David Horowitz

From the Pen of David Horowitz: October 10, 2009

Posted on October 10 2009 12:49 am
David Horowitz is the editor-in-chief of NewsReal Blog and FrontPage Magazine. He is the President and CEO of the David Horowitz Freedom Center. His most recent book is Reforming Our Universities
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I first became aware of politics, in the ordinary sense, during the presidential election of 1948. My parents and their friends belonged to the Democratic Party and had voted for Roosevelt. It was what they called their “mass work”; going to where the people were, in order to lead them to something better. This had been the Party line since the days of the Popular Front, when under orders from Moscow the comrades abandoned their “ultra left” position and stopped calling Roosevelt a fascist. “Communism is twentieth-century Americanism,” the Party leader Earl Browder had said, promoting the spirit of cooperation during the war against Hitler. But the postwar conflict over Eastern Europe had changed all that. William Z. Foster had replaced Browder, and had summoned progressives to an all-out resistance to “fascist America.”

As the election of 1948 approached, the Democrats split into three factions. On the right, the Southern Dixiecrats were angry at Truman’s support for civil rights, and formed a new party behind the candidacy of Gov. Strom Thurmond. On the left, the Communists were upset with the Truman Doctrine, which promised support for “free peoples” who were resisting Stalin’s conquest of Eastern Europe. They regarded Truman as a “warmonger” and formed the Progressive Party to oppose him behind the candidacy of Henry Wallace. The fact that Truman was a strong proponent of civil rights had been eclipsed in their eyes by his anti-Communist policies. Their allegiance to the Soviet Union took precedence over their concern for anything else.

Radical Son

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