When Exactly Did Barack Obama Renounce Communism?
As an ex-Marxist I am somewhat hypersensitive to the conversion stories of other ex-Marxists. In my case, I remember where I was the exact moment I realized I no longer believed in the ideals of Communism: I was walking through the basement of McGraw Hall at Cornell University in September 1983. I had just finished an argument with my radical thesis advisor, an argument which left me thinking he was ideologically blinded and alarmingly out-of-touch with reality.
For previous generations, such moments of clarity often occurred in the wake of a violent, oppressive event. As Whittaker Chambers describes it in Witness, that moment arrived with an unheeded cry in the Moscow night. As David Horowitz describes it in Radical Son, that moment arrived with the recognition that the Black Panthers had murdered an accountant he had placed with them. For Barack Obama, however, that moment never arrives.
My visceral reaction to Obama's lack of a conversion story is now on display thanks to a film crew I met last week. I am grateful they took their time to get my face-to-face report on young Obama's faith in a coming Communist revolution fine-tuned for national television.
In the YouTube clip below, "Barack's Bud," Michael Prescott presents the best five minutes from a three hour interview. As I understand it, he will add this footage into a larger documentary called "Simply America" which he sees as "...a journey across our country to give a voice to the American conservative."
As you listen to my conservative voice, I think you will notice I am still embarrassed for having once wanted the USSR to win the Cold War --even though I last thought this way over 30 years ago. You will hear I have a conversion story which explains how I dropped my faith in Communist ideals and how that decision changed my friendships, my mentors and my career goals.
In contrast, President Obama has never expressed remorse for the Marxist revolutionary views he defended during his sophomore year at Occidental College. He has never shared the conversion story that highlights the exact moment when he realized he disagreed with his sophomore year Marxist roommate, Hasan Chandoo.
"If Barack Obama has a story about how he stopped being a Marxist socialist," I told the film crew, "I'd like to hear it."
Later, I pointed out that "We never hear where he (Obama) turns to Caroline Boss or Hasan Chandoo and says: 'Look. You're wrong. It's crazy. Communism would actually make us worse off - not better off.'"
"We never hear the story where he confronts Bill Ayers or Alice Palmer or Rev. Wright and tells them 'Look. You guys are wrong.'"
I am still ashamed of the dangerous, alien and less than American views I once shared with Barack Obama. Nevertheless, I am happy to share my conversion story as a warning to others. Eventually, I expect swing voters will want to hear Obama's conversion story too -- if it exists. For now, however, the details of Obama's conversion story seem as scarce as Mitt Romney's tax returns.