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David Horowitz - Columnist

David Horowitz is a noted author, commentator and columnist. His is the founder of the Center for the Study of Popular Culture and his opinions can be found at Front Page Magazine. [go to Horowitz index]


The Torch of Freedom Has Passed To Conservatives
The President's vision of liberty...

[David Horowitz]

The President sounded a clarion call for freedom in his second inaugural address. Its sentiments were based on an assessment of the world we live in that should be obvious. Modern technologies of destruction are accessible to all governments and exclusively to governments (because they are so expensive and require sophisticated capabilities to produce). Modern terrorism requires a base for ambitious operations that only nation-states can provide. Hence, an impoverished wasteland like Afghanistan can wreak incalculable devastation on the United States. Hence, "the best hope for peace in our world, is the expansion of freedom in all the world," which is the line from the President's speech the White House is highlighting above all others.

Consider if Al Gore had been President on 9/11 and not George Bush. Suppose Gore had adopted the response of the Clinton administration to terrorists attacks, had not declared war, and had not invaded Afghanistan in a pre-emptive strike? Suppose Osama bin Laden had been able to mount a second and third major terrorist attack in the months following 9/11. Instead of the $600 billion that was taken out of the American economy, the figure might have been many times that. Confidence might have been so shattered that a full scale economic collapse would have followed, taking down the global economy along with it. It is not too fanciful to imagine civil wars and coup d'etats following in the wake of such an economic disaster. It is not far-fetched to think that a nuclear power like Pakistan might fall into radical Islamist hands. Two paths define our future: chaos, tyranny and terror, or expanding freedom and prosperity based on free markets and free men.

It will probably not be one or the other. There is no steady path to progress, and there will never be a world without tyranny and conflict. But our course must be to strengthen the one and combat the other. Thus encouraging the Muslim world, and particularly the Arab Muslim world, which is the heart of the global terrorist threat -- to adopt democratic ways and to shine the light of liberty into its culture of medieval darkness is a pragmatic necessity for the future security of the civilized world. That is the reality behind the President's address. Only people in serious denial can be blind to this fact. Only liberals.

The president sounded a clarion call for freedom and liberals carped. That was their virtually universal  response to an inaugural that ranks among the most inspirational speeches ever devlivered by an American president.

The totatitarian Left -- the Left that calls itself progressive and identifies its totalitarian goals with the seductive phrase "social justice" -- hated the speech (naturally), along the man who gave it. "The worst president ever" was one of the milder slogans on a sign in the crowd that gathered along Pennsylvania Avenue to trumpet their hate towards the inaugural parade. But there was hardly a liberal organ in the nation -- from the New York Times to the Washington Post -- that did not find something to wring its hands about in the president's speech. It was a Rohrshach moment. This was a self-revelation, a testament to the reactionary force that liberalism has become. The torch of freedom has passed, as President Kennedy said in his own summons to his countrymen to stand up for what is right. But it has passed not to a nation united, as Kennedy fervently wished, but to the conservative vanguard that still takes the Founding spirit of the nation seriously, still rings its Liberty Bell, and is prepared to stay the course of the mission that inspired its birth.

Here in so many words, is this truth of Inaugural Day 2005 encapsulated in a report  by the unsympathetic Los Angeles Times:  "On Thursday, Bush proclaimed in his inaugural address that the central purpose of his second term would be the promotion of democracy 'in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world' -- a quintessential neoconservative goal." The defense of freedom, the advance of liberty -- this is the agenda of "neo-conservatism." Who then are the conservatives? Who are the reactionaries who would preserve the status quo of tyrannies and repressive regimes like those of the Taliban and Saddam Hussein? Who in America stands opposed to the vision of freedom the President voiced? The answer lies in the response to the President's words, which merely echo their cumulative response to the President's deeds. Today's reactionaries are those who call themselves liberals and progressives, and who fill the ranks of the anti-Bush Left. tOR

This opinion piece first appeared at reprinted by permission of David Horowitz. Copyright 2005




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