Skip to comments.The Truth About Obama’s Political Roots: An Interview with Historian Paul Kengor
Posted on 08/15/2012 11:56:05 AM PDT by Kukai
Arguably, no previous U.S. president has had as many disconcerting friends and associates as Barack Obama. Many Americans know of Reverend Jeremiah Wright, Bill Ayers, and Rashid Khalidi, but few have heard of perhaps the most important figure in Obamas life: Frank Marshall Davis.
Who was Frank Marshall Davis? In The Communist: Frank Marshall Davis: The Untold Story of Barack Obamas Mentor, historian Dr. Paul Kengor writes, [He] was a pro-Soviet, pro-Red China, card-carrying member of Communist Party. He did endless Soviet propaganda work in his newspaper columns, at every juncture agitating and opposing U.S. attempts to slow Stalin and Mao in the late 1940s and early 1950s. He favored Red Army takeovers of Poland, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, and Central and Eastern Europe as a whole. He [also] wanted communist takeovers in Korea and Vietnam.
Kengor, a professor at Grove City College and a bestselling author, recently spoke to The Jewish Press about The Communist.
The Jewish Press: Your whole book is about one relatively obscure man, Frank Marshall Davis. Why should anyone care about him?
Kengor: Well, if you want to understand any president, you look at his mentor or mentors. Ive done several biographies of figures as diverse as Ronald Reagan and Hilary Clinton, and its just a no-brainer.
So for people who want to know how President Obama can be so clearly on the left, I would argue that a mentor like Frank Marshall Davis, who was a member of Communist Party USA, helps explains that.
Is it clear that Davis was Obamas mentor?
Yes, and its not only my opinion. In the very start of the book, I quote about a dozen different Obama and Davis biographers people who are sympathetic [to Davis and Obama] and they all describe Daviss relationship with Obama in a mentor-like way.
Obama met Davis in Hawaii in the 1970s. Why did Davis move to Hawaii when he was so successful writing columns for a communist newspaper in Chicago?
Thats a mystery. In his memoirs, Davis makes it sound like he moved to Hawaii in 1948 almost on a lark.
But I believe, and the FBI file on Davis makes this pretty clear, that the Communist Party was behind Daviss move to Hawaii. The Soviet Union had been agitating in Hawaii throughout the 1930s, 40s and 50s. They were trying to keep Hawaii from becoming a U.S. state; they wanted it to be a communist country.
Remember, it was precisely at this time in the 1940s, and 50s when communism was spreading to China, Korea, Vietnam, and the whole Pacific area. Hawaii was a major target. If you want to know Hawaiis strategic importance, just look at Pearl Harbor.
In discussing Daviss long-term effect on Obama, you mention a former Marxist, Professor John Drew, who went to college with Obama and maintains the president was a Marxist at the time.
Yes, Drew claims Obama was introduced to him as one of us. He says Obama had this Frank Marshall Davis fantasy of immanent revolution in America. Drew actually disagreed with Obama; he was a more realistic Marxist and tried telling Obama he was naïve that America was not going to become a communist country but he said Obama actually believed he could do that.
Now, I dont argue in the book that Obamas a communist, but I do think that at one point he might have been, and if so, Frank Marshall Davis, more than anybody else, explains that.
What would you tell people who might argue that everything youre talking about happened a long time ago and therefore has no bearing on who Barack Obama is today?
Thats a fair question. I mean, when I was in college, I was an agnostic, borderline atheist, and now Im a devout Catholic. So people change. But with Obama, if hes changed, we should know how and where and when and why.
In my last book, Dupes, I talk about how Ronald Reagan joined communist front groups at one point, but Reagan wrote all about how he left that. Wheres the conversion narrative for Obama?
Stanley Kurz has produced documents that show that in 1996 Obama joined the socialist New Party. So I can picture Obama on the Marxist left in 1980, on the socialist left in 1996, and today somewhere between socialism and liberalism. I can accept that, but if so, tell us about it. Say, Okay, I was raised by some radical forces, but Ive moved away from that. If thats the case, say it.
In the book, you actually argue that Daviss influence extended beyond Obama to two of Obamas closest and most powerful friends: David Axelrod and Valerie Jarret.
Its incredible, but you cant make this stuff up. In Chicago, Davis worked with the mentors of David Axelrod as well as with Valerie Jarrets father-in-law and grandfather. These folks all knew each other in Chicago Communist Party circles.
In light of all your research, what do you make of Obamas infamous If youve got a business, you didnt build that speech last month? To many people, these remarks seemed anti-capitalist and, as social scientist Charles Murray has written, rather un-American. Were we perhaps hearing traces of Frank Marshall Davis?
I actually find it kind of paradoxical and ironic because Davis was a total self-made man. Obamas mentor got to where he did with help from nobody. He faced real discrimination, worked 100-hour weeks, and fought off a literal attempt by a couple of people to lynch him when he was five years old.
Were in August; the elections are in November. How would you respond to people who might dismiss your book as just another partisan attack designed to help Romney win the election?
Actually, the best thing for this book would be if Obama were re-elected. That would give it a lifespan of four more years, not merely three more months.
The book came out when it did because thats when I got it finished. But regardless of when the book was released, the facts are the facts, and why I wrote it should be irrelevant.
Another one of Obama’s America-hating communist “mentors”, in this case, the main one. More information the MSM will supress.
At the basic point of the revolution the shift of power from business to government the two kinds of revolutionists were at one; and they shared many other views and hopes. Thus men who sincerely abhorred the word Communism, in the pursuit of common ends found that they were unable to distinguish Communists from themselves, except that it was the Communists who were likely to be most forthright and most dedicated in the common cause. For men who could not see that what they firmly believed was liberalism added up to socialism could scarcely be expected to see what added up to Communism. Any charge of Communism enraged them precisely because they could not grasp the differences between themselves and those against whom it was made.
Well, I guess that settles it! /s
He used to post everywhere that WERE no Communist ties! lulz
Check out the hand-written letters now posted on obamasrealfather.com . After Frank tells his friend what Mark has been up to, he immediately says that all of his children are cool with him being with underage women and describes his recent affair with a 16-yr-old girl!
BTW the Dreams of My Real Father DVD is riveting and very well done if you haven't seen it.