December 10th, 2010
Dr. Paul Kengor, American Thinker
…John Drew was a contemporary of Obama at Occidental College and a Marxist himself. In fact, Drew was a well-known campus communist when Obama was introduced to him as “one of us.” “Obama was already an ardent Marxist when I met in the fall of 1980,” said Drew, going on the record.
Drew is certainly cognizant of the gravity of his statement. “I know it’s incendiary to say this,” he adds, but Obama “was basically a Marxist-Leninist.” He noted how Obama, in Dreams from My Father, stated that when he got to college, he attended “socialist conferences” and “hung out” with Marxist professors. But what Obama did not explain or clarify, says Dr. Drew, is that Obama “was in 100 percent, total agreement with these Marxist professors.”
I asked Drew where, precisely, he believes Obama stands today. Of course, Drew no longer knows Obama, and his main goal in reaching out to me was to clarify where Obama stood at Occidental, which is information that cannot be ignored. That said, he did tell me this: “There are a lot of brands of Marxism. That was one of the key ingredients of my argument with the young Barack Obama. I see evidence of [a] continuing commitment to Marxist ideology every time President Obama traces the furor of the public to underlying economic conditions and inevitable changes taking place in society. In the Marxist model, the economy is the driving force behind change in the other spheres of society.”
Drew shared those thoughts with me last spring. More recently, however, we had an even more illuminating conversation when I had the opportunity to interview Drew while I was guest-hosting the Glen Meakem Program, a terrific radio-talk show broadcast from Pittsburgh. Here are edited excerpts of what Drew told me on the air on October 16, 2010:
Drew: As far as I can tell, I’m the only person in Obama’s extended circle of friends who is willing to speak out and verify 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.Kengor: Was Occidental known for radical-left politics? Would that have been an attraction to Obama?Drew: It was considered the Moscow of southern California when I was there. There were a lot of Marxist professors, many of whom I got to know pretty well. … What I know absolutely for sure — and this is where I really sought you out and I really wanted to be helpful in terms of the historic record — was to verify that Barack Obama was definitely a Marxist and that it was very unusual for a sophomore at Occidental to be as radical or as ideologically attuned as young Barack Obama was….