I’m watching a panel of pundits on a news show analyze the upcoming presidential debates and latest reported polling data when one of them says ‘well the voters know Obama now, but they don’t yet know Romney…’ And I thought really?

Media have done everything they could to keep us from knowing Obama, his ideology and worldview and what informed him early in life through his rise in politics. Even today, we don’t hear much about the czars he’s put in power, answerable only to him, some with extreme views and radical backgrounds (note John Holdren and Van Jones, among others).

But we should know about the man who would be president, especially the one who currently is. The media will tell us all the day long about Mitt Romney’s background and taxes and business affiliations and dog stories and any banal thing they can drag out. I’d like to hear more specifics from him and his campaign about economic reforms and government size and role and how that should shape America.

By default we’re learning Mr. Obama’s views on what should be the proper size and role of government, and how it should ‘fundamentally transform America.’ But the media won’t talk about how those views were formed from his early life by influential mentors. Even though Obama himself referred to his mentor as ‘Frank’ about two dozen times in his book Dreams From My Father.

Dr. Paul Kengor followed the research trail and assembled an exhaustively documented account in his book The Communist: Frank Marshall Davis, The Untold Story of Barack Obama’s Mentor.

Here’s a snip from the American Thinker, just before the DNC.

Davis joined the Communist Party during World War II and was unflinchingly pro-Soviet and pro-Red China. He was the founding editor-in-chief of the Chicago Star (1946-48) — the CPUSA publication for Chicago — before moving on to the Honolulu Record (1949-57), the CPUSA publication there.  He excoriated the Western leaders who stood in the way of Stalin, meaning Winston Churchill and Harry Truman, whom he portrayed as colonialists, imperialists, fascists, and racists.  He blasted American initiatives like the Marshall Plan, which he labeled “white imperialism” and “colonial slavery.”  And because Democrats were the party in power at the time, and thus America’s first line of defense against the Red Army, Davis — who literally wrote poetry hailing Stalin’s tanks — vilified the Democratic Party in particular.

Frank Marshall Davis’s politics were so radical, and so pro-Soviet, that the Democrats who ran the Senate in 1956 summoned him to Washington to testify on his pro-Soviet activities.  Even more remarkable, the FBI placed him on the federal government’s Security Index, meaning that if a war broke out between the United States and the Soviet Union, Obama’s mentor could have been placed under immediate arrest.

I’ve noted this here before.  I’ve also noted Davis’s unceasing class-based rhetoric and class warfare.

Sounds familiar for a reason.

And then there’s David Horowitz, the former Communist radical who saw the light and turned conservative and found religion and told me in an interview that he only wished someone would have taught him the doctrine of original sin long ago.

His new book, Radicals: Portraits of a Destructive Passion, is about the extremism he knew well and sees playing out in American politics, media and academia.

An American compound in Libya is invaded by al Qaeda terrorists and an American ambassador is purportedly tortured before being killed. Muslim mobs attack American embassies in 27 countries chanting,”Death to America.” The White House response? A statement blaming the outrages on a filmmaker in the United States, along with apologies to the Muslim world.

The American economy languishes with millions unemployed in the worst times since the Great Depression. Yet the president spends his first years in the White House focusing on a plan to create a trillion-dollar socialized health care system opposed by a majority of Americans. Then he campaigns for re-election on a platform blaming rich Americans for the economic woes.

What’s going on here?

The answer lies in a famous statement the president made on the eve of his election, when he told a crowd of cheering supporters: “We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.” These are not the words of a traditional, pragmatic-minded American politician. A practical politician attempts to address problems and fix them, not to fundamentally transform an entire nation. Transforming nations is what radicals aspire to do. But Mr. Obama’s actions in the past four years — beginning with putting Obamacare in front of the economic crisis — are nothing if not radical.

Let’s have clarity about the choices we face. We need a full airing of these things, a robust debate of ideas and the honesty to stand for them. From the looks of media coverage, we’re going to have to take responsibility for generating that ourselves.

Sheila Liaugminas

Sheila Liaugminas

Sheila Liaugminas is an Emmy award-winning Chicago-based journalist in print and broadcast media. Her writing and broadcasting covers matters of faith, culture, politics and the media....