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From the Pen of David Horowitz: November 7, 2009

Posted on November 7 2009 12:49 am
David Swindle is the Managing Editor of NewsReal Blog and the Associate Editor of FrontPage Magazine. Follow him on Twitter here
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After the publication of Radical Son, I continued to question the beliefs that had brought tragedy to my own life and even greater sorrows for others. The book that followed was called The Politics of Bad Faith and was prefaced with an epigraph from the great heretic of Soviet Communism, Alexander Solzhenitsyn. The epigraph encapsulated the truth Solzhenitsyn had won through a radical life and through immense suffering: “Gradually, it was disclosed to me that the line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either — but right through the human heart, and through all human hearts.” It was the conclusion I had come to through my own experience.


While Sarah was alive, I failed to appreciate the extent to which she shared this insight. Nor did I fully comprehend the ways in which it had shaped her choices. Although she was involved in progressive causes, her commitments were never consuming like mine. The passions that governed her interests were literary and moral, and they served as a check on what she believed humanly possible. Nonetheless, she was drawn to the social causes of the left both by friends and by her own inclinations.

In the spring of 1985, when Sarah was twenty-one, and just before she moved into the Haight Street apartment, Peter Collier and I wrote an article that caused a stir when it appeared in the Washington Post.  The two of us had been leaders of the New Left during the 1960s but revealed in the article that we had recently voted for its nemesis, Ronald Reagan. In a calculated gesture we couched our disclosure in abrasive New Left style: “Casting our ballots for Ronald Reagan was indeed a way of finally saying goodbye to all that – to the self-aggrandizing romance with corrupt Third Worldism; to the casual indulgence of Soviet totalitarianism; to the hypocritical and self-dramatizing anti-Americanism which is the New Left’s bequest to mainstream politics.”

These were not words designed to ingratiate us with the San Francisco communities in which Sarah had found a cultural home. “Can you believe it,” she said to her sister Anne half joking. “Dad’s gone over to the dark side.” And then: “Oh well, that’s dad.”

A Cracking of the Heart

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