The Blaze: “The Horrific Story That Prompted David Horowitz’s Conservative Transformation

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David Horowitz, author of The Black Book of the American Left and the founder and president of the David Horowitz Freedom Center, has spoken at length about how he was raised by “card-carrying communists” who always “described themselves as progressives.” He followed in their footsteps, becoming one of the founders of the New Left in 1960′s, which he described as an organization “formed by children of communists who wanted to get away from the taint that Stalin had put on (communism), and revive the vision.”

So what made the born-and-raised communist become the staunch conservative and defender of American liberties that he is today? Among other things, he explained on the Glenn Beck Program Tuesday, it was a deadly encounter with the Black Panthers.

It began in the early 1970s, Horowitz explained, when he was introduced to the leader of the Black Panther Party by “a Hollywood producer.” In short order, he helped raise the money to buy a white Baptist church that had been “overtaken by the inner city” in Oakland, and gave it to the Panthers for a school.

“I was editing the largest magazine of the left, and I recruited my bookkeeper to do the books of the school,” he said slowly. “In December, 1974, Betty Van Patter disappeared, and by the time police fished her body out of San Francisco Bay five weeks later, I knew the Panthers had killed her.”

Horowitz has written at length about the topic, explaining how “the press made nothing of it” and how “the existence of a Murder Incorporated in the heart of the American Left is something the Left really doesn’t want to know or think about. Such knowledge would refute its most cherished self-understandings and beliefs. It would undermine the sense of righteous indignation that is the crucial starting point of a progressive attitude. It would explode the myths on which the attitude depends.”

Horowitz proceeded to explain on the Glenn Beck Program how, in the wake of Van Patter’s murder, he realized that “all my friends were a menace to me and my family, because I knew if I said I thought they killed her they would’ve called me a racist and a CIA agent, and the Panthers were capable of killing me.”

“It took me about ten years to recover somewhat from this and to become a conservative,” he continued. “I voted for Ronald Reagan in 1984, and when I came out of the closet as a conservative, of course I knew that the left would be gunning for me, so the rest of my life has been spent fighting the left and defending this great country of ours which we are rapidly losing.”

Horowitz warned that while there are horrifically violent elements to the left, like the Black Panther Party, “you should not think that the bad forces are going to appear with black hats and it’ll be obvious who they are.”

Many, like his parents, he said, are “well-meaninged people” who will “speak with humanitarian tones,” but just believe “the ends justify the means.”

“When Lenin set out to transform, fundamentally transform Russia, he didn’t say he was going to kill 40 million people, create famines and concentration camps called gulags,” Horowitz remarked. “He said he was going to give them bread, land, and peace.”

Horowitz also warned that “you can’t understand what’s going on” in American politics today without realizing the history behind it – the world he was raised in.

“It’s the same people and the same vision. Barack Obama, Valerie Jarret, who’s his key advisor, and David Axelrod, who’s his political strategist — all of them were born into the same communist left that I was. They grew up in it; they were trained in it; they were trained to what I call the neo-communist new left, and they’ve never left it.”

Horowitz said he knows they still maintain such a worldview because “if you understand that you belong to a movement that has agendas which are evil and destructive … the first thing you want to do if you’re still political is to repudiate it and to warn others against it. And of course, Obama, Jarrett, and David Axelrod are comfortable parts of this left … They’ve carried on the agendas. That’s why the country is suffering the way it is.”

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