appreciate why they are heroes one has to understand the civil war that has now overtaken the political life of our country.
The most sacred rite in our political tradition is the honeymoon we give to an incoming president. We allow him to assemble his team and set his agenda before resuming our political battles. This rite sacralizes the peaceful transition of power. It recognizes that political campaigns are divisive by nature, and harsh things are said in the course of them. The presidential honeymoon is a ceremonial coming together where we reaffirm that we are one nation indivisible, one community with shared constitutional values. Having affirmed that, we can then resume our political discords.
According to the Gallup organization, the average honeymoon lasts seven months. Trump didn’t get seven seconds. He didn’t get confirmation hearings for his cabinet. He got a witch-hunt. Jeff Sessions, to single out one case, is one of a handful of the most decent human beings in the United States Senate. He is a champion of civil rights. As the attorney general of a deep South state he prosecuted the Ku Klux Klan and desegregated the schools. Yet Democrat after Democrat rose to slander him as a racist, and not one came to his defense.
The Democrats have described their post-election strategy as one of Resistance, and have made clear that their goal is to impeach the president before he has hardly begun his administration. Resistance is the way you describe the opposition to an occupying force. A partisan resistance to Nazis. It is not the appropriate attitude for an opposition party in a democracy. It is a declaration of war.
What accounts for this political defection from a duly elected government, and the civil war we now find ourselves in? It is the fact that for the second time in their history, Democrats have initiated a secession from America’s social contract and political order. The Democratic Party is now a party of identity politics, which is a politics antithetical to the American idea. It is a politics that if successful will fundamentally transform this nation into its opposite – a polity no longer founded on individual freedom and individual accountability but on a collectivism of race, gender and class.
The American idea inscribed in our Founding is that we are all the offspring of one Creator in whose eyes we are equal, regardless of our origins – regardless of race, gender, or class. We are one community of Americans, bound by a Constitution that enshrines this founding principles. The Democrats’ creed is the opposite of this idea. Identity politics characterizes us, judges us, and privileges us on the basis of our origins – of race, class and gender. Identity politics is racism, however hypocritically rationalized.
It is the Democrats’ commitment to racial, gender and class hierarchies that has poisoned the well of our politics and set us against each other, and it is why they hate and want to overthrow our president. It is the Democrats’ commitment to this anti-American agenda that Trump took head on in his Inaugural Address. He said, “If we are loyal to our country, we can learn to be loyal to each other … If you have patriotism in your heart, there will be no room for prejudice … We are black and brown and white, but we all bleed patriot red.” One nation, equal and indivisible.
But while Trump is now the voice of this defense of the America idea, he did not spring out of nowhere. He was prepared for his journey and inspired to his cause by brave forerunners, among them the individuals we are honoring tonight – individuals who have been ready to stand up for the idea of individual freedom and accountability, and not be intimidated into silence.
The year before the presidential election, shootings in our nation’s urban centers led to assaults on police who were falsely accused of willfully gunning down unarmed black men because they were black. These incitements led to riots and a wave of police assassinations. The incitements were the work of a communist organization called Black Lives Matter, which was fully backed by the Democratic Party and the Democratic White House. The country was swept up in a wave of hysteria, anarchy and anti-white racism. America itself was the real target, absurdly denounced as a white supremacist nation.
But amidst the flames and the slanders, on every TV screen, after every riot and officer funeral, Americans saw a black sheriff in full ribboned regalia standing up and speaking truth to this noxious power, speaking on behalf of the American idea. One nation of equal citizens, indivisible.
In clear unwavering tones the sheriff was telling viewers that street criminals are not victims of white racism because they happen to be black; they are not civil rights heroes. They are predators whose targets are also mainly black, who as inhabitants of America’s inner cities are the most vulnerable citizens among us.
Moreover, these policemen and women, many of whom are black themselves, risk their lives to be the first line of defense for the most powerless people in our society. Blue Lives Matter.
On your television screens you saw someone make himself into the very symbol of the American idea. That we are all Americans first, regardless of our race or origins.
The irony is that at this historical moment, when a malignant left – now in control of the Democratic Party – is defaming America as a white supremacist nation, our country is finally completing its transition to a post-racial society. Today America is the most tolerant, inclusive multi-racial society on earth. Sheriff David Clarke’s own family history embodies this story.
Sheriff Clarke’s father was a military man who grew up in a still segregated society and experienced true racism in the military, enforced by government fiat. But he refused to be discouraged by it. He taught his son to adhere to the highest standards, to demand respect, and to give respect to the men in blue and in arms who defend us.
When young David was called “nigger” for the first time in his life, his father told him not to be fazed by derogatory names, and not to be intimidated. This incident itself was actually a sign of how America was changing and realizing its dream. Because the first-time young David Clarke was called “nigger,” it was not by white kids but by other black kids. And it was still derogatory no matter whom it came from. Bullies come in all colors.
Sheriff David Clarke is an avatar of the new America – the America the left has set out to destroy. By standing up for the American idea, Sheriff Clarke has taken on the racist left and become its target. Because he is black there is no limit to the viciousness with which the left seeks to destroy him. But he will not back down. It is the courageous stand that he and others like him have taken that has made Donald Trump possible, and that have given us all hope for America’s future.
Tonight’s homage to Sheriff Clarke, Jon Voight and Larry Elder puts me in mind of a famous Jewish legend that has been passed down to us as the Legend of the Just. It is said that at every moment in time there are 36 Just Men, and that if they did not exist God would destroy the world. These men are known as the Lamed-vav. I believe that America will survive only as long as there are lamed vavniks amongst us – just men and women who are willing to stand up for the American idea. For without them there is no chance that its survival would be possible. Thank you Sheriff Clarke.