Editor’s note: Below are the video and transcript of remarks given by Tammy Bruce at the David Horowitz Freedom Center’s 2017 Restoration Weekend. The event was held Nov. 16th-19th at the Breakers Hotel in Palm Beach, Florida.
Tammy Bruce: Thank you for your patience. You know what I wanted to do? I wanted to start and remind everyone. Some of you may not know. A number, actually has it been 20 years ago now, and it’s interesting how things kind of come full circle. I was working at a radio station where I had complained about sexual harassment and was fired, and did not work in my chosen field for 5 years, but when I was fired, there was only one person who stepped up to offer me another foundation from which to work and to write, and that was David Horowitz, and I think that through David’s experience, he likes perhaps underdogs, and it was helpful psychologically because otherwise you’re lost. Also at that point I had also, through the Monica Lewinsky situation with Bill Clinton, moved away from the Left, so there I was really very much an orphan politically, so I will always be grateful for that. That’s the kind of individual David is, and you can tell when it comes to who the speakers are today and the people here in this conference it is a consistent embracing of a variety of nonconformists, and that is what movements are made of, and that’s how social change is made.
I also wanted to mention something that came up earlier in the panel that I was on with people who have moved forward with second thoughts if you will, individuals who started out on the Left and moved along, and many of the questions for the panel involved how do we do more of that. Right? How do we get more people from the Left to move? I can’t begin to tell you, the most important thing is to continue to do what you do, is to offer a platform on which to land for people. As many of you of course, you’re here. You’ve made a tremendous commitment to the Freedom Center, but David was able to reach out to me because he had a platform, then at the Center for the Study of Popular Culture. I am on the board of the Independent Women’s Forum. How many of you are familiar with that? Heather Higgins’ great organization, and they too have been. They just had their 25th anniversary. Much of this work, as many of you have experienced like through the Obama years, it’s a long slog isn’t it? You do it all the time. You give your money. You come to the conferences. You work, and then it’s difficult because you don’t necessarily see change, but let me tell you, the change that happens that changes people’s lives is quiet. It doesn’t happen at a rally. It doesn’t happen on the news. For me it was an ability not just to be reacting against the hypocrisy of the Left, but hearing arguments, either by accident or on talk radio or at a party or at a dinner, by being curious about an interview you might hear on C-SPAN. The elements come together, and let me just remind you here, it is 2017, and after 8 years of Obama, the Democratic Party at this point is effectively defunct. This is the biggest annual gathering for David Horowitz’s Freedom Center in its history. That tells you something. A lot of you know each other because you keep coming every year, but you’ve noticed a lot of new faces haven’t you?
It was the same story for the Independent Women’s Forum, the largest event they had had in 25 years. People said, “Oh, Trump’s going to be elected and everyone’s then just going to go home and wait.“ No, it has generated even more interest because the president is a sign of something larger that has occurred. He is a representation of really what began with the Tea Party, which was also a framework not of something trying to manifest. It was a signal of something that had already occurred amongst stakeholders. These were individuals in 2009, homeowners and others, who had never before come out and realized something very wrong was happening. This was when the argument with ObamaCare had just begun, and there was a recognition that unless they stood up, those original Tea Party rallies – how many of you identified as that and participated in that process? Yeah. This is not even the end result. It is still in the emergence of this major change, and of course thank goodness it’s not like while there is violence certainly. We can ask Rand Paul about that and Steve Scalise about that, and attempted mass assassinations. The Left has always been violent. It’s their nature. They cover it up. They try to keep it away from you, but eventually as they begin to fail, which they also always do, they turn to violence. In our world now, fortunately, at least there is ways that we can try to contain that, but the fact is is that this is the beginning of a movement, and when you look at around, you’re at this conference, understand that while the fight is not over, and the Democrats are trying to regenerate themselves and the Left is trying to regenerate itself, the fact is they too know that this is an existential fight. They also know that this now is do or die, and so what I want to tell you about, and just make sure I get this point across when I say that now is the time to strike.
Now is the time to strike in that when you see a collapse of a movement, you see it first also in the turning on their supposed leaders, and I contend this is part of the fall of power wielders in Hollywood, those with the big money, that for some reason as women have been arguing and dealing with sexual harassment and assault, it was always that you really shouldn’t say anything as having come from the Left that you couldn’t say anything because the bigger threat was outside, that you would just be quiet, stay focused. I was told with Bill Clinton by feminist leaders that yes, he is a pig, but he is our pig. So there is a different standard. The Kennedys they’re pigs, but they’re our pigs.
That was always the argument, that the other people though, the others, as always cast as the others, were going to really hurt you, and look Harvey Weinstein gives millions of dollars to Hillary. He is funding this, that and the other thing for women, so come on. Peg Yorkin, who is partly the funder and head of a thing called the Feminist Majority, which is headed by Elinor Smeal, made arguments about Roman Polanski when there was a big push by Weinstein to get him to be able to come back in the country. Ms. Yorkin’s argument was he’s had so much happen in his life, Roman Polanski. Come on. Isn’t it just time to forgive him?
I don’t think no matter what happens in your life, you don’t get a one rape free card. You don’t, and when the argument becomes, or at least gets revealed, as the fact that it’s the politics that matter, not women’s lives or the lives of any other minority you’re advocating for, you’ve got a problem. So now this is what we see, the willingness to go after the frauds that have been supposedly leading them for decades. The men who have been abusing them, assaulting them, raping them, using them like a dirty dishrag all in the name of well you know we’ve got money and we’re making sure that the right people get elected, and in the meantime this is how they’re living. So while it is about perhaps a new sense from women about what they’re willing to put up with, they’re also saying we understand that this is establishment is done. We are not willing anymore to stay silent. For however they excuse it, it doesn’t matter because it is finally collapsing, and of course now we’ve seen the latest with Kirsten Gillibrand, New York, right. Saying, “Oh, Bill Clinton, boy he should have resigned after that Lewinsky stuff.“ That’s now the leftist and the liberal and the democratic messaging. “Oh yeah, boy, you know, everybody’s right about Juana Broderick.“ I’m thinking didn’t that happen a while ago? It was it seems to be a little late, and it’s not because they’re suddenly enlightened. Here is the reason they’re doing it now obviously. They recognize that yes, they’ve had to recognize scorched earth policy defending sexual predators for decades, whether it is the Ted Kennedy through of course Bill Clinton and others. They recognize they have no moral footing. They have no moral superiority, which they have always claimed. They have no ability to point fingers at other people, when in fact their entire foundation has been we are the ones who are going to save the world. We’re going to save gays. We’re going to save people of color. Everyone else is evil, when in fact they are the ones who have been accosting, assaulting and objectifying everyone they claim to represent.
Now many of us have been writing about that for years. Wait, those of us who come from the inside, David, Andrew Breitbart, David Mamet now, myself, so many others, we can tell stories and we warn you that this has been the case, but now it’s unfolding in front of us. Now it’s the realization. It is undeniable, and their weak effort is to say, “Oh, yeah. Boy, that was awful wasn’t it? Yeah. That was bad.“ It is too late, and yet, here is what makes them even more dangerous. I went quickly to a studio here in Florida last night to do the Hannity show with Judge Jeanine, and I know all of you were working here at the conference, and this was the topic about what are the Democrats and the Left doing, and what I said then is what I’ll say to you. This is a framework where, and it’s even more dangerous because they’re recognizing and acknowledge. It’s not even like they meant well and were just mistaken. They are acknowledging what they did. When someone like Gillibrand or any other newspaper or any other leader says, “Oh yeah. He should have resigned.“ They’re admitting they knew at the time how bad it was. That is now that works, and that makes it even more dangerous, because even now, they are only shifting because of what they imagine they can get from it. Okay.
My plea to you is, and I know you’re smarter than the average bear here in this room because of who you are and the support of this center, is don’t fall for it. All the media is constantly their position is of like, “Oh, yeah. We totally get it now. Boy, you were right about Juanita Broderick. Boy, the Paula Jones, good for her girl,” too F-ing late. Too late. So this is in the conversations that you may be having, even with people here, at home. You pick and choose your battles. That is the message.
This matters when you understand what’s occurring, that this fraud, the feminist movement, the Democrat Party has not just been mistaken or lazy. It’s been a fraud, and it’s been a fraud on their followers in an effort for various people to gain as much money and power as possible at the expense of women’s lives. Then you look at Chicago. Look at Detroit. Look at Baltimore. Look at New York. Look at Los Angeles. Look at Oakland, at the destruction of the lives of people of color, in particular young black men, who are in the framework during Obama’s 8 years, open borders, MS-13 moving in, controlling those environments through gang activity, establishing the largest sex trafficking network, if not the only one, massive national sex trafficking network using young Hispanic and young black girls who then are kidnaped or taken because they think they want to join the gang, shipped from city to city as sex slaves. That’s what MS-13 is doing. You’re not aware of this. They manage the largest sex trafficking network in this nation, and that’s what they do with the young women who are within their realm, and then young black men who have a unemployment rate of 50 percent or over, still, then have no work, no prospects. They have MS-13 in their neighborhood and begin their own gang, and then the only way to make money, they see there is tons of money with drugs, and then there is the drug trade.
Lives destroyed because of liberal policies, because of the interest by liberals of keeping us divided, keeping us divided by race, by gender, sexual orientation, etc., and this is what the fraud is, when we talk about the fraud, as they are destroying lives in front of us and we can see it, they still say that conservatives are the problem. This is why now though is the time to strike, because now that people don’t just have to take our word for it. They just have to look. Look around us at the nature of what’s going on and the quality of urban life, city life, the issue of immigration, border control. Of course, and I think is the Kate Steinle trial, I think that is still going on. Is it still going on? Well, I’ll tell you for the thing that we’ll all regarding President Trump, he was being attacked for talking about the nature of crime that is being perpetrated by illegal aliens, that that was of course racists and politically incorrect, and then of course Kate Steinle gets murdered within a short period of time of him arguing that that was an issue, and this is why it matters.
You can say things that we know that the rest of Americans are busy raising their families, working their two jobs trying to get their lives in order. Here now, we have an opportunity, and it’s awful because none of us would have wanted this kind of opportunity, but we are in a position now where the largest predators, those individuals who have ruined lives, are on the cusp of collapse, and their supporters, regular liberals, classical liberals – look, I was a Democrat up until 2008 when I was ready to vote in the primary in California, and I realized I wanted to vote on the Republican side. That’s when I had to finally admit, re‑registered as a decline to state. Still not registered as a Republican. There is still some certain issues, as all of you might agree with, but it is about conservatism. It’s about this foundational belief in personal freedom, and economic security.
The economic insecurity that is generated by liberal policies is intentional. The more money you have in your pocket – look, all of you had some disposable income, enough to come to this conference didn’t you? This is where you have a voice, where you help other people who have voices. The less money you have in your pocket, there is no political voice. Do you think every single parent, every single women with two small boys who are African American, want to live in Chicago? Or do you think maybe they’d prefer to live somewhere else other than a river of blood, but they can’t move because there is no money? Do you think maybe she’d rather have her two young sons in a private school or even in Catholic school? But that costs money. There is no money. She can’t, so they’re relegated to public schools. This is why the conservative message about personal freedom, but economic freedom is key.
This is why the Left moves with this, “Oh, the evil 1 percent,” because they want people to think that having money is a bad thing. That’s what they need. The moment you are able to be free to say wait a minute. I don’t agree with that, or like hey, why is MS-13 controlling my neighbor? And then you’ve got money. You can take some time, go to a meeting, support a candidate, take some extra time to organize your neighborhood, but you can’t if you’re working two jobs and your kids are latchkey kids, and there is already danger in the neighborhood. You don’t have time to expand.
This is our mission. This is now no longer theoretical. Every women, and I can tell you beyond the women that you see in the news, average women, Democrats, maybe they’re Independents, who consider themselves feminist, are now standing around realizing that yes, everything has been a front. Hillary I believe came out, I just saw a headline, defending Al Franken. You see these are enablers and in themselves predators. It is in their nature. This is what they prefer. Okay. And it is a shame and she will have to deal with her own personal issues, but what we don’t have to put up with is that kind of craven destructive attitude any longer to infect the nature of the nation as a whole. We do not have to, because now partly it’s collapsing by the way because of new media and because of these larger conversations because you haven’t stopped.
So the first thing when we talk about what can we do to continue it, don’t stop exactly what you’ve been doing, and I know it’s not as necessarily as dramatic as immediate. Well, those of us who have come out and have moved from the Left to the right and have some profile. You have something really tangible. I can tell you it’s happening every day with people you do not know. How do you think President Trump one? After all of the argument for decades and all of the media moving the same narrative, people still thought for themselves. Women still thought for themselves, because you know what, if I may say what Trump’s, the garbage from the left, the American mind, the American sensibility. It’s in our DNA now. It’s in our DNA now generationally that we recognize, and this is one of the other arguments about make American great again, it is the argument that ties us all together because it presupposes that it’s one people with one mission. That is the thing that transcends race, sexual orientation or preference, gender, everything. It is the American sensibility, which is the thing that has allowed us to save the world multiple times over, allows us to remain even under tremendous pressure like the last 8 years, that kind of attempt to destroy us. We survive. We are sometimes too patient and sometimes like the underdog for too long in a certain way because we get manipulated, but when it comes right down to it, women voted for the president and others did who were being targeted because they knew their futures were at stake, and when it comes push to shove, they know that it is the conservative ideal that will make the difference, and this is also the benefit of the Obama years.
They had everything they wanted, and they still couldn’t do it correctly. They still couldn’t do it. Oh, they did like the theater of it. It’s like Jonathan Gruber, “We had no idea what it would do to the economy, but we knew what people wanted to hear.“ Classic. That’s what they do all the time. It’s like, “Well sure Harvey Weinstein’s a predator, but we know what people want to hear, and he’s got money.“ That can’t survive. It can’t survive politically or personally. So you’ve got this remarkable example. You give the Left everything they want, and they’re still arsonists. You can set them up and give them the great opportunities, and they’ll still burn your house down, that this is what Americans had to see.
Now this is also our opportunity in having the president’s back because we know the war continues, and I think David is a terrific one to lead in something like this, Peter Collier, all of your experience comes to this, that you may not even be partisan. I’m partisan for the United States. I’m a partisan player for the United States. What I do know is that the Republican Party, with all of its problems, is still, at least theoretically, has the right arguments. Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell may mouth the arguments, but then their actions are what we should be looking at.
The president is a nice guy, and the mistakes he has made have been based in him trying to play nice with people. I don’t play nice with people generally, but the president is trying, and this is where sometimes he can. It’s like Reince Priebus as the chief of staff. Can you remember that right now? It seems so strange, right? But he’s trying and that’s where he gets into trouble, trusting Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan. We may have a tax deal, but now it seems like the tax cuts are going to be temporary. They control the entire government. Why would you make it temporary? Why would you? Some of these things don’t make any sense, but this is where your advice and influence. How many of you are big Trump supporters and are active within that framework? Great. And you’re doing it because look, it took me a long time to support the president. He wasn’t my first choice. Scott Walker was, and then I went through maybe a few others too, but just like anyone, we talk about second thoughts. When we get there, you can’t stop us. When we get there we are the people you can trust because we know. We understand and we finally get to where we’re supposed to be, but I think that the president having your support and encouragement, and advice, is key.
He is getting a lot of great advice from people now that he’s got surrounding him, but it is a very dangerous world in Washington for a nice guy and with his family, who now are under extraordinary pressure. Your influence and encouragement, and chiming in, if there was ever a presidency where our voice matters as individuals, it is this one. It is this one. So keep that in mind when it comes to remembering now the power that you have, and also on a separate note, for you to budget your emotional energy, and this is what I’ll end on.
There are so many things going on, right? You’ve got the swamp and their investigations on the president. We have got MS-13. We have got the wall. We’ve got the economic issues. We have got the potential for nuclear war, which is shockingly very possible. We have got all kinds of school issues, education issues, other cultural issues that are tearing us apart. What I want to remind you of is that you don’t have to fight every battle. You can, and we’re all you see every piece of news and well then you get drawn into something else, right, and it’s exhausting. You’re not the only one. Pick and choose the issues that interest you the most. Focus on those, and you know you don’t have to watch every news cast. You do have to listen to my radio program. I’ll keep you informed. My web site by the way is tammybruce.com. I stream worldwide. It’s free Monday through Friday, so that’s there, and of course I’m on Fox News, but what I just want to let you know is that there is enough of us who are interested in all of the issues to where if you decided to work on let’s say animal advocacy.
Like we just heard that at first fish and game was going to eliminate the ban on elephant trophies coming in from Zimbabwe and Zambia, and they say, “Well it’s a conservation because you know it’s like a family of 20 living in a two-bedroom apartment.“ I’m sorry. The elephants are endangered. There is a few hundred thousand of them in Africa. I’m sorry. I don’t think we need to start killing the elephants so that they have more room, but that is the argument. Now I also I understand I am not a hunter. I wish the Trump boys or the Trump men would not hunt as do. Bottom line is though fish and game was going to eliminate that ban and was going to allow people to import their elephant trophies, because elephants are always so aggressive and are going to try to bite your head off whenever you get onto the savannah, so it’s always self-defense of course, as opposed to just killing them for a trophy. There was outrage online, and he has now postponed the waiver of that ban.
So this is where he and I think somebody says to him, “It’s a conservation issue and this is time,” and it was an Obama action by the way. Like a broken clock, it was right maybe once or twice a day, and in this case the ban was correct. So he then tweeted. He’s like, “Yes, I have heard from you and I’m going to postpone this until I can learn more about what the conservation argument is.“ Fabulous. That’s all we ask, but this is how responsive he is. It could be about animals. It could be about children’s issues, education. It could be about immigration. It could be about science and space flight. It could be about coding for young people. It could be about the issues of vouchers and moving people out of public schools. It could be about, yes, finally getting rid of Obama Care. It could be two issues. It depends upon how much time you have. If you don’t budget your emotional energy, you will be more exhausted than Donald Trump in the next 3 years because this will not stop, just like the Civil War. The good news is we will not be on a field like Gettysburg. So many died so that we could be in the comfort of this extraordinary hotel and have this kind of civil war instead, and we had damn well better be as successful for the sacrifice and the suffering since the 1700s by people who knew that this nation was the answer.
We have the resources. We have the comfort. We now live in a technology age where all of you can be heard. This is our time. This is the time to strike. You already have the skills. It’s a matter of keeping your sense about you, budgeting your time and emotional energy and being present constantly and knowing that we have this one chance. Thank you everyone. It’s an honor.