The Corner

The Man Who Has Their Number

I have written, once more, about David Horowitz, the singular David Horowitz, the broke-the-mold David Horowitz. The occasion is his latest volume, Volume V of his Black Book of the American Left: The Collected Conservative Writings of David Horowitz.

The title, I assume, comes from that 1997 treasury, a dark treasury called “The Black Book of Communism.” Horowitz’s Volume V is headed “Culture Wars.”

I will certainly not recapitulate my review here, but I thought I’d relate something that may make you laugh (grimly). With his comrade and frequent collaborator, Peter Collier, David wrote a piece after the Bush-Clinton election of 1992 — during the transition period, before Billy Jeff was sworn in.

Already, of course, David and Peter have Clinton’s number, and already, they have Hillary’s number as well. In fact, they write, “Hillary makes one wish for a Clintonectomy even before the administration takes power.”

And she’s still with us — right? — bidding to take power, in the form of the presidency. I remember when Hillary announced for Senate in 2000. A friend of mine — a journalist in Washington, not a right-winger but a right-leaning centrist — said, “They’ll be in our faces forever,” meaning the Clintons. “We’ll never be rid of them.”

I thought this sentiment was a little strong, when I heard it. In fact, I wasn’t sure that the first lady would win that Senate race. But I’ve been a believer for many years.

Having promised not to recapitulate my review, I’ll now go back on it — just a little — by pasting some final paragraphs. See what you think:

Auden called the 1930s a “low dishonest decade.” Since the 1960s, we have had nothing but. I have an octogenarian friend who sometimes asks me, “What has happened to us?” Why has America fallen into illiberalism and self-loathing? David Horowitz explains. It may be painful to read the answer, but he has it.

For some 35 years, he has been screaming at us, “These people really hate you!” (“These people” being the Left.) “They are intent on destroying you. Don’t you realize that?” I realize that, yes, and one of the people who helped me to, many years ago, when I was learning about the world, was Horowitz.

Reading Volume V of his magnificent collection made me sad, for two reasons. First, I thought, “Those who need to read this, won’t. Those who need to know this, won’t. David is preaching to the choir. I wish he could preach to the nation at large.”

But then I remembered that I found him — as I found Norman Podhoretz, Bill Buckley, and many others. No teacher or professor assigned them to me. But I found them. And maybe other people will find David, and these volumes?

The second thing that made me sad was this: Après lui, qui? After David, who? Who gets the Left like this, who has its number, who remembers everything that happened, who remembers where the bodies are buried (literally, in the case of the Panthers’ victims), who will scream at us, when we need screaming? Who?

Yeah, good question. But one can always go back and peruse the Horowitz Archives.


The Latest