Saturday, October 23, 2010

Exclusive transcript: Obama at Occidental 'was looking forward to an imminent... revolution, where the working class would overthrow the ruling class'

Dr. John Drew was a classmate of President Obama's at Occidental College. He was interviewed last week by Paul Kengor on The Glen Meakem Show, and I took time to transcribe most of the podcast because of its importance.

Q: I interviewed you for my book Dupes a year ago and you had contact me a couple of years ago because you read a piece that I wrote for American Thinker and it was called "Dreams from Frank Marshall Davis" and it was on Obama's background and youth. Frank Marshall Davis was an actual Party member and that's something, John, I spent two or three years on investigating, but there's no question about it... the documentation is there, a 1957 Senate report called him "and identified member of the Communist Party", there's an FBI file that's 600 pages, and I took ten or twelve pages from that report and put it in the appendix of my book. It even lists Davis' Communist Party card number, which was 47544, so very clear. Why is all of this relevant? Well, I think it explains, at least to some degree, that -- if he's not a Communist, he's at least very far to the left -- and has some very left-oriented views. But you met Obama when he left Frank Marshall Davis in 1980 coming from Hawaii and went to Occidental College. So tell us about when Obama got there and when you met.

A: I see myself as Barack Obama's missing link from his exposure to Communism through Frank Marshall Davis and his later exposure to Bill Ayers and Alice Palmer in Chicago. So, as far as I can tell, I'm the only one of Obama's extended circle of friends who's spoken out and verified that he was a Marxist-Leninist in his sophomore year of college, from 1980 to 1981.

I met him because I graduated from Occidental College in 1979 and I was back at Occidental visiting a girlfriend. I met him because of the relationship which I'd started my senior year at Occidental --

Q: By the way, tell us where Occidental is. We're way out here in Western Pennsylvania.

A: Sure, Occidental College is in the Eastern Los Angeles area. It's a very prestigious, very beautiful, sort of very garden, rose-garden sort of college, with three- or four-thousand students --

Q: And pretty competitive, I mean Obama would have had to have good grades and been a good student to get accepted there.

A: Yeah, my sense is because of affirmative action, guys like me were going to Occidental instead of even better schools and guys like Obama were going to Occidental instead of, uh, less challenging schools. A lot of very successful people were there, were part of Obama's social circle at the time.

Q: Now, was Occidental known for radical left politics? Would that have been an attraction for Obama?

A: Yeah, I'm certain that it was. It was considered sort of the "Moscow" of southern California. There were a lot of Marxist professors, many of whom I got to know pretty well, not just there but also at Williams College in Massachusetts. Two of the same Marxist-Socialist professors were on the staff with me at Williams.

Q: So, that might have been an attraction for him? I'm trying to think, what would have made him go to Hawaii to Occidental? Do you think Frank Marshall Davis could somehow have been an influence in having him choose Occidental?

A: I don't have any evidence of that...

Q: Because they won't release his records, I called them --

A: Yeah, I think that's odd. I don't know, I got straight A's my first year, it sounds weird, but I don't talk about it, Paul, you'd think that if Obama did well he'd release those transcripts.

Q: Now, this is speculation, but do you think those files might hold a letter of recommendation from Frank Marshall Davis? Right? Why not?

A: Wow.

Q: Davis was a mentor. Davis writes about him in Dreams From My Father very warmly, in fact Obama writes that Davis gave him advice on women, on race, on life, on college. So, he must have recommended Occidental, but it's sad we have to speculate. If they'd just release these records...

A: Well, this is what I know for sure, and this is why I'd sought you out, to be helpful to the historic record, is to verify that Barack Obama was definitely a Marxist and that, it was very unusual for a sophomore to be as radical, or as ideologically attuned as young Barack Obama was. I think people like David Remnick [a biographer], they make it sound like Frank Marshall Davis had no impact on Obama and that his friend Mohammed Shandu somehow converted him to Marxism at Occidental. And my impression is that Obama was the leader of that group and Obama was already very ardent and committed to Marxism. And Shandu struck me as somewhat more passive. So it doesn't fit the story that I read in Remnick's story The Bridge.

Q: And Remnick did not contact you, did he?

A: No! No! ...Well, Remnick interviewed my girfriend, Carolyn Bosch -- she's on three or four pages -- and they interviewed a guy named Gary Chapman, a guy who was very active in the Democrat Student [Socialists'] Alliance.

Q: I like David Remnick. I use his book in my Compartive Studies class at Grove City College.

A: He's a sharp guy. And he's got some good facts in there, but he didn't want to hear from little Dr. Drew...

Q: ...You said that Obama was introduced to you at Occidental as a Marxist because you were one at that point.

A: Yeah, that's embarrassing, but I had studied Marxist Economics at Sussex College in England. I had a junior year scholarship over there, and did my senior honor's thesis on Marxist Economics when I was at Occidental College. And I actually founded the Democrat Student Socialists' Alliance, under a different name, in 1976... it was as Marxist as you could get, but they come up with a more general name while I was away in England.

Q: ...John, you had told me before, and I'm reading from my book, that "Obama was already an ardent Marxist in the fall of 1980 when I met him. I know it's incendiary to say this, but although he said in Dreams From My Father that he'd 'hung out with Marxist professors', he did not explain in that book or clarify is that he was 100% in total agreement with those professors.

A: Yeah, you've got that exactly right. Obama believed, at the time I met him, this was probably around Christmas time in 1980. I'd flown out on Christmas break from Cornell, where I was in grad school. And Obama was looking forward to an imminent social revolution, literally a movement where the working classes would overthrow the ruling class and institute a kind of socialist Utopia in the United States. I mean, that's how extreme his views were his sophomore year of college.

...I was a comrade, but I was more... the Frankfort School of Marxism at the time. I was, I felt like I was doing him a favor by pointing out that the Marxist revolution that he and Caroline and Shandu 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, that Frank Marshall Davis fantasy of revolution, come true.

Q: So you had a realistic sense that, even though you liked these ideas, that you knew they wouldn't really work?

A: Right... [There were some] who were puzzled why they didn't see Marx's predictions come true, and weren't interested in the role of psychology or false consciousness in preventing a revolution from happening. I was a card-carrying Marxist, but I was more of an east coast, Cornell University Marxist at that time.

Q: But Obama thought it was practical. He thought it could happen in America?

A: Oh, yeah! He thought I was a little reactionary... or insensitive to the coming needs of the revolution! He was full-bore, 100% into that very, kind of simple-minded Marxist revolutionary framework.

Q: And, also at this time, this is 1981, Jimmy Carter was President [?] and Ronald Reagan was yet to call the Soviet Union 'the Evil Empire' when he becomes President. Did you have talk about the election, about Reagan. I mean, that must have really upset Obama?

A: You know, it's so long ago. My clearest recollection was that we were more concerned with more U.S. intervention in Latin America and the repression of Communist and Socialist forces like the Sandanistas and things like that... this sound weird, but there was part of me at the time that was ready to go off and fight with the Sandanistas against the Contras. I was pretty crazy, Paul...

Q: Now this gets to a critical point and I know Obama supporters want me to ask this... to be fair, look where you were then and where you are today...

A: Oh, yeah. Now I'm a Ronald Reagan, church-going, Baptist conservative, so...

Q: So, what about Obama. That's the... trillion dollar question? ...We have to know this stuff about our Presidents, you can't leave this about biographies...

A: Well, I think that he, I've challenged President Obama to explain how he evolved this Marxist-Leninist viewpoint he had in his sophomore year of college. And he's just never articulated how he changed. In fact, he's buried and, I think, lied about his ideological convictions of his youth. And we can trace it all the way to Alice Palmer, I think, in 1995 [the Illinois state senator who he replaced]... who attended the Communist Party "Politburo" event. Or she was part of a big international Communist convention in Moscow!

Q: ...And Palmer was with Obama in the living room of Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn when -- and The New York Times even wrote about this -- there was sort of a political blessing, where Palmer identified Obama as his chosen successor...

A: ...Well, I think I can knock down some doors here but stating that he had a very consistent ideology, I think, probably from the time he was in [Hawaii] to the time he was with Palmer and Ayers in Chicago. I think his current behavior demonstrates that he still has some ideological convictions. When ever he talks about taxing the richest two-percent? I think he knows that will harm the economy. To him, the redistribution of wealth is extremely important. And he never took economics or science like I did. He went straight to law school, never had any business experience, never had a payroll to meet. And I think he's locked in a very dangerous mindset, where if he didn't fight to redistribute the wealth that he'd be violating [his] ideology.

...You see people like Van Jones, who's an admitted Communist, you see Anita Dunn, who's praising Mao Tse-Tung, to me, it's like Obama's Marxist-Socialist ideology is hiding in plain sight! It's frustrating to me. It seems to me like people should be up in arms about this!

...I think whenever he talks about people clinging to their guns and religions due to economic stress, that's just the standard Marxist argument... he's still using the standard Marxist architecture, the way he talks about things. I think he's surrounded by people who share that mental architecture!

...I feel like our nation's life is at stake.

Yes. It is. The time for action grows near.

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Larry Denninger said...

Wow - riveting stuff. "Hiding in plain sight" - that must explain why the MSM can't find it.

Came here via Adrienne's Corner.

Jim - PRS said...

Dr. Drew can probably expect an IRS audit, to be followed by the Joe the Plumber Special.

Ric Locke said...

Since I can't find a trackback URI, here are some further thoughts on the matter (link goes to my WordPress blog)


John C. Drew, Ph.D. said...

Thank you for transcribing this interview. I'll promote this through my Twitter and blog site. I'm grateful to you and Paul Kengor for helping get this story out inspite of the bias of the mainstream media.

smokedaddy said...

This won't add much, but my sister attended Oxy starting in 1980 where she took two classes with Barry and remembers him as one very articulate Indonesian before she talked with him and learned his background. In particular, she remembers the "American Cultures" class they took together as particularly hostile to American culture. She still has the class notes in case anyone's interested.

directorblue said...


Would she be open to an interview? is my email address.


Phil said...

Any development on smokedaddy's post? Thx!