Sometimes The Good Guys Win Big
Iam writing this column to inform readers of some good news. The sustained efforts of individuals, organizations and the media who oppose everything people like me stand for — America as an exceptional nation among the nations of the world; the unique contribution of the Judeo-Christian value system in shaping America and the best of Western civilization; sustaining Western civilization as a moral imperative; preserving the American Trinity of liberty, In God We Trust and e pluribus unum — to shut down my conducting appearance with the Santa Monica Symphony Orchestra at the Walt Disney Concert Hall have failed.
As of this writing, besides two rows, the 2,265-seat hall is sold out.
A few weeks ago, I wrote a column titled “Can A Conser- vative Conduct An Orchestra?” In it, I described the efforts of some members of the orchestra and some of Santa Monica’s political leaders, including an ex-mayor, to persuade orchestra members to refuse to play and persuade people to refuse to attend the concert.
UCLA professors Michael Chwe and Andrew Apter, both violinists with the symphony, wrote in an open letter: “Dennis Prager is a right-wing radio host who promotes horribly bigoted positions. ... Please urge your friends to not attend this concert, which helps normalize bigotry in our community.”
Apter told Campus Reform, “In the Santa Monica Symphony, to subject ourselves to the command of his baton is an implicit, if not explicit, endorsement of his bigoted ideas was quoted in The Santa Mon- ica Daily Press, “We object to Prager’s participation because he widely broadcasts bigoted views.” The New York Times and NPR published derisive articles about me, and Los Angeles Times published two such pieces.
Yet, despite all that, the intolerant ones lost — and lost big.
First, Disney Hall is nearly sold out. And with every seat costing between $40 and $100, will be raised for the orchestra.
Second, only about seven of the orchestra’s 70 players refuse to play. Moreover, many other musicians asked to join the orchestra that night, including members of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra.
Third, the orchestra’s widely admired and loved conductor, Guido Lamell, and the orches The board, located in one of the most liberal-left cities in America, unanimously stood behind me after the letters and articles attacking me came out. This was particularly significant, since they had only narrowly voted to invite me — 5 to 3 — put the interests of the orchestra, music and tolerance ahead of their political and social views. Indeed, few expected it.
So, how was intolerance defeated? I think there were a number of factors.
First, to be honest, they I have sadly noted all of my life, guys. I fought back on my radio show and in my syndicated column. I have never said a political word in conjunction with any conducting appearance I have ever made, but once the - sponded.
Virtually the entire conservative world united behind me. My column was reprinted on or linked to almost every major conservative website. There’s an important lesson here: When united, conservatives have real clout.
Third, because universities and others on the left regularly shut down non-left speech, the left has lost a lot of moral credibility. Therefore, a left-wing attempt, led by two UCLA professors, to shut down a concert conducted by a conservative was just too much for many liberals as well as conservatives, and even for some on the left. The left lost face in this matter, and it was therefore important to show that I really am the bigot those opposing my conducting said I am.
And fourth, when people learned what was happening, they filled the hall. The left is always shocked to learn that at least half of America doesn’t agree with it. These people live in an intellectual bubble — they talk with, socialize with, dine with, marry, listen to and read only those who think as they do. In other words, while we conservatives know them well, they don’t know us at all. Why bother knowing us? We are, after all, nothing more than deplorable, hateful bigots.