Nearing 83, former communist David Horowitz fights to save the United States from a left-wing revolution he has warned about for decades. Horowitz, who lives between Colorado Springs and Denver, grew up in New York with secular Jewish parents who taught in public schools, belonged to the American Communist Party, idolized Joseph Stalin, and forced their children to watch Soviet propaganda films. As a young activist, Horowitz befriended and worked closely with the Black Panther Party. He was a founding sponsor of the far left "In These Times" magazine. In 1985, Horowitz co-wrote an essay for The Washington Post Magazine titled "Lefties for Reagan" followed by an article for The Village Voice titled "Why I'm no longer a leftist." He has authored dozens of books, including multiple New York Times Bestsellers. Gazette editorial board member Wayne Laugesen spoke with Horowitz last week. Fair warning: Horowitz does not mince words, fears no reprisals, and may offend some readers.
Gazette: So, you moved to Colorado from California several years ago. How are things going for you in this new high-altitude chapter of life?
Horowitz: Aging is a bitch, but I'm more productive than I've ever been. I've got three or four recent titles out there and they are all doing very well. I'm having great sales numbers. I've got this book titled "I can't breathe," which is coming out October 5th and I'm excited about it.
Gazette: Tell us about your newest bestseller, "The Enemy Within" (2021).
Horowitz: It's about the Democratic party being taken over by the left. The book explains the Democratic agenda to create a one-party state. They are attacking the First Amendment. They want to turn the Supreme Court into a quasi-legislature. They want to eliminate the Electoral College, which was designed by the founders to create moderation, compromise, and cooperation. I mean, look at how the whole Democratic Party just voted to deny Israel the money needed to replenish the rockets they fired to defend civilians in the last attack. Israel's Iron Dome is under assault by Palestinians who want to exterminate Jews. The Iron Dome is a completely defensive system that protects civilians in Israel, which is our ally. The left denies Israel what it needs because Israel is a friend of the United States and the left wants to destroy the United States as we know it in pursuit of establishing some sort of Utopian fantasy.
Gazette: The book addresses race and claims the base of the Democratic Party uses race to divide Americans. Really? Please explain.
Horowitz: It has become an overtly racist party. Its policies are to supposedly help people of color and to screw white people. And they say it. This is not an interpretation on my part. I doubt too many on the left would deny it.
Gazette: You boldly declare "the Democratic Party is overtly racist." How can you support that?
Horowitz: Equity is the word they use now when talking about systemic racism. We don't have systemic racism in the United States because it was outlawed by the Civil Rights Act (1964). And if one police department were systemically racist, there would be a tsunami of lawsuits under the Civil Rights Act. When they say "equity" in the context of systemic racism, it means they have identified a disparity — such as Black people have lower incomes than whites — and we need to fix it with a subsidy or a reparation. So, if they're going to bail out small businesses, they want to give money to Black owners but not white owners. Allocating money on a basis of race is overtly racist. Today, everything the Democratic Party does is based on race.
Gazette: This left-wing movement, and this "woke" agenda so to speak, shows up in the military. At least that's what we hear from service personnel and veterans. Your thoughts?
Horowitz: Obama fired 197 generals and put progressive hacks in their place. We have military commanders who regarded (former President Donald) Trump as Hitler and the demonstrators at the Capitol are all Nazis. The left has very effectively played a long game of taking over our basic institutions.
Gazette. You were brought up by communist parents. Did they believe what they were doing was anti-American?
Horowitz: At the time, the Communist Party wanted to be seen as, and pretended to be something resembling Jeffersonian Democrats. In mixed company, they called themselves "progressive." I heard the word communist in my household and when we were among family and friends. To the outside world, we were just progressive Democrats.
Gazette: Would your parents be members of the Communist Party today?
Horowitz: My father eventually left the Communist party because they treated him badly. He was a high school teacher and Marxism was sort of like a religion to him. To him, actual religion was superstition and my family never set foot inside a synagogue. He was fired from the school because he would not answer when they asked if he was a communist. The Communist Party forced him to claim he was fired for being a Jew — that he was the victim of anti-Semitism. But he did not consider Judaism his religion. Communism served that purpose. The whole ordeal humiliated my father, so he left the party. But he remained faithful to the cause. He left the party, but he supported Leonid Brezhnev (Soviet dictator).
It is very hard to leave left-wing politics because for so many people it is a religion. It does everything that religion does for religious people. The left sees the world as a fallen place because of private property and racist patriarchies. But, they believe it can be redeemed and left-wing revolutionaries are the redeemers. So, they have this fantasy of a socialist future which is a future of social justice. It's a complete fantasy. Every utopian venture throughout history has been a miserable failure. The left took over just a few blocks of Seattle last year, to create a Utopian enclave free from authority, and it was a hellhole. These ventures fail because the root cause of social problems is not patriarchies or white supremacists or corporations or any of the intersectional oppressions we hear so much about. The root cause of all of our problems is that people are prone. So, to walk away from this belief that we can redeem society through collectivist policies requires one to reconcile the fact that this world is an imperfect place and it's going to remain that way.
Gazette: What do you think about this assertion that America was founded on racism and thrives on it today?
Horowitz: There are so many obvious signs that America is the most egalitarian country that has the largest minority population in the world. There's no other country like it. There is no primarily Black country, or brown country, or Asian country that has elected a white president. Yet, Americans elected Barack Obama twice. We've had a Black attorney general, Black secretaries of state, and we have Black mayors of big cities all over the country. The notion that America is a systemically racist society is ridiculous, but today's Democrat Party is wedded to this lie because it has been taken over by the left-wing revolutionaries.
Gazette: What is the possible motivation to divide America along racial lines? Why would someone living in the creature comforts of the United States — a place people risk life and limb to break into — why would they want to cause this country any harm at all?
Horowitz: Anti-American sentiment gives meaning to their lives. I loved my father, but he was a weak man. The communist agenda, and the party, made him feel strong when he was preaching it. My dad was a Jew, and he would attack American militarism even though American militarism defended us against Hitler. It didn't make sense, but it gave him a perception of meaning.
Gazette: Tell us about your next book, "I Can't Breathe." That's a provocative title.
Horowitz: It's a book about how so-called "racial justice" is killing America. George Floyd was not a typical Black man. He had been arrested nine times for things like armed robbery. He was a drug addict high on fentanyl, which is probably why he resisted arrest. That doesn't describe most of Black America. All those riots are based on the assumption that George Floyd was killed because he was Black, and then it gets more vicious from there. From accepting that George Floyd was killed because he was Black, we are supposed to believe that most Blacks live in constant fear of being arbitrarily killed by the police. There is not a single statistic to support that assumption. Most Blacks support the police.
Gazette: You wrote a highly controversial book called "Hating Whitey" (1999). I recall your publisher demanded that you change the name, so you found another publisher.
Horowitz: That's right. It had to be called "Hating Whitey." It struck me one day that hating white people was becoming a politically correct and popular theme. Now it is out in the open for all to see. People, including white people, attack white people all the time. They talk about slavery as America's original sin, and it can never be resolved and people alive today are responsible for it. That's a lie. Slavery is Africa's original sin. There was slavery in Africa for a thousand years before it came here. Every slave brought to the United States was enslaved by Black Africans and sold at auction. America freed slaves at the cost of 350,000 union lives. America is God's gift to Black people. You don't hear anyone else saying this because they know the left will destroy them because that's the left's secret weapon. They try to personally and professionally destroy anyone who doesn't accept their narratives.
Gazette: How do you feel about some of what's going on in your chosen home of Colorado? Politically, that is? What has traditionally been a swing state seems to have gone solid blue like your former home of California.
Horowitz: Democrat politicians will destroy the state the way they've destroyed every jurisdiction they've ever gotten their hands on. Colorado has a beautiful landscape, but it could have been planned and regulated much better. I'm not any kind of hard-core right-winger when it comes to property, so I think Colorado could have done a better job of zoning as the state grew. We obviously have a vagrancy problem throughout the state and we can't solve it by giving out more motel rooms. This is a mental and medical health issue and we must do more to institutionalize or otherwise get these people the help they need.
Gazette: In your 80s you are writing books faster than ever. It seems like you always have a new book coming out. Tell us about that?
Horowitz: I'm always something in the pipeline. I just love writing. It's my social justice rage. At my age, I've got a lot of information stored up so it's not too difficult. And, we have reached a point where we are seeing the left-wing revolution in full force in the White House, and we can't stand by and do nothing. Look what they've done. We have open borders. We're importing drugs and other massive social problems into our country. Meanwhile, the radical progressives are trying to spend us out of existence. Everything is about subsidizing people for doing nothing. Democrats devised the welfare system, and it has proven the worst atrocity committed against Black people since slavery.
Gazette: Where do you think we're heading as a society?
Horowitz: I'm not a good crystal ball reader, but I think we have an incredibly resilient country. Whenever I think the future of this country is in big trouble, I think about April 1941. Hitler had overrun all of Europe except Britain... a Gallup poll showed 81% of Americans thought we should stay out of the war. Then came Pearl Harbor. Americans came together for this country, and we finished our business in three or four years. So that's where I find optimism. It takes a long time to get the public's attention, but I think Americans will wake up, see what's going on, and defend the country. But this isn't all about elections and political power. The left's most effective targets are the universities and schools, which is where they fill Americans with this anti-American sentiment. I mean, you just have to get up every day and keep fighting for this country and what it stands for. It's worth it.