Skip to content

From the Pen of David Horowitz: November 7, 2009

November 7, 2009


After the publication of Radical Son, I continued to question the beliefs that had brought tragedy to my own life and even greater sorrows for others. The book that followed was called The Politics of Bad Faith and was prefaced with an epigraph from the great heretic of Soviet Communism, Alexander Solzhenitsyn. The epigraph encapsulated the truth Solzhenitsyn had won through a radical life and through immense suffering: “Gradually, it was disclosed to me that the line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either — but right through the human heart, and through all human hearts.” It was the conclusion I had come to through my own experience.


While Sarah was alive, I failed to appreciate the extent to which she shared this insight. Nor did I fully comprehend the ways in which it had shaped her choices. Although she was involved in progressive causes, her commitments were never consuming like mine. The passions that governed her interests were literary and moral, and they served as a check on what she believed humanly possible. Nonetheless, she was drawn to the social causes of the left both by friends and by her own inclinations.

In the spring of 1985, when Sarah was twenty-one, and just before she moved into the Haight Street apartment, Peter Collier and I wrote an article that caused a stir when it appeared in the Washington Post.  The two of us had been leaders of the New Left during the 1960s but revealed in the article that we had recently voted for its nemesis, Ronald Reagan. In a calculated gesture we couched our disclosure in abrasive New Left style: “Casting our ballots for Ronald Reagan was indeed a way of finally saying goodbye to all that – to the self-aggrandizing romance with corrupt Third Worldism; to the casual indulgence of Soviet totalitarianism; to the hypocritical and self-dramatizing anti-Americanism which is the New Left’s bequest to mainstream politics.”

These were not words designed to ingratiate us with the San Francisco communities in which Sarah had found a cultural home. “Can you believe it,” she said to her sister Anne half joking. “Dad’s gone over to the dark side.” And then: “Oh well, that’s dad.”

A Cracking of the Heart

If you have a favorite Horowitz quote you want to highlight for others then please email it to DavidSwindle {@} Please include:

  1. “Horowitz Quote of the Day” in subject line.
  2. A link to where the quote is from. (No need to include this if it’s from a book.)
  3. Any remarks you’d like published explaining what value you take from it.
  4. Your preferred name and a link to your blog or homepage (if you have one.)
  1. Michael van der Galien permalink
    November 7, 2009 1:41 am

    “Oh well, that’s dad.”

    Hehe. I love these “from the pen of” posts. They allow us to break free from ‘the news of the day’ for a short while and reflect on stuff that’s infinitely more important.

    • therealend permalink
      November 7, 2009 6:10 am

      Yeah, there’s this thing called living if we ever get around to it.

  2. November 7, 2009 11:30 am

    These words show clearly why I was drawn to the David Horowitz community. As time goes by I see more and more that the only thing that really matters with people is not race or religion or politics. What matters most is not a group’s agenda but how they seek to gain, use, and maintain the power to fulfill that agenda.

    The Jewish sage Hillel once was asked to summarize the entire Torah while standing on one foot. His summery consisted of only this thought:
    “Love God with all your being and love your neighbor as your self, all else is commentary.”

    Toxic politics will only end when those on the Left and those on the Right admit this ethos CAN exist in the heart of the “opposition”.

  3. "gunner" permalink
    November 7, 2009 1:15 pm

    i had the pleasure of meeting alexander solzhenitsyn briefly a couple of times while he was enroute to and from his vermont home. i am nowhere near his intellectual level but i remember him as a wise and humble gentleman. i can almost hear his voice as david quotes him

  4. FelixPrismus permalink
    November 8, 2009 4:36 pm

    “Gradually, it was disclosed to me that the line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either — but right through the human heart, and through all human hearts.”

    Amazing. Absolutely amazing.

    R.I.P. Solzhenitsyn and Sarah.

  5. Michael J. Craddock permalink
    November 8, 2009 6:19 pm


    I am stating what should be the obvious by saying that this beautiful and penetrating thought initially was spoken by Jesus.

Comments are closed.