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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Conservative speaker comments on radical Islam

Published: December 7, 2012
Section: Features

The Brandeis Libertarian Conservative Union sponsored speaker David Horowitz on Tuesday, a well-known outspoken conservative. Horowitz is acclaimed in his field, the founder of Students for Academic Freedom (SAF), which calls for principles of open inquiry and the presentation of multiple points of view in American classrooms. He has spoken at numerous universities and visits more than 30 a year, while also appearing on television stations such as Fox News and MSNBC.

Morris Didia, president of the Brandeis Libertarian Conservative Union, explained why the club found it interesting to bring Horowitz to campus.

“[He] has fought the bias of the liberal media and the liberal tilt on college campuses … [bringing Horowitz would] be a way to expand the conservative base on campus,” Didia said.

Didia mentioned that the club hosts two speakers each year, describing it as “really important to our club because it allows our message to be heard.” Brandeis Libertarian Conservative Union is sponsored by the Finance Board, but also by the Young Americans foundation. “The Young Americans Foundation is an organization that promotes conservative principles on college campuses,” Didia said.

Horowitz identified liberals, or progressives, as “people who believe there is going to be a golden future.” He believes that on the other hand, “conservatives are past oriented.” He spoke of how conservatives understand that humans are “lying creatures, lustful and greedy creatures, driven by passions rather than reason.” Therefore, there are limits to what humans can accomplish. As argued by Horowitz, conservatives focus on history and learning from experience in order to see things rationally.

Horowitz’s talk was intended to be on the fight against radical Islam. He condemned progressives for their support of radical Islam and Palestine over Israel. He warned against supporting the Muslim Brotherhood and criticized President Obama.

Horowitz said he believes Obama made a mistake in leaving Iraq. “He betrayed all the Americans who lost their lives,” Horowitz said.

Horowitz insists that in Israel, “the Jews are the indigenous people of that region.” He spoke about how we live in “a morally worse period” than the 1930s, for now people are still doing terrible things to the Jewish people. Horowitz said that liberals who support radical Islam have been “self-brainwashed by the progressives, they are participating in a movement to extinguish their own people.”

While Horowitz’s lecture was advertised as mainly about Islam, he frequently deviated into other topics, his favorite? The corruption of education. He brought up the topic first by saying, “progressives claim to be interested in black people and minorities.” He went on to mention America’s inner cities, where clusters of poor minorities live and go to school. He described how Democrats have managed the school system in these cities for 50-100 years, so thus everything that is wrong with inner city school policies is the result of progressive’s actions.

After mentioning the poor outcomes that come from a bad education, Horowitz said, “Progressives are responsible for the destruction of millions of lives of poor black and Hispanic children.” He also brought up problems with teachers’ raises and tenure. “Teachers get raises for showing up,” he said.

Horowitz also attacked liberal universities in higher education, including Brandeis. In mentioning that Brandeis claims to be a modern research facility, he said the school “pretends to be inclusive and examining, conducting an inquiry in the interest of knowledge.” He commented on how there are almost no conservatives on the faculty, which lead him to claim there is “no interest in providing students with diverse points of view.”

He spoke of the intellectually unfree campus, where conservative beliefs are put down in the classroom. “Students should be taught how to think, not what to think,” Horowitz said. He believes students need to demand that liberal professors stop abusing their authority. “Do you pay $40,000 a year to be abused?” he asked.

While Horowitz admitted that “as universities go, this is a good choice of schools,” he still criticized Brandeis for its liberal faculty and pushing of progressive values. He mentioned that the last time he came to Brandeis to speak, the room he was to talk at was changed at the last minute. Supposed to be speaking in Mandel, “the vice president of student affairs told us to move to a different room, so people walking by wouldn’t be offended by what I had to say.” Upset that being a conservative can make students “pariahs,” Horowitz insisted, “your academic freedom is being violated,” and encouraged students to seek out conservative texts.

Horowitz believes conservatism is the future, for “in the long run everything will return to reality.” As the Soviet Union eventually fell, he believes the United States will come to its senses. “The whole twentieth century shows progressivism doesn’t work,” he stated. He argues that conservatives understand the essential point that people are aggressive, “and the only way to get peace is to intimate an aggressor.” While Horowitz believes in morality, he does not promote the idea that people are equal. “Leaving the playfield is absurd and dangerous,” he said. “Some people are born incredibly smart and other people are born stupid.”

Horowitz’s talk ignited students. Even though the audience mainly consisted of conservatives, students questioned his topics again and again. Many seemed interested in conservative solutions, of which Horowitz’s main response was to “drill, drill, drill” for oil in America.