MICHAEL SAVAGE, DAVID HOROWITZ: AMERICA'S RADICAL SONS
Two influential voices from the right, Michael Savage and David Horowitz, grew up in very different homes, but have come to similar views of this country.
David Horowitz, in his book, “Radical Son”, describes his life in the home of two parents who were communists, a fact Horowitz readily admits. He was being educated to be a communist, also, and did go that direction for many years. He could have been considered a typical “red diaper baby”. However, he did not turn out to be the typical “red diaper baby”.
His parents knew they could use the stability of this country to make a good life for themselves They knew they could get a good education and good jobs, but most importantly, they knew they would have freedom of speech. This freedom let them subvert the very country that showed them such hospitality. Their belief system depended on what Russia believed at any one time. When Russia hated Germany, they hated Germany, but when Russia made a pact with Germany, that was acceptable to them. They followed the zigs and zags of the Communist Party line even to accepting the massacres of millions of people by such dictators as Stalin, Pol Pot and Mao Tse-Tung.
Probably because Horowitz had teachers as parents he gravitated to the literary field. He became an apologist for the left, using his talents to expound in print on the merits of the left. Somewhere along the way his thinking began to change until he finally made a break with that left. His voyage through the labyrinths of political people and trends makes for a fascinating read in his book “Radical Son”.
Horowitz’ “last straw”, it seems, was the culmination of the communists’ uneasy hookup with the Black Panthers. It was a marriage of convenience. The Black Panthers were not so much communist as opportunist. They became the shock troopers of the left. They were useful to the communists and the party was useful to the Panthers, giving them some political protection they needed.
It was only when someone he knew was killed that he realized the depths of destruction the Black Panthers represented. It came home to him. When the Panthers needed a bookkeeper to help them straighten out their finances, Horowitz arranged to have a friend come to their aid. She ended up dead. Some thought she delved too deeply in Panther affairs and knew too much. Others thought her death was nothing more than a jealous female attached to the Panthers which brought her death about. Horowitz suspected strongly that the Panthers were responsible. It was a natural and inevitable “epiphany”, brought about finally by the Panthers’ innate violence.
That one death was not the only one Horowitz came to know about. Party members and their supporters had their own lines of investigation and whistle blowers. For their own reasons they did not publicize their suspicions. The Panthers were useful, and no good to the party could come out of revealing the violence and lawlessness of the Panthers.
Horowitz has spent many years doing his “mea culpas”. As part of this apology, he and his friend, Peter Collier, wrote a joint memoir, “Destructive Generation: Second Thoughts About the ‘60’s”. It took care of any lingering doubts that Horowitz might have any sympathy left at all for the Black Panthers. Instead, it was an indictment of a primarily thuggish movement that the left had embraced.
David Horowitz is now a leading light on the right. Recognizing the damage that teachers, especially professors in colleges and universities, can do to a free society, he has spent his time speaking out against the leftists in these institutions. He is vilified by these same professors and has had to fight them all the way in trying to instill some opposing opinions. The same people whose mantra in their youth was “Free Speech”! now are adamantly opposed to free speech. Horowitz is persona non grata at many colleges and universities.
He appears occasionally on TV to further his quest. Horowitz’ views can be found on his website FrontPageMag.com.
Michael Savage has chosen primarily a different voice, the radio, for his views. His voyage to a political view came about differently, also. He grew up in a typically somewhat poor family and had to work for whatever he could get. Along the way he also had to fight for whatever he could get. The voyage took him through many adventures. Those adventures are broadcast to several millions of people every weekday. They are interspersed with insightful reviews of what is happening in the political world and how those happenings affect all Americans.
Savage was exposed to some of the same radical leftists as Horowitz, but he never bought into their views. Now, Savage is in the “belly of the beast”, I.e., San Francisco. Although he professes to love the city, he rails against those running it. He disdains the official advocacy of the homosexual lifestyle. He points out the foibles of the Board of Supervisors. The board took a vote on condemning him for a remark he made about illegal aliens protesting and demanding rights, primary among them in-state tuition. Petulantly, they threatened to go on a hunger strike if their demands were not met. Savage replied that they should do so.
Savage is condemned regularly by the so-called “progressives”, which is an inaccurate term for leftists. “Progressive” denotes forward looking. Many leftists are warmed over sixties dreamers who always look backward, yearning for their idea of the “good old days”. There is not a truly progressive idea to be had among them.
While Horowitz was being groomed for leadership in the communist party, Savage was getting an education so he could make some money and work toward what most people want, a good job and a family. His own father was probably typical of the times, a somewhat aloof presence. David Horowitz also has voiced regrets about the relationship he had with his father, which was not satisfying. However, those fathers knew they were expected to work hard and produce enough income to feed and house their families. It was tough going at times. Fathers were expected to provide income, but not emotional support. Some kids really wanted emotional support, but that was just the way fathers were supposed to act in those days. Savage talks about this and many other subjects, interspersed with the news of the day and his commentary.
Savage is a prolific writer, producing books from exploring natural cures to the satirical “The Political Zoo”, where he attaches faux Latin species names to prominent people in the political arena. Interspersed with these are books such as “Liberalism Is a Mental Disorder”. Four of his books have shown up on the best seller list.
Savage could almost be called a political orphan, since he toils largely alone in his own milieu. When he was attacked by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, he soon realized that he was not going to get any support from his fellow talk show hosts. None seemed to realize that this occasion was a classic case of “when they came for Michael Savage, I said nothing, because his program is not like mine”………. None seemed to recognize it as an attack on free speech and that their own speech was threatened. Savage recognized it for what it was, executed by those board members he calls “tiny Bolsheviks”.
The one member of the board who would not vote to condemn Savage was a man of Chinese descent, Ed Jew. Savage gratefully acknowledged this vote, but wondered where support was for Mr. Jew, because the Chinese presence had always been strongly felt in San Francisco and seemed muted in this case.
Savage’s style could be called “eclectic”. There is no way of knowing what he will be discussing on any given day. That seems to be part of his attraction. That, and his passion. He is passionately in love with this country and does not spend much time with those he deems either uninformed or dangerous to it. He berates both Democrats and Republicans and it would be difficult to get a “fix” on his politics.
Largely ignored by the “mainstream media”, Savage points to a poll taken on his website that proves his popularity. The poll asks if he should run for the presidency. So far, over eighteen million have answered that he should.
The journeys of David Horowitz and Michael Savage were along different paths, but they have ended up in the same place, philosophically. They both love the representative republic laid out by our founding fathers. They both give their all to educate about and promote that republic They are not dilettantes, but are fully committed warriors.
They are true radicals, in the best sense of the word. They speak up, speak out, and embolden others to do the same. They are two of America’s battle scarred radical sons.
“An attack on one of us is an attack on all of us.”
Barbara regularly writes for CapitolHillCoffeeHouse. She also appears in California Chronicle, Border Patrol, and Citizens Caucus. Her primary interest is illegal immigration, but she writes about other subjects as well.
Barbara lives in a large city on the West Coast. Her loyalties are with God, family, country, heritage and borders.
She enjoys music, painting, poetry and song writing.