David Horowitz at CPAC
CPAC presented the Blogger of the Year Award to Ace of Spades and the Journalist of the Year Award to Mark Tapcott, editorial page director of the Washington Examiner and proprietor of Tapscott’s Copy Desk. Both are quite deserving.
I got there early and was “treated” to a 20 minute rant by David Horowitz on the evils of political correctness. The basic premise, that there’s a “party line” being foisted on us by elite Powers That Be that stifles debate on such issues as Islamist terrorism, is one with which I agree. As is increasingly the case, though, advocates for various political causes seem to feel that the only way to get noticed is to adopt extremist rhetoric and take arguments several steps beyond their logical conclusions.
He’s right that college campuses, especially at elite institutions, are dominated by a leftist professoriate and weak administrations that value sensitivity over vigorous debate. But it’s surreal to make the argument, in an auditorium filled with college educated conservatives, that the conservative message is thus being drowned out.
Much of what he says is complete nonsense. One can certainly criticize George W. Bush for kowtowing to Muslim sensitivity, emphasizing the “religion of peace” aspect while downplaying the degree to which mainstream Muslim society supports the extremists. It’s absurd, though, to argue that he refuses to acknowledge that Islam and terrorism are connected or that he’s refused to utter the words “Islamic terrorists.” He’s done it repeatedly for years.
The suggestion that American politicians like Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are virtually indistinguishable from totalitarian dictators and that their wish is to line those who disagree along walls and shoot them is simply appalling. And, yet, such outrages were greeted with more than a modicum of applause.
To be absolutely clear, the vast majority of the speakers at CPAC are much more mainstream and gracious. For every Horowitz, there are a half dozen Mark Tapscotts and Mike Pences. But it would be much more comforting if the radicals generated less enthusiasm.