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Obama at Occidental College

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. Here is a transcript of the podcast:

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 inDreams 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.

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