“It was during his tenure at Harvard Law School that he [Barack Obama] encountered the Brazilian socialist Roberto Mangabeira Unger, the author of over two dozen books on social theory, legal thought, economic thought, political alternatives and philosophy.

“One course Obama took from Unger was ‘Reinventing Democracy.’  Unger taught Obama that he should not take the words of the Constitution too seriously.  The cult of the Constitution is the supreme example of American institution worship.  Unger also urged a flexibility that would allow a president to circumvent the law of the land when it got in his way.  In other words the Constitution’s elastic clause has been so stretched that it means what we want it to mean.”  William A. Borst, Ph.D.

 A Rosebud Moment: The Roots of President Obama’s Driving Ambition

William A. Borst – ’The Mindszenty Report – October 2012 

In his film, Citizen Kane, Orson Welles established the first Rosebud Moment. His leading character had just died and his last word was Rosebud. It was an enigmatic moment that set the tone for the film. At the movie’s conclusion the audience learns that Rosebud was the name of the company that made Kane’s sled with which he was playing the day the bank foreclosed on his childhood home. That loss motivated his driven life.

The Outsider

President Barack Obama is arguably one of the most driven and enigmatic men ever to occupy the Oval Office. Historians and pundits have been laboring feverishly to find the Rosebud Moment in his life. While most agree that his ideology is the driving force of his moral compass, pinpointing that ideology has become a tiresome exercise. Theories abound as to what drives his ambition. One thing is certain! Obama is not a conventional liberal like Bill Clinton, Al Gore or even Jimmy Carter.

The key question, then, is what are the motivating forces behind that ideology? Stanley Kurtz ended his 2011 book Radical-in- Chief with the unequivocal words, Barack Obama is a socialist. Kurtz made a convincing case that the socialist ideas of Richard Cloward, Frances Piven and the John Dewey- influenced pedagogy at Columbia University in New York City had thoroughly radicalized the future president. While it is a convincing argument, it does not explain all the variables in his political behavior.

A myriad of other theories have added to the mysterious aura surrounding Obama. Some say that he is the Manchurian Candidate, a malleable tool of the financial barons of the world such as currency manipulator George Soros.

The recent biography, Barack Obama: The Life by David Maraniss adds volumes of detail and hints of the driving social and familial forces that formed his character. Both his parents essentially abandoned him. When added to his racial composition as a mixed race child, or what native Hawaiians call a hapa, this abandonment just reinforced his sense of isolation from the people around him. This is perfectly consistent with the legacy of his Kenyan forebears, who were all labeled as jadaks or outsiders.

Founding Fathers

Despite the penchant for detail, Maraniss’s definitive biography is significant, more for what it omits than what it says. Scant mention is made of his close relationship with Frank Marshall Davis, reputed to be one of the earliest and most vital mentors to the young Obama. Maraniss never mentions that Davis was a self-admitted member of the Communist Party. For a historian of Maraniss’s repute, who was compelled to list Obama’s New York habitats, roommates and even his phone numbers, omitting this slight detail ranks as a gross violation of a historian’s craft for accuracy and integrity.

Davis was just one of the several founding fathers who served as intellectual surrogates for the father Obama never really knew. It was Davis who taught Obama how to walk among a predominantly Caucasian society. He also instructed Obama to go to the socialist-riven campus at Occidental in California. He advised him to leave your race at the door…your people behind…. You’re not going to college to get educated. You’re going to get trained….

Obama’s greatest influence at Columbia University was literary critic Edward Said. Born in Jerusalem to a prosperous Christian family, a professor of English and Comparative Literature, and a humanist with a fanatical respect for Islam, Said was a member of the academic elite who inveighed against the Jewish dominance of Palestine. Said, who died in 2003, was also an indefatigable apologist for terrorism in the Middle East. He hated Israel so much that he was identified one time as throwing rocks from Lebanon at Israeli soldiers across the border.

Though Saul Alinsky had died many years before Obama became a community organizer in Chicago, Obama found his teachings to be enlightening. Alinsky believed that the United States was an oppressive and racist society. Obama’s work with Alinsky’s acolytes provided him with the structure and strategy that he would later turn into an unparalleled political success.

Alinsky’s classic polemic Rules for Radicals has served Obama as a playbook for wresting power from the American power structure. In this respect, Alinsky was the antithesis of Niccolo Machiavelli, who taught the rich princes of the 16th century how to maintain their power. Alinsky taught generations of poor people how to take the rich’s power away. Obama has been a quick learner.

Radical Substance

While community organizing in Chicago provided Obama with a structure for his radicalism, what he lacked was substance. It was during his tenure at Harvard Law School that he encountered the Brazilian socialist Roberto Mangabeira Unger, the author of over two dozen books on social theory, legal thought, economic thought, political alternatives and philosophy.

One course Obama took from Unger was Reinventing Democracy. Unger taught Obama that he should not take the words of the Constitution too seriously. The cult of the Constitution is the supreme example of American institution worship. Unger also urged a flexibility that would allow a president to circumvent the law of the land when it got in his way. In other words the Constitution’s elastic clause has been so stretched that it means what we want it to mean.

He taught Obama that the Constitution was an impediment to social progress. Like Franklin Roosevelt, Unger wanted to make government an instrument of imagined power… for social improvement. This was not a mere academic exercise he warned, it would amount to world revolution. Unger believed that all citizens were entitled to health care, jobs and a stable retirement and if other people’s property gets in the way, that property had to be seized in order to meet this social endowment.

The Chicago Influence

One of the key events of the 2008 presidential campaign was the bird’s eye view into Obama’s motivation provided by his pastor, the Reverend Jeremiah Wright. Wright gained national attention in March 2008 for his salacious commentsonthetragedyof9/11. Inadiscoursethatbordered on blasphemy, Wright proclaimed that America’s chickens are coming home to roost. Instead of asking God to praise America, he beseeched the Lord to damn this country. Even though Obama swiftly disposed of Wright under his political bus, he neither disavowed his teachings, nor explained how he could sit in Wright’s church for 20 years without absorbing any of his racist rant.

William Ayers does not fit the mentor mold. Though much older than Obama, Ayers was one of Obama’s early supporters and an obvious kindred spirit. Both he and his wife, Bernadette Dohrn, were former terrorists and members of the Weathermen Underground, who had bombed the Pentagon in opposition to the Vietnam War in the late 1960s. Several years later Ayers “apologized” for not having done more damage. His radicalism now has a captive audience at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where he teaches in the Education Department.

Despite the Obama camp’s denials, Ayers’s ties with Barack Obama have been considerable. Ayers held the first fund- raiser for Obama’s campaign for the Illinois Senate in 1995. They served together on the Chicago Annenberg Challenge and the Woods Foundation. Ayers validates Obama by urging teachers to become community organizers who will be dedicated to provoking resistance to supposed racism and oppression.

Obama’s Religion

President Obama has become the personification of the secular disdain for religion in public life. His only visible religious involvement occurred over the 20 years that he was a member of the Reverend Wright’s Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago. Wright had married the Obamas, baptized their two daughters and, according to the president, brought him to Jesus. This is an odd statement since Wright preached a Third World Liberation Theology, which relies more heavily on Karl Marx than Jesus Christ. Throughout his whole life Obama has never given any impression that religion, except maybe Islam, had any value for him.

Though his aides say he prays every day, there have never been any outside or interior signs of an active prayer life. There is scant evidence that religion was ever important to Obama. He seems uncomfortable in the presence of religious symbols and icons, especially Christian crosses and the like. He was surrounded by atheists his whole life. His mother had always challenged organized religion. As a graduate student she dropped all pretenses of church membership. Both of her husbands, including Obama’s father, became atheists. Then there is Frank Marshall Davis, who was a communist.

Obama’s religious faith is that of the Social Gospel where salvation is collective and is earned by helping the poor achieve an earthly paradise. According to Phyllis Schlafly’s new book, No Higher Power, Obama is a secularist ideologue first and a Christian second, if at all. She is convinced that social justice is the secular substitute for Christian morality and ethics and will be used in a second Obama term to further the advance of the state against free markets and the free exercise of religion.

An Unguarded Moment of Truth

In an unguarded public moment in Roanoke, Virginia this year, Obama lifted the veil from his economic thinking when he said you didn’t build that! If you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own. I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be ‘cause I was just so smart…It must be because I worked harder than everybody else… Obama’s disdain for personal achievement and free enterprise could not have been more apparent.

He will not accept that success comes from individual hard work and the ability to assume risk. His economic philosophy is rooted in his belief that government is the root of American success. He firmly believes that Americans could not have achieved anything without the roads, the public schools and the Internet.

His plan of government, at least in the interim, is a quasi-fascist system. Many companies have surrendered their freedom to government in exchange for special favors and privileges that they believe will reduce their competition. Pundits call this crony capitalism. Useful idiots in Wall Street, Hollywood, the unions, major companies such as General Electric, and the super-wealthy such as Warren Buffett are willing to join forces with the president in exchange for special favors and corporate welfare. ObamaCare is an excellent example of insurance companies voting against their long-term interests for the quick fix. This plan will bring 1/6th of the United States economy under the president’s expansive wing.

The Dodd-Frank Bill firmly tightens the noose with its too big to fail relief for certain financial institutions, thereby subjecting them to absolute state control while allowing, and in many cases forcing, others to close their doors. Lenin’s prophetic statement about how capitalists would sell Bolsheviks the rope by which we will hang them is illustrative of this sinister self- deception. In just four years, Obama’s policies have virtually destroyed what has been called the opulence of American life.

Genetic Dreams

In his first book, The Roots of Obama’s Rage, Dinesh D’Souza based his theme on Obama’s memoir, Dreams From My Father. He used it to explain the cool rage that has been simmering within the president’s soul most of his life and how it has fueled his political behavior. In his new book, Obama’s America: The Unmaking of the American Dreams and his perceptive film documentary, 2016: Obama’s America, D’Souza makes a concerted effort to pinpoint the roots of this president’s driving political ambition.

D’Souza says his theory makes clear many things about Obama’s behavior, including his early decision to remove and return a bust of Winston Churchill, a gift from Great Britain from the Oval Office. D’Souza underscores the fact that Winston Churchill was Britain’s prime minister during the 1950s Mau- Mau Rebellion in Kenya, then called British East Africa. It was during this time that Obama’s grandfather, Hussein Onyango Obama, was apparently imprisoned and even tortured. According to D’Souza, Churchill was, from the anti-colonial point of view, a villain, a champion of the empire.

D’Souza argues that it has not been the civil rights struggles of black Americans in the 1960s that have motivated Obama or the Marxism of mainstream liberals that has mesmerized a whole generation of idealistic academics but his compelling need to fulfill the dreams he derived from his father in reducing the former western imperial nations to Third World levels.

Smaller Footprints

Wealth redistribution is an integral part of the Obama plan for leveling the United States. Under ordinary circumstances, the recent Occupy Movement of America with its chants for helping the 99% of Americans who are not wealthy would seem to fit right under the Obama umbrella. Most Americans don’t understand that Obama thinks globally. Obama wants to enrich the previously colonized countries at the expense of previous and current colonizers. His goal is to raise the standard of living of the rest of the world at the expense of all Americans, not just its wealthy 1%.

Under his calculations all Americans are part of the 1% and it is the entire nation’s wealth that must be redistributed to the global masses that struggle in real poverty. Obama wants to equalize living standards all around the world. He wants to raise the standard of living in the Third World at the expense of America’s standard of living. America’s poor have far more than most people around the world. They too must pay reparations to the world’s poor. Through its enormous and increasing debt, Obama the avenging angel plans to punish this country and its heirs for its colonial sins.

According to D’Souza, Obama’s goal is a “smaller footprint” for America. He is a much stranger, more determined, and exponentially more dangerous man than anyone could have imagined. According to D’Souza, this then is Obama’s Rosebud Moment. It is the anti-colonial attitudes and hopes of a father he only knew through other peoples’ memories that floats his ambitious ship to fundamentally take America to places where most of its people would never want to go. It is his genetic rage, often cold and calculating, that drives his thinking. Like England’s Prime Minister William Gladstone’s Little England, he wants to use the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), his czars and the Federal Reserve to return America to the days of Jefferson’s nation of shopkeepers, where the United States had little, if any, role to play in the world. If D’Souza’s plausible theory is right and Obama’s dreams come to fruition, one thing is certain, it will be America’s nightmare.

William A. Borst, Ph.D. can be contacted at 

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