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David Horowitz’s parents were both dedicated communists. It was not surprising that he became a liberal activist, joined the Black Panthers, and led raucous protests against the Vietnam war while he was a student at the University of California, Berkeley.

Later in life, Horowitz reasoned his way out of the ideological thicket in which his mind had been ensnared. He wrote a book, “Radical Son,” which details why and how he freed himself. What once was said of ex-communist Whittaker Chambers is also true of Horowitz: “He did not return from hell empty-handed.”

The point is that Horowitz understands the radical left and has become a warrior fighting against it. Recently he attempted to place an ad in a number of college newspapers, presenting “Ten Reasons Why Reparations for Blacks is a Bad Idea for Blacks — and Racist Too.”

Although the ad is well reasoned and factually based, most college papers would not print it, and several of the few who did were harassed and threatened into apologizing for doing so. However, Horowitz succeeded in making his point that free speech is not alive and well on most American campuses. The First Amendment right to free speech does not apply to talk liberal intellectuals do not wish to hear.

In today’s America, college campuses are the most dangerous places to express contrary opinions. Even professors had better watch their mouths to be sure they do not utter conservative blasphemy. And they can forget about doing research which might prove some liberal tenet is not factually correct. Liberal doctrine does not permit scientific challenge of liberal creeds about race, religion, sexual orientation and politics.

What is true on campus is also true throughout our society. You are free to say whatever you want, only so long as it is “politically correct” and passes muster with the liberal establishment.

For example, the institution of homosexuality may not be challenged. If you dare suggest that a male lusting after another male might not be as American as apple pie, or as natural as springtime, you are a homophobe. The issue is not open for discussion.

Race, quotas and affirmative action are also off-limits. If you politely offer the opinion that merit rather than color or sex should be the basis for decisions on employment, pay, promotion and admission to universities, you have immediately identified yourself as a white-sheeted, racist bigot.

And if some man scratches his head, and wonders out loud that maybe husbands have some rights where abortion is concerned, he is a chauvinist brute who doesn’t understand what it means to be a woman. Until I heard so many of my gender take that position, I never dreamed so many women believed in immaculate conception.

Just between you and me, I have some reservations about sending a child to a government school, a place arrogant enough to tell the Creator of the universe to keep out — but I would not say so out loud for fear of being labeled an ignorant, religious fanatic.

Then, there is welfare reform, which liberals assert is a code term used to attack minorities and foster racial hatred. Liberal politicians don’t want anyone messing around with the system they have perfected for keeping poor people poor, dependent and Democrats.

Finally, if you mention immigration policies, you are obviously a compassionless racist. Never mind that we have lost control of our borders, and that millions of unskilled and destitute illegals in states like California have swamped and degraded the schools, jails, hospitals and welfare system.

The massive campaign of indoctrination and intimidation has been largely successful. The voices of dissent are silent. If you say something liberals do not like, you are guilty of hate speech. People live in dread that liberal inquisitors will hound them into submission, and ruin their reputations and careers if they utter a forbidden word or express an ideologically incorrect idea.

This is classic censorship — when individuals are taught to flagellate themselves, on cue, for the sin of ideological trespass. Pavlov’s dogs were free agents by comparison.

Horowitz exposed the cowardice of liberal leaders. He told a truth they are too craven to tell, the truth that the call for slavery reparations is founded upon the fraudulent idea of group guilt and group victimhood based on skin color, which is the ultimate form of stereotyping and, dare I say, racial profiling.

Free speech is under assault in America, and liberals are leading the attack.

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