- The Washington Times - Friday, July 14, 2000

David Horowitz, former 1960s radical leftist, is now advising Republicans how to win at politics. His advice: Take the gloves off and attack Democrats when they're weak; defend traditional values and principles; and liberate minorities and the working class from what he terms Democrats' "failing policies" of racial preferences. His new book, "The Art of Political War: And Other Radical Pursuits," is out Friday. Mr. Horowitz was interviewed by Lisa Ing of The Washington Times.

Q: What led you to repackage your pamphlet, "The Art of Political War," as a book?

A: One of the things is that pamphlets don't get the media attention that books do. I decided that it would be important to reach an even bigger audience and make the art a part of the political discussion. Because what I'm really intending to do is change the culture of the conservative movement.

As somebody who came out of the left, I'm impressed by the ways in which Republicans and conservatives promote values and policies which would be liberating for poor people, minorities and working Americans. But conservatives don't seem to use the language I just used.

Q: Why don't they?

A: You know, I've been trying to figure that out for the longest time. I just know that they don't. I've actually explained in "The Art of Political War" that Republicans and Democrats are not mirror images of each other. They're not made of the same stuff.

Democrats are political missionaries: They want power more than anything and they think they can go to Washington and change the world. Republicans come out of the private sector. Often they're small-business people who have been frustrated by government regulations, and they come to Washington to fix government. They don't have the delusion that you can change the world in a fundamental way.

Republicans tend to be very cerebral think with the head. Democrats seem to speak from the gut and to the heart, and that makes them much more effective politically.

Q: How have Republicans responded?

A: Great. Thirty-five state chairmen have endorsed it. The House leadership is enthusiastic about it. It comes endorsed by Karl Rove [chief strategist for the Bush campaign], [and Oklahoma Rep.] J.C. Watts Jr. Chris Ruddy wrote a feature about it in Newsmax.com, saying it was "Bush's secret plan to win," that he was following its prescriptions … . I couldn't ask for more.

Q: Is there anything conservatives can do to fight liberal control of the media and of universities? Is the "Art of Political War" applicable to other fields as well?

A: Conservatives are too polite. They like to play by the Marquis of Queensbury [boxing] rules, and they're not at all mentally prepared for a political war. They get shocked by the rudeness of the left and its intolerance, and then they say, 'Oh well, they're leftists, what can you expect?' "

And what conservatives have done is create an alternative universe in the think-tank world. Washington is full of these think-tanks, like the Heritage Foundation.

They would never call them "countercultural institutions" like we did on the left, but that's what they are. The Heritage Foundation should be at Princeton, or it should be at Georgetown University. It should be a think tank within the university, but the think tanks at the university you know, they're all left at Georgetown. The Georgetown Law Center is practically a Marxist law school.

So since the conservatives have been driven out of the universities, they've had to replicate that with their own resources.

Q: The Republicans currently control both the House and the Senate.

A: Barely.

Q: Barely. But they must be doing something right to be doing this well.

A: I think that if the press weren't a partisan press in favor of the Democrats, and the academic world wasn't so ruthlessly partisan itself, the Republican Party would have a 70 percent majority.

I would be very amazed if more than 30 percent of the American electorate was as left-wing as the Democratic Party is. It would really surprise me. But of course, you have a partisan press spinning all the news in the Democrats' favor and covering up their radicalism for them. So we have a fairly evenly balanced party system.

The bottom line is that the Republicans are doing so well because their actual policies are those of the majority of the American people. The proof of that is that Bill Clinton ran as a "Republican-light" in the last presidential election. He ran on Newt Gingrich's Contract with America and pretended he was a Republican.

It's a fraud on the American people, pretending that you are something you really hate in order to get the power, and then using that power to surreptitiously undermine what the people are voting for.

The reason Republicans do well is because their values and policies resonate with the vast majority of American people.

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