Unriddling the Radical Worldview of President Obama
The man famously known as “America’s Mayor” made news headlines last year by asserting that President Barack Obama has been influenced by Communists since his youth.
“From the time he was 9 years old, he was influenced by Frank Marshall Davis, who was a Communist,” former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani said in an interview with the New York Post (Feb. 21, 2015). The man famed for his role in rebuilding New York after the 9/11 attacks and one-time Republican presidential candidate then elaborated on how Stanley Dunham, the president’s grandfather, introduced the young Barack Obama to the now-famous Communist activist back in 1970.
Later in the interview, Giuliani highlighted how President Obama had also been influenced by the teachings of socialist community organizer Saul Alinsky and Black Liberation Theology preacher Jeremiah Wright. “He doesn’t talk about America the way John Kennedy and Ronald Reagan did, about America’s greatness and exceptionalism,” Giuliani continued. “He was educated by people who were critics of the U.S.”
In response to these comments, the White House press office and most of the mainstream media tried to paint Giuliani as a tragic figure—who may once have been a great man, but is now just a sidewalk lunatic. “I can tell you that it’s sad to see when somebody who has attained a certain stature and even admiration tarnishes that legacy so thoroughly,” said press secretary Josh Earnest. “There’s no element of schadenfreude that people are feeling around here. What people are feeling is sorry for Rudy Giuliani.”
It is strange, however, that political figures on both sides of the aisle dismissed Giuliani’s claims so casually. Even mainstream news anchor Tom Brokaw admitted the press never vetted candidate Obama. How can people be so sure the president wasn’t influenced by a radical leftist political ideology?
While many scoff at the notion of any connection of the president to Marxism, few have actually studied the matter for themselves. Instead, they dismiss any mention of radical leftism in Obama’s past by characterizing it as an attempt to paint the president as a kgb agent or closet Bolshevik.
President Obama’s own bestselling 1995 autobiography Dreams From My Father shows that he was profoundly influenced by Frank Marshall Davis, and by many others who were at least sympathetic to Marxist ideology. Barack Obama’s ideological roots are far more radical than the general public has been led to believe. We must consider the facts of his ideological roots if we want to understand where the Obama administration is leading America!
Frank Marshall Davis
Dreams From My Father explains that, while he was a teenager living in Hawaii, Barack Obama was deeply influenced by a black poet named Frank. This “Frank” is mentioned 22 times in the book by his first name, but oddly, Obama never divulges his last name. Even more mysteriously, the book’s passages mentioning “Frank” were completely removed from the 2005 audio version of Dreams From My Father.
As a Harvard Law student, however, Mr. Obama was less shy about Frank’s full identity. In a televised reading of his autobiography, which aired on Cambridge Municipal Television in September 1995, Obama admitted it was none other than Frank Marshall Davis—a black journalist, poet and pornographer who joined the Communist Party usa (cpusa) to become member #47544.
Davis joined the cpusa early on in World War ii and soon after hooked up with the American Peace Mobilization group, which Congress identified as “one of the most notorious and blatantly Communist fronts ever organized in this country.” Along with fellow traveler Robert Taylor, Davis worked with the American Peace Mobilization front to keep America out of the war against Nazi Germany.
In 1939, Adolf Hitler signed a non-aggression pact with Joseph Stalin, and loyal American Communists were expected to always back Stalin. After the end of the war, Davis continued supporting Stalin as editor in chief of the Chicago Star, a Communist front publication with the stated purpose of promoting a “policy of cooperation and unity between Russia and the United States.”
In his columns, Davis argued that President Harry Truman was a fascist, racist imperialist. He accused American leaders of “aching for an excuse to launch a nuclear nightmare of mass murder and extermination” against the Soviets. He urged Communist takeovers of China, Korea and Vietnam. He criticized Washington for giving West Germany to Nazi loyalists, yet claimed Stalin was pursuing “democracy” in East Germany and the Soviet bloc.
In the mind of Frank Marshall Davis, the greatest threat to the world wasn’t the Soviet menace, but“Anglo-American imperialist domination.“
In his posthumously published memoir Livin’ the Blues, Davis admitted to working with several radical left-wing groups in Chicago between 1935 and 1948. “I worked with all kinds of groups,” he wrote. “I made no distinction between those labeled Communist, socialist or merely liberal. My sole criterion was this: ‘Are you with me in my determination to wipe out white supremacy?’”
Yet while Davis claimed to fight for racial equality, he praised Stalin’s Soviet Union as an example of a society with “equality regardless of color or race, and human dignity for all.” He never mentioned the 3.3 million people Stalin deported to concentration camps in Siberia and Central Asia between 1941 and 1949 for the crime of disagreeing with his brand of socialist economics. By some estimates, up to 43 percent of those in these resettlement camps died of disease and malnutrition.
“In short, Frank Marshall Davis’s writings were outrageous,” wrote Dr. Paul Kengor, executive director of the Center for Vision and Values. “A Jeremiah Wright sermon or Bill Ayers lecture is tame by comparison” (American Spectator, October 2012).
After leaving Chicago in 1948, Davis moved to Hawaii and to a position as a columnist for the Honolulu Record, published by the Communist-controlled International Longshore and Warehouse Union. It was there in Hawaii that he befriended Stanley Dunham and his grandson, Barack Obama.
The introduction of 9-year-old Barack Obama to 65-year-old Frank Marshall Davis in 1970 was witnessed by neighbor Dawna Weatherly-Williams. She told the London Telegraph that this introduction was arranged by Obama’s grandfather, who was seeking a black male role model for his grandson.
Obama’s maternal half-sister elaborated further, saying her grandfather saw Frank Davis as “a point of connection, a bridge if you will, to the larger African-American experience for my brother.”
Over the decade following this meeting, Davis and the young Obama met many times, often for hours at a time and late into the night. In Dreams From My Father, Obama recounts how Davis offered him advice on several life-altering issues: on race, on women, on college and on society in general.
In one section of the book, Obama recounts going to Davis for advice after his white grandmother came home frightened by a black man who asked her for money. Davis told Obama that his grandmother had a reason for her fear. “[Y]our grandma’s right to be scared,” Davis said. “She understands that black people have a reason to hate. That’s just how it is. For your sake, I wish it were otherwise, but it’s not. So you might as well get used to it.” It wasn’t a message of racial reconciliation, but one of rage-driven class struggle. That notion comes straight from the pages of the Communist Manifesto.
In another section of Dreams From My Father, Obama recounts advice Davis gave him as he was about to leave Hawaii for Occidental College. “Understand something, boy,” Davis told the young Obama. “You’re not going to college to get educated. You’re going there to get trained. … They’ll train you to forget what it is that you already know. They’ll train you so good, you’ll start believing what they tell you about equal opportunity and the American way and all that [expletive].”
Mr. Obama’s record of his time at Occidental College shows that he took that radical advice very much to heart.
Relatively little is known of President Obama’s college years besides what he records in his own memoirs. Even these memoirs, however, are strikingly revealing of just how radically left-wing his worldview was at this point in his life.
“To avoid being mistaken for a sellout, I chose my friends carefully,” he wrote in Dreams From My Father. “The more politically active black students. The foreign students. The Chicanos. The Marxist professors and structural feminists and punk-rock performance poets. We smoked cigarettes and wore leather jackets. At night, in the dorms, we discussed neocolonialism, Franz Fanon, Eurocentrism and patriarchy. When we ground out our cigarettes in the hallway carpet or set our stereos so loud that the walls began to shake, we were resisting bourgeois society’s stifling constraints.”
According to Dr. John C. Drew, a political scientist who knew Obama at Occidental, America’s current president also attended a few meetings of the Democratic Socialist Alliance during those years. This group was a student Marxist-socialist fellowship founded by Drew in 1976.
In a radio interview with Dr. Paul Kengor on the Glen Meakem Program, Drew explained that his girlfriend at the time, Caroline Boss, introduced the 19-year-old Barack Obama to him as a fellow Marxist in 1980. By this time in his life, Drew had abandoned the violent, revolutionary style of Marxist-Leninism in favor of a more gradualist approach espoused by Herbert Marcuse. So, he noted his surprise that Obama was predicting a people’s revolution.
Although Drew later repudiated Marxism entirely, he still sees himself as a sort of “missing link” between Barack Obama’s exposure to communism with Frank Marshall Davis and his later exposure to other more subtle forms of radical leftism in Chicago: “I felt like I was doing Obama a favor by pointing out that the Marxist revolution that he and Caroline and Chandoo were hoping for was really kind of a pipe dream, and that there was nothing in European history or the history of developed nations that would make that sort of fantasy—you know, Frank Marshall Davis fantasy of revolution—come true” (Oct. 16, 2010).
Whether or not Dr. John Drew had any actual impact on Obama’s worldview, it is evident that the Marxist sympathies of Mr. Obama’s youth eventually did give way to more deceptive forms of far-left ideology.
In Dreams From My Father, Mr. Obama identified Marty Kaufman as a key influence. According to Obama, Kaufman was responsible for hiring him to work as a community organizer in the Developing Communities Project in Chicago. While he definitely did work as a community organizer in Chicago for a number of years, Maureen Dowd of the New York Times has identified his boss during these years as Jerry Kellman. So, in similar fashion to how he referred to Frank Marshall Davis simply as Frank, Obama referred to Kellman as Kaufman to obscure his identity.
Jerry Kellman was educated in community organizing at a school run by the infamous socialist community organizer Saul Alinsky and drew a lot of inspiration from Alinsky’s methods.
Alinsky, regarded as the father of community organizing, is famous for his book Rules for Radicals, which he shockingly dedicated to Lucifer as the “first radical” to rebel against the establishment and win his own kingdom.
Although Alinsky dedicated his life to the cause of income redistribution and sympathized with Marxist activists, he never joined the Communist Party. By his own account, he was too independent to accept any form of absolute truth, Christian or Communist. Rather he believed that a leftist should have the moral flexibility to engage in whatever Machiavellian means necessary to achieve his goals.
Sometimes referred to as the Lenin of the post-Communist left, Alinsky harshly criticized the ’60s New Left movement for its flag burning, Maoist slogans and hippie style. Instead, he recommended that far-left student activists should cut their hair, put on a suit, and infiltrate the system from within. “If the real radical finds that having long hair sets up psychological barriers to communication and organization, he cuts his hair,” he writes in Rules for Radicals. “As an organizer, I start from where the world is, as it is, not as I would like it to be. … That means working in the system.”
Perhaps Kellman’s connection with Alinsky’s school is why Obama chose to give him an alias in Dreams From My Father. Regardless, his years working for the Developing Communities Project introduced Obama not only to Alinskyite tactics of community organizing, but also to several other radical-left personalities.
The New Party
On the evening of Jan. 11, 1996, Barack Obama formally joined the New Party. Formed in opposition to President Bill Clinton’s “centralist” policies, this party was active in Chicago from 1992 to 1998. It purposed to force the Democratic Party further to the left through a process known as electoral fusion, where the same candidate can receive nomination from more than one political party.
The White House has tried to deny this fact, maintaining that “Barack has been a member of only one political party, the Democratic Party.” This statement isn’t a true denial, however, in that the process of electoral fusion used by the New Party would have allowed Obama to be a New Party candidate and a Democratic Party candidate at the same time.
Additionally, evidence obtained from the Wisconsin Historical Society by journalist Stanley Kurtz now definitively establishes that Obama signed a “contract” promising to publicly support and associate himself with the New Party while in office as an Illinois state senator. The New Party functioned primarily as the electoral arm of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (acorn) and was deeply influenced by the socialist economics of Frances Fox Piven.
Born in Canada to Russian immigrant parents, Piven grew up to become a member of the Democratic Socialists of America and an influential social economist at Columbia University. Along with her long-time collaborator and future husband, Richard Cloward, she authored an article in the Nation magazine in 1966 titled “The Weight of the Poor: A Strategy to End Poverty.”
In the article, Cloward and Piven advocated a strategy to overload the U.S. welfare system as a means to create an economic crisis that would force the U.S. government to implement a constitutionally guaranteed minimum income for all citizens. Once the local governments went bankrupt keeping up with their new welfare demands, they would be forced to apply for federal bailouts, according to this strategy. Then, under threat of civil unrest, the federal government would be forced to reform the tax system in such a way as to facilitate “outright redistribution of income” (May 1966).
Critics of this strategy have labeled it as Marxist economics. Piven seems unoffended by this accusation. “Our model could be the Manifesto,” she said in a 2009 speech on labor unions. “But the Manifesto, The Communist Manifesto, was really too general for the purposes that we have, that we need, to put the strategic work to today.”
In comments made at the annual Left Forum 2012, Piven described the Occupy Wall Street movement: “There is room for all of us. Religious leftists, people who think peace is the answer, those who think that wholesome food is what we really need, ecologists and old-fashioned Democrats, Democratic socialists, socialists and Communists.”
Both acorn and the Chicago New Party utilized classic Alinskyite tactics to advance the agenda of income redistribution. So, although neither of these organizations espouse full-out Marxist-Leninist philosophy, both attracted some Communist support. In one sense, they were even more dangerous.
In 1995, Illinois State Sen. Alice Palmer endorsed Obama as her preferred successor at a fund-raiser held in the living room of Bill Ayers and his wife, Bernardine Dohrn. Both Ayers and Dohrn were radical Marxist revolutionaries in the Vietnam War era who founded the Weather Underground, a terrorist arm of Students for a Democratic Society. Like Piven, they also thought the Clinton administration to be too right wing, and purposed to force the “outright redistribution of income.”
Such a radical leftist approach to economics has increased America’s national debt by $8 trillion during the seven years the Obama administration has been in office. The nation is on the verge of a financial crisis. Some hope that the threat of such a crisis will force people to agree to higher taxes on rich and middle-class Americans.
The real outcome, however, can only be civil unrest and economic collapse.
During and after World War ii, the renowned educator and televangelist Herbert W. Armstrong dogmatically proclaimed a warning that Communist philosophy would be the devil’s tool to take from America the greatest national and economic blessing ever conferred on any people. Specifically, he predicted that Marxist thinking would sap America’s strength, pervert its morals, sabotage its education system, wreck its social structure, destroy its spiritual life, weaken its economic power, and demoralize its armed forces (article, page 6).
Many Americans are scratching their heads these days at the strange economic and foreign-policy decisions being made by the president. Some think these decisions can be chalked up to naïveté; others fear a more diabolical motive. Once you understand the ideological roots of his upbringing, however, the president’s decisions begin to make more sense.
President Obama is extending a helping hand to traditional enemies of America like Iran and Cuba, because, like Frank Marshall Davis, he doesn’t believe Islamists or Communists pose the greatest threat to world peace. He believes this threat to be “Anglo-American imperialist domination.” So, by opposing those that he considers allies of American expansionism, and supporting those he sees as fellow freedom fighters against imperialist domination, he furthers his goal of making the world an equitable place. What other explanation is there as to why Obama would support popular uprisings against pro-American regimes in Egypt and Libya while ignoring popular uprisings against the anti-American regime in Iran?
Last April, the Communist dictator of Cuba, Raúl Castro, gave a speech at the seventh Summit of the Americas in which he lambasted America for two centuries of imperial aggression. Yet he issued a personal statement absolving President Obama of responsibility for those past actions. Castro noted that Cuba may have acted in “solidarity with other peoples who may be considered terrorists” in the past, but only if you look at it from the viewpoint of “imperialism.” Rather than contradict Castro, however, Obama acknowledged that America owed a debt to the rest of the world and issued a promise that Washington would never again meddle in Latin American affairs. Again, like Frank Marshall Davis, Obama seems to view Cuba’s suffering not so much as a result of communism, but more as a result of “Anglo-American imperialist domination.”
On the domestic front, President Obama has neutered local police forces, knowingly released thousands of convicted criminals onto American streets, and granted amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants flooding across the southern border. All this sounds like a national security nightmare, but to someone like Frank Marshall Davis, or Bill Ayers, or Saul Alinsky, the police are nothing but agents of capitalist corporations devoted to oppressing the proletarian masses. Thus, the police and law-abiding citizens must suffer to make the world a more equitable place for those living a life of lawlessness!
Americans today are not living in the nation of our Founding Fathers, or even of our own fathers. The ideological roots of the current presidential administration are more radical than the public has been led to believe, and it is certain that the devil will use this fact to his advantage. The sad truth is that humanity will have to endure a time of intense suffering due to its own hardheadedness. But the wonderful truth is that this time of suffering immediately precedes the greatest event in history.
This world’s systems of government and economics—not just communism but even democracy and capitalism—will never bring about good governance, prosperity and equality. However, at the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, this world will experience a form of government that will establish these things—a system that only He can implement!