To those who haven’t done their homework, it sounds like just another crackpot conspiracy theory. But Stanley Kurtz has done his, and his new book Radical-in-Chief: Barack Obama and the Untold Story of American Socialism is the result.
Kurst is interviewed by National Review’s Kathryn Jean Lopez on the subject. Here’s an excerpt [emphasis mine]:
LOPEZ: You wrote, “When I began my post-campaign research for this book, my inclination was to downplay or dismiss evidence of explicit socialism in Obama’s background. I thought the socialism issue was an unprovable and unnecessary distraction from the broader question of Obama’s ultra-liberal inclinations. I was wrong. Evidence that suggests Obama is a socialist, I am now convinced, is real, important, and profoundly relevant to the present.” Explain.
KURTZ: It takes a whole book to explicate that statement. But to be brief, when I first found programs from the Socialist Scholars Conferences Obama attended in New York in the 1980s, I saw a number of people who were later part of his political circle. I was particularly struck by the name James Cone, who was Jeremiah Wright’s theological mentor and the founder of black liberation theology. There were other talks on black liberation theology at those conferences as well. That meant Obama would very likely have known about Wright’s theology even before he met Wright, and would have recognized its socialist content. Following this trail, I discovered that many of Obama’s organizing mentors and colleagues in Chicago were prominent socialists, with ties to the group that had sponsored those early socialist conferences. The policy preferences, tactics, and strategies of these socialist organizers are recognizable in the administration’s conduct today. In fact, the Obama administration continues to coordinate its grassroots support through many of the same socialist organizers he worked with in previous years.
One of the points that comes out quite strongly in the article is that Obama, in concealing his socialist past and present, has purposely deceived the American people.
Is Kurtz correct? I haven’t read the book. But from the evidence I have pieced together myself, I believe it is very likely to be true—and I’ve never been much of a conspiracist.