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 was the topic of an interview I did with 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.
As I understand it, the producers will eventually add this footage into a larger documentary called “Simply America” which is “…a journey across our country to give a voice to the American conservative.”
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. 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 un-American views I once shared with Barack Obama. Nevertheless, I am happy to share my conversion story. 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.
John C. Drew, Ph.D. is an award-winning political scientist.