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From the Pen of David Horowitz: October 7, 2009

October 7, 2009


At the end of the evening, Prof. Cloud stepped up to the microphone to ask a question, which was actually a little speech. Even though the protocol for such occasions restricts audience participants from making their own speeches, I did her the courtesy she tried to deny me by letting her talk.

She presented herself as a devoted teacher and mother who was obviously harmless. Then she accused me of being a McCarthyite menace. Disregarding the facts I had laid out in my talk — that I have publicly defended the right of University of Colorado’s radical professor Ward Churchill to hold reprehensible views and not be fired for them, and that I supported the leftist dean of the law school at UC Irvine when his appointment was withdrawn for political reasons — she accused me of whipping up a “witch-hunting hysteria” that made her and her faculty comrades feel threatened.

When Ms. Cloud finished, I pointed out that organizing mobs to scream epithets at invited speakers fit the category of “McCarthyite” a lot more snugly than my support for a pluralism of views in university classrooms. I gestured toward the armed officers in the room — the university had assigned six or seven to keep the peace — and introduced my own bodyguard, who regularly accompanies other conservative speakers when they visit universities. In the past, I felt uncomfortable about taking protection to a college campus until a series of physical attacks at universities persuaded me that such precautions were necessary. (When I spoke at the University of Texas two years ago, Ms. Cloud and her disciples had to be removed by the police in order for the talk to proceed.)

I don’t know of a single leftist speaker among the thousands who visit campuses every term who has been obstructed or attacked by conservative students, who are too decent and too tolerant to do that. The entire evening in Texas reminded me of the late Orianna Fallaci’s observation that what we are facing in the post-9/11 world is not a “clash of civilizations,” but a clash of civilization versus barbarism.

Campus Leftists Don’t Believe in Free Speech

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  1. shane comeback permalink
    October 7, 2009 3:10 am

    In the late 60’s I attended some SDS meetings at Mankato State,and they made observers like me put down our notepads. however, they did not shout down speakers from the right(everyone was to the right of them)they just laughed at them when they spoke–
    but they did allow them to speak.I have seen how the left has devolved in the last 40 years,getting more into intimidation,adopting and adapting tactics from Stalinists who call themselves socialists.Keep up the good fight,David, and all others who take them on.Without you, they would own the whole stage.

  2. Trenchant Commentator permalink
    October 7, 2009 5:23 am

    Context is EVERYTHING these days. What seems to have been forgotten in all this is that Western Civilisation is “liberal” by definition. What distinguishes today’s Left and Right is which side is willing to go to bat to defend the liberal principles underlying Western Civilization. The “conservative Right” seems more concious of, and willing to defend, these underlying principles of Western Civilization (and freedoms) than is the contemporary “liberal Left.”

  3. Jack Hampton permalink
    October 7, 2009 5:38 am

    It is practically the same at every universtity where a conservative speaks. I have seen film of Ann Coulter dodging pies being thrown at her from these peacful protestors. I have also seen them storm the stage to halt those from speaking that oppose amnesty for those that violate our federal laws. The other progression is to the union thugs that actually beat people and bite off fingers to Code Stink led by the Comunist idiot Medea Benjamin and her vile and odious sisters trying to shut down military recruiting offices to shouting down members of congress or the senate. Again I have to ask what common ground can be found with these vermin?

  4. Julie Trevor permalink
    October 7, 2009 6:36 am

    Free speech isn’t free…as David knows; a price is paid to speak freely.

    • Paardestaart permalink
      October 7, 2009 2:42 pm

      ” Free speech isn’t free…as David knows; a price is paid to speak freely”

      But haven’t our fathers already paid the price? Or do we have to re-invent our society?

      • Julie Trevor permalink
        October 7, 2009 5:26 pm

        I was referring to the price of paying for personal security and/or getting pie in your face.

      • Kenneth Gareau permalink
        October 7, 2009 10:52 pm

        ” Free speech isn’t free…as David knows; a price is paid to speak freely”

        But haven’t our fathers already paid the price? Or do we have to re-invent our society?

        Liberty is always lost when those who have it fail to realize that it must be defended villigantly at all times. You can find many statements like this in the writings of those who brought our government to life.

        We have been losing Liberty because the electorate has failed in its obligation to keep even one eye, no less the two eyes necessary, to maintain it.

  5. jjay permalink
    October 7, 2009 7:10 am

    Unfortunately there is little common ground that can be found with those so easily “identified” as representing all of the Left or all the Right. One can easily find examples of either side being treated badly.
    The most tiring part of all this is that too many of us want to pile all the rudeness one can describe into a characterization of all those who might openly or secretly identified themselves with “the other side”.
    Let’s use a little common sense and stop these outrageous claims that every liberal or every conservative is wretched because someone threw a pie or an insult.
    There are ways to deal with people who get out of hand without blaming half the county, just as there are ways to deal with dictators without bombing the hell out of half the innocent population controlled by them. One is to ignore and stop giving credence, coverage or attention to those acting so stupidly.
    Until we decide we want to know and practice those peaceful, cooperative and nonviolent ways of living together, then some of us are destined to continue the wickedness they claim everyone “on the other side” possesses.

    • October 7, 2009 7:20 am

      You’re erecting a strawman argument:
      “Let’s use a little common sense and stop these outrageous claims that every liberal or every conservative is wretched because someone threw a pie or an insult.”

      And I’ll blow it over:

      Who on this site (and I’m not talking commenters) has said that every leftist is wretched?

    • Jack Hampton permalink
      October 7, 2009 12:01 pm

      I never said that every leftist is wretched either. Just Sergeant Schultz and the people that physcally attack those that they disagree with like the union thugs and the pie throwers. The lefties are the killers and bullies most people that are conservative have sat back and absorbed the punishment for years. It is just lately that conservatives have started speaking up. You must have us confused with Bill Ayers and his murderous pals or any number of leftist organizations like SDS. Sibyonise Lib Army, Black Panthers and a host of others. It would appear you have your people mixed up. Have you been watching the tape of the Fire bombers at the economic summit where do you find common ground with these leftist monsters? Also the left is no where near half the country but a very small minority. Also for your information in the War On Terror there have been fewer colateral deaths and damage than any war in history and those that have died in the battles for the most part is because of the cowards hiding behind them or an arrant bomb. Also do not try and quoting any of those phony Lancet numbers here they will not fly even the countries where the fighting is happening agree they are full of some un pleasant substance.

  6. Cas Balicki permalink
    October 7, 2009 9:15 am

    “There are ways to deal with people who get out of hand without blaming half the county, just as there are ways to deal with dictators without bombing the hell out of half the innocent population controlled by them. ”

    This is some segue! From progressive campus creeps to dare I name him: Saddam Hussein.

    If you’re going to argue by sleight of whim, then perhaps we all should. “…[T]here [were] ways of dealing with [Hitler] without bombing the hell out of half the innocent population controlled by them.” Pity none of us were smart enough to make them work.

  7. October 7, 2009 5:24 pm

    Asking for more viewpoints in universities is fine, but there is a line of sanity that has to be drawn somewhere. You wouldn’t want serious university level biology students being taught by a professor that didn’t believe in evolution JUST because he was different and the university needed it, would you? Well, conservative thought is just as obsolete in political sciences as creationism is in biological sciences.

    There is really just too much at stake on the battlefield of the mind to be making generals out of obsolete minded people for the sake of charity.

    • Jack Hampton permalink
      October 8, 2009 12:40 am

      It sounds like there was a battle in your mind and you lost. Sorry better luck next time.

    • Julie Trevor permalink
      October 8, 2009 3:33 am

      Please define what you mean by conservative thought? Why do I ask? Because if you had used your thought processes you would have realized how unintelligent you appear. I’ll explain.

      You see scientific thought and theory do not result in what you suggest i.e. a cultist “belief in” something (i.e. evolution or creationism) to be spread like the gospel.

      Scientific thought processes (i.e. using one’s brain before opening their mouth) bring one to believe a possibility exists and attempt to define it (theory) based on observations (usually factual) then share the data/conclusions (publications) with others for review and critique. The process ends ONLY when minds are closed; scientific minds never close and therefore are always increasing in intelligence.

      Your statements above demonstrate that you lack a scientific mind and therefore are of limited intelligence. Too bad.

      I look forward to your response.

    • October 8, 2009 5:58 am

      This is also a strawman argument that demonstrates poliscribble has not actually read or understood any of David Horowitz’s writings on the problems with higher education. As such he is not worthy of engagement on the issue.

  8. jjay permalink
    October 7, 2009 6:55 pm

    Thanks for taking my comments personally, Jack and David and anyone else, because we all have to take especially the commentators personally for what they are implying by making generalities out of specific instances. “Commentators” are supposedly speaking for those of us who do not have the audience they do and so they should be held to just as high a standard as the rest of us.

    The “strawman argument” is not blown over because no one on this site “has said that every leftist is wretched” in so many words. That was not really the point, so I was not as clear as I should have been. An insinuation is enough and we all know such an implication is an over simplification just to make a point. The point can actually be made much more convincingly by giving specifics and condemning the actual event or action if necessary, but certainly not the entire Right or Left because someone (or anyone) places the perpetrator in a certain camp. That is over simplification and so generalized that it loses its impact.

    A prime example is “the lefties are the killers and bullies” when anyone who follows any news coverage can cite examples of right leaning loonies who kill abortion doctors because he thinks God wanted him to, or another kills a guard at the Holocaust Museum because he was the first person he saw and would have killed more because he thinks the Holocaust is all Leftist propaganda. These people do not represent reasoning Rightists any more than any other person, unless, of course, s/he is a selected or elected official given the responsibility of representing such a group.

    If we want to quote numbers, fine. Let’s give our references. Anyone can spout generalizations. Do the work and get the data from reliable sources, state the source and then there is no question about a statement or position based on solid fact. If there is a disagreement on interpretation of the facts, then so be it, but deciding based on hearsay is a fallacy for the decider.

    Unless we learn ( and teach our children ) to deal with each other on the basis of respect, honest debate and reason without the superfluous name calling, then we will only continue to misconstrue, misunderstand the others’ requests. Then “demands” become the norm with an ever increasing temptation to use whatever is at our command to get what we want rather than settle for something of what we all want.

    We CAN get beyond the trivial and we CAN demand that our leaders do the same. We do have to start looking for answers other than the “do it my way, or else” one. That only creates enemies, whether it is the terrorist we kill or their family, friends or sympathetic followers who survive. The enemies are multiplied every time we kill, especially those who have no ties to any of the conflict, but still become just a death count number, if that.

    The enemies we are told face us today came from somewhere, some mother and father, some family, some neighborhood, some city, some country felt wronged by us for some reason. They have a history that includes us somehow. Some, like Saddam and bin Ladin were actually working for and with the U.S. just a few decades back in our own history. We need to know how it is that we have become their enemy and they ours.

    It didn’t start with 9/11 and it won’t end in Iraq, Afghanistan, North Korea, Iran or any other country until we understand that violence begets violence. When we begin to explore, recognize and practice other ways of dealing with “our enemies” and our own promotion of violence, then we will see results that the Taliban or whoever cannot conquer with their violence. They will not be convinced immediately, but it will take less time to win them over than any of the wars have taken to make them our current enemies.

    • October 7, 2009 7:04 pm

      You talk a lot but say very little. Quit rambling. What is your point? What are you telling NewsReal and its community to do differently?

    • Jack Hampton permalink
      October 8, 2009 1:13 am

      The couple of incidents you mention are tragic and comitted by nuts and very few compared to the violence of the left there is a record of this and stats are kept on it if you care to look it up. Start with the FBI website. The aged loony of eighty years that killed the guard will probably never stand trial on the grounds of deminished capacity. The point is the violence is much more prevalent on the left side of the spectrun than on the right. The chinese commies and Stalin Pol Pot, and others have murdered hundreds of millions making Hitler look like a piker. The left in this country tend to resort to violence when they do not get there way. Check out Seattle and the looting and burning there. I still have hope that Dorn and Ayres will stand trial for there killings one day. But I know violence when I see violence and the left is more apt to be violent. I have spent my life dealing with the violent.

  9. Kim L. permalink
    October 7, 2009 7:29 pm

    I was at that talk at U. of Texas. From the start Prof. Cloud’s students yelled, chanted, and disrupted the talk in every way they could. They were surprised that some of us yelled for them to stop so we could listen, but it did not quiet them. They were determined that I should not hear what Horowitz had to say. It is amazing the lack of openness to ideas on the Left. They pride themselves on being tolerant, but I haven’t observed any tolerance.

  10. Kenneth Gareau permalink
    October 7, 2009 10:59 pm

    jjay; Foster Brooks without the humor!

  11. Man Mountain Molehill permalink
    October 7, 2009 11:11 pm

    You indicate that you support Ward Churchill’s right to hold unpopular views. I’m not arguing with that, however, I do not believe that is the crux of the reason(s) for his having been fired; remember that he also fabricated his resume, lied about having a Ph.D and plagiarized his (claimed) Indian art. Surely you will agree that a quondam degree and blatant plagiarism are good and sufficient grounds for firing in academia or in any other field of endeavor.

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