The Missing Link in the Evolution of Barack Obama

By Selwyn Duke

There’s no one who says, “Yeah, he was a radical guy in his youth, and I just couldn’t believe how he became disenchanted with his old ideas.” There are no stories about a great epiphany, an overseas trip that opened his eyes, or a personal tragedy that inspired growth. There’s nothing to explain how a radical Marxist became a reasonable politician. And if there is such an explanation, it’s the most elusive of missing links.

I’ve wondered the same thing about our president myself. A couple of points: (1) No one should be held too accountable for what he said or believed in college; liberalism is the air most of us breathe on campus, only to be dissipated when we get out into the real world and start growing up. (Unfortunately for Obama, it doesn’t appear he has ever made the transition to the real world.) (2) We need to be sure Duke takes into account any countervailing facts for his analysis, such as the fact that the president has stocked the innards of his administration with old Clinton hands. While they are surely liberals, to call them Marxists seems over the top.

Yet I would like to hear of Obama’s conversion to become the moderate most of us hoped he would be. So far, he has done nothing to reassure me on that score.

About Stan Guthrie

Stan Guthrie is an editor at large for Christianity Today magazine and for the Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview. His latest book is God's Story in 66 Verses. He also is author of All that Jesus Asks: How His Questions Can Teach and Transform Us, Missions in the Third Millennium: 21 Key Trends for the 21st Century, and A Concise Guide to Bible Prophecy. He is co-author of The Sacrament of Evangelism. Besides authoring, writing, and editing books, Stan is a literary agent, bringing together good authors, good books, and good publishers. Stan writes the monthly Priorities colum for He has appeared on National Public Radio's €œTell Me More,€ WGN's Milt Rosenberg program, and many Christian shows, including The Eric Metaxas Show and Moody Radio'€™s €œNew Day Florida.€ A licensed minister and an inspirational speaker, he served as moderator for the Christian Book Expo panel discussion, Does the God of Christianity Exist, and What Difference Does It Make?
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