"I make no apologies for my present position. My values have not changed, but my sense of what supports them and makes them possible has. It was what I thought was the humanity of the Marxist idea that made me what I was; it is the inhumanity of what I have seen to be the Marxist reality that has made me what I am."
-- David Horowitz, a former left-wing radical who came to his senses
Not since Saul's conversion on the road to Damascus in 35 A.D. has anyone experienced such a profound transformation as David Horowitz. For those who haven't picked up the Bible lately, Saul of Tarsus was a Jewish official who persecuted Christians until he saw the light … literally … and heard the voice of God. He converted to Christianity, becoming the Apostle Paul. He spent the rest of his life traveling throughout the Roman world, planting the seeds of Christianity in thousands of hearts.
David Horowitz never stood a chance. He was born into a Communist family living in the United States. His parents, Phil and Blanche Horowitz, joined the Communist Party in the 1930s. Their goal was to overthrow the existing Democratic government in the United States in favor of a Marxist state. Both were schoolteachers in the New York area, where they found refuge in a growing Communist enclave.
David Horowitz recounts his days as a Communist in his autobiography, "Radical Son." He became a leading radical intellectual of the 1960s, bent on spreading Marxist doctrine throughout American society. But Horowitz came to his senses when leftist radicals murdered his close friend. It took a shocking act of violence by the people he thought shared his views to get Horowitz to realize he had been living a lie. He recognized how bankrupt the radical left movement was when an innocent person was killed by people who would sacrifice anyone to promote their political movement.
Horowitz dedicated the next 30 years of his life to exposing the radical left. Today, he is considered a leading conservative intellectual. "Radical Son" is a distant memory, actually more of a bad dream. His most recent best seller is "Left Illusions." That title best describes the worldview of liberals who dominate the news media, the courts, academia and the entertainment industry. The only way the left can live with itself is to establish a world of delusion. A permanent state (Massachusetts?) where reality doesn't encroach. How else can you explain a Ted Kennedy, a Barbara Boxer, a Michael Moore or a John Kerry?
Scorned by the very liberals who once sang his praises, Horowitz decided he could no longer live the lie. In a 1979 article in the Nation magazine titled "A Radical's Disenchantment," Horowitz writes: "Can the left take a really hard look at itself — the consequences of its failures, the credibility of its critiques, the viability of its goals? Can it begin to shed the arrogant cloak of self-righteousness that elevates it above its own history and makes it impervious to the lessons of experience?"
Twenty-five years later, the answer to Horowitz's question is still a resounding "no." As Mona Charen points out in her book, "Do-Gooders: How Liberals Hurt Those They Claim to Help (And The Rest of Us)," look at the mess the left has made of education, race relations, crime, welfare, homelessness and just about every domestic issue over the past four decades.
Despite failed economic, social and foreign policies, the left still operates with impunity. The left has hijacked the once-dominant political party in the U.S. — the Democratic Party. How else can you explain a steady diet of far-left candidates such as Walter Mondale, Michael Dukakis, Al Gore and John Kerry as the Democrats' presidential nominees? All are classic liberals — arrogant, insolent, and out-of-touch with mainstream American values. Despite losing five of the last seven presidential elections, despite losing the House and the Senate, Democrats turn to Howard Dean to lead their party and have anointed Hillary Clinton as their 2008 sacrificial lamb.
Today, David Horowitz is on a one-man crusade to expose the radical left's attempts to undermine freedom and Democracy in the United States. Horowitz founded the Center for the Study of Popular Culture, which is dedicated to "defending the cultural foundations of a free society." The center's online journal, FrontPageMagazine.com is visited 1.7 million times a month. He also established the Individual Rights Foundation, the legal arm of the Center for the Study of Popular Culture.
The foundation confronts the radical American Civil Liberties Union as it undermines American society by attacking churches and synagogues, the Boy Scouts, school districts and municipal and county governments. The ACLU clearly wants to establish a secular Soviet Union-style government in the U.S. with ACLU board members sitting as the ruling politburo.
Horowitz continues to write provocative books. "The Politics of Bad Faith" explores the radical left's assault on America's political system. Horowitz's latest book, "Unholy Alliance," examines the link between radical Islam and the American left.
Another recent venture is a Web site called DiscoverTheNetwork.org, a guide to the radical left. It's an offshoot of Horowitz's work with the Center for the Study of Popular Culture. Like wanted posters, the Web site gives you a guide to the radical left and the threat its members pose in American society.
Horowitz also tours the country speaking on college campuses, which is enemy territory for Republicans, conservatives, Christians and Jews. Where else but on a college campus can a fraud like Ward Churchill collect a paycheck from taxpayers to teach while spending all his waking hours advocating the overthrow of the government?
E-mail Tony Phyrillas at firstname.lastname@example.org