Radical Son? Obama at Columbia
I don't think anyone can seriously make the argument at this point that Barack Obama did not dabble in radical leftist politics in his youth. It is also difficult to ignore the fact that throughout his adult life, the president has been attracted to left-wing radicals and, for whatever reason, kept them close as advisors and mentors.
His relationships with Jeremiah Wright, Bill Ayers, Father Michael Pfleger, Rashid Khalidi, as well as his ties to ACORN and his use of the radical Chicago New Party in Chicago in his first run for state senator were widely reported prior to the election. It's not as if voters were unaware of these connections. Poll after poll prior to the vote showed that while up to two thirds of Americans knew of Obama's radical associations, they didn't hold it against him.
It is also clear that Obama and his campaign tried to hide the extent of these radical associations prior to last year's election. The reason was simple: Being "acquainted" with Ayers et. al. was one thing, but holding similar views as these radical associates was quite another. Hence, Ayers was "just some guy in the neighborhood" and not a close collaborator on radical education reform in Chicago. And Obama knew nothing regarding Wright's radical sermons even though he sat in the same church for 20 years.
But this tells us little about what Barack Obama actually believes. What it shows is that the campaign was worried about the perception being spread that Obama held radical views, not whether the candidate himself believed in a radical philosophy. That question is still an open one as far as I'm concerned. Certainly some of the president's policies have been radical. But the excuse given -- that the nearly unprecedented economic problems we are experiencing demanded radical action -- seems to have been acceptable to most Americans. (Or it was at first. Recent polls now say otherwise.)
Here is where an independent press corps should have stepped in and solved the mystery for us. Is Obama still a radical or isn't he? It turns out that they didn't want to know the truth and refused to pursue what is turning out to be a fascinating story that gives deep insights into the thinking of our current president.
A recently unearthed article by Barack Obama from his student days at Columbia University is significant because the language, imagery, and substance of the piece clearly reveal a young man in thrall to the radical leftist ideology of the day. In the article titled "Breaking the War Mentality," the future president of the United States reveals a belief that U.S. militarism is only a symptom of what really ails us: economic and political injustice.
Generally, the narrow focus of the [Nuclear] Freeze movement as well as academic discussions of first versus second strike capabilities, suit the military-industrial interests, as they continue adding to their billion dollar erector sets. When Peter Tosh sings that "everybody's asking for peace, but nobody's asking for justice," one is forced to wonder whether disarmament or arms control issues, severed from economic and political issues, might be another instance of focusing on the symptoms of a problem instead of the disease itself.
At his age, I thought John Lennon was a great philosopher, so we might excuse the president his childlike belief that a reggae singer has anything profound to say about war and peace. But it is crystal clear from reading this overly long, tiresome reiteration of leftist claptrap about America being the center of all evil and radical groups agitating for disarmament being heroic examples of grass roots activism that at one time in his life our president was much farther left in his thinking than the man who stood before the people as a candidate last year.