The Cult of Personality and Leftist Politics: James Corsi’s "The Obama Nation"

![Corsi’s “The Obama Nation” (Amazon.com)](/content/uploads/ObamaNation.jpg)
Corsi’s “The Obama Nation” (Amazon.com)
With the onslaught of election novels and commentaries in support of Barack Obama, it is difficult to find an informative discussion that analyzes the senator’s past from a critical perspective. *The Obama Nation: Leftist Politics and the Cult of Personality* (Threshold Editions, 2008, 364 pp.) by Dr. Jerome Corsi is a detailed critique of Senator Obama’s past associations and experiences and how they have formed the present-day Democratic presidential candidate. Dr. Corsi is the infamous author of *Unfit for Command: Swift Boat Veterans Speak out Against John Kerry*. However, the author makes it a point in the introduction and preface of his book to distance this commentary from that of his prior book.

Dr. Corsi offers his conservative readers a vast, at times overwhelming, wealth of information while forming a case against Barack Obama. For the undecided voter, this book can quickly change an open mind. However, the sheer volume of fringe associations, implications of communist or socialist leanings, and naïve policies detailed in his book can leave some readers doubting the integrity of Dr. Corsi’s writing. While the political leanings of the author are obvious, the citations accompanying his claims account for over thirty pages of legitimate, factually-based notation.

Despite the inflammatory nature of this campaign, Corsi does an outstanding job ensuring that his writing is fair to the facts. There is no doubt that Dr. Corsi has done his research. While this book is an intense commentary against Senator Obama, Corsi notes when his sources are unreliable. The reader should keep in mind, though, this is not a biographical commentary; its intent is to offer insight into the events that have shaped Barack Obama and what he intends our American policy to be.

Corsi’s insight is impressive. He correctly predicted an economic meltdown by November that would aid the Democratic candidate in the election—one of several predictions in the book. Corsi begins with analyzing the roots of Barack Obama’s ideals and policies. He immediately begins by challenging the contents of Senator Obama’s book, Dreams from My Father. The commentary is less than flattering. He states that Obama Sr. was a polygamist, citing his simultaneous marriage in Kenya while being married to Senator Obama’s mother in Hawaii. Furthermore, Corsi details the abandonment of Barack and his mother while his father was attending Harvard and Obama Sr.’s subsequent descent into alcoholism.

The reader finds oneself delving into the Senator’s childhood experiences in Indonesia with his Muslim stepfather. Dr. Corsi cites, from numerous resources, Obama’s attendance at Muslim services. While Corsi does not blame Obama for being associated with Islam (Dr. Corsi even refutes accusations that Obama attended a Madrassa), he does question the Senator’s account of his days in Indonesia and his outright denial of ever attending Muslim services.

Moving on to Obama’s days in Hawaii, Corsi questions Obama’s self-described black rage as a young man. He asks why a young man with white grandparents who sacrificed their modest income to send him to the most prestigious prep school in Hawaii would claim his grandmother was nothing more than “white folk.” Corsi postulates on the psychology driving Senator Obama’s claims. He theorizes that Obama was not feeling racial hatred, or experiencing racial challenges at his elite prep school, but rather that he felt abandoned by his parents.

The book continues by discussing the “making of a radical politician.” He provides evidence for Obama’s relationships with socialist “community organizer” Jerry Kellman (a product of radical socialist Saul Alinsky’s Chicago organization) as well as terrorists Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn. In addition, Corsi uncovers funding provided by Ayers and Obama while they were on the board of the Woods Foundation to former Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) associate Rashid Khalidi. At this point, the book becomes most disturbing as Dr. Corsi digs further into Obama’s earliest connections in Chicago with convicted felon and former lobbyist Tony Rezko. He discusses Rezko’s assistance to Obama with the purchase of the senator’s Chicago home and Mr. Rezko’s ties to Saddam Hussein.

The final elements of Obama’s Chicago connections that Dr. Corsi discusses highlight Senator Obama’s associations with Trinity United Church of Christ, Reverend Jeremiah Wright, and Black Liberation Theology. Obama’s church adheres to the teachings of Dr. James Cone’s “Black Liberation Theology’’ which advises African-Americans to shake the black community from the “white oppressor” within the United States by “whatever means necessary”—including violent action. Furthermore, Corsi discusses the motivation for Obama joining Rev. Wright’s church as a decision Obama made to position himself favorably with the people he wished to lead. The chapter concludes by explaining that the publicity surrounding Reverend Wright’s racist rants, along with Wright’s association with Louis Farrakhan and Father Michael Pfleger ultimately caused him to leave the church.

Corsi depicts Barack Obama’s lack of experience as a weakness in his ability to discuss the issues. Obama’s campaign director, David Axelrod, is the primary focus of Corsi’s discussion regarding the image that the senator attempts to portray. While noting instances where Obama appeared poorly (e.g. Obama’s attempt at bowling), Corsi poses the question, “Who is Barack Obama?” The author moves on to discuss the senator’s voting record and past accomplishments, as well as how he and his campaign plan to project his record to the American public.

The book concludes with a section discussing the issues and image of Obama. Corsi notes Axelrod’s plan to paint Obama as the next JFK while questioning the permanence of Obama’s “messiah” image and the media’s infatuation with him. The closing chapter, discussing Obama’s “Antiwar, Anti-Israel foreign policy,” depicts a senator with fringe advisors. Furthermore, the author criticizes Obama’s declaration to meet with rogue dictators without precondition. The point Corsi is trying to get across is simple: Obama is overconfident and naïve in his views—a trait McCain should use to his advantage.

Overall, this commentary is a disquieting but honest review of Barack Obama. However, more liberal readers will find the often blunt and unflattering representation of the senator less than appetizing. By calling into question the past connections and the judgment of a candidate with such an unwavering, cult-like following, Dr. Corsi can expect unwarranted accusations and attacks on his credibility. While Corsi closes by suggesting John McCain should stick to the issues and facts at hand, we will soon see if this strategy plays in the Republican candidate’s favor. If not, this nation can expect “change” come November.

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