Diana West

I realized something after Tuesday night's debate: If (big if) Barack Obama is not elected president next month, it will not be John McCain who defeats him.

McCain may be Obama's official opponent, but he isn't making the core case against him: namely, the case against Obama's deep roots in radicalism, which the Democratic nominee has never pulled up and grown away from. This is why if Obama loses on Election Day, it won't be McCain who defeats him. Like a flashy third-party candidate who ends up drawing just enough support from one candidate to put the other over the top, it is Obama's connections to anti-American extremism -- his incubation in a radical comfort zone home to ex-Weather Underground leader William Ayers, ex-PLO mouthpiece Rashid Khalidi, anti-white-and-anti-"middleclassness" minister Jeremiah Wright and others -- that will doom his presidential ambitions.

McCain, Obama and, coming up on the outside, Obama's radicalism: This three-way race has created a weird dynamic as the candidates turn into the final stretch. Blinkers on, McCain hobbles after Obama, who is now desperately trying to shake off the radicalism that could trip him up before the finish line. Again, no thanks to McCain, whose winks at Obama's radicalism, Sarah Palin's stumpside references notwithstanding, are not what has brought it to the fore. The fact is, Obama's ties to radicalism are taking on a life of their own.

Such a "life" is in no way documented in the mainstream media (MSM). Just consider our leading journalists' idea of professional responsibility when it comes to, for example, Obama's connection to unrepentant Pentagon bomber William Ayers.

Ayers -- a violent, 1960s militant who later decided that radicalizing education in the guise of "reform" was the front-line of revolution -- is infamous for a New York Times interview published on Sept. 11, 2001 in which he not only declared America "makes me want to puke," but also discussed his group's violent attacks on American military and civilian targets, asserting, "we didn't do enough." His working relationship with Obama, as documented by Stanley Kurtz, goes back to the 1990s when Obama served as chairman of a $150 million charity, which Kurtz describes as Ayers' "brainchild," that doled out money to far-left groups such as ACORN. Funny, as Kurtz has noted, Obama never mentioned these five years of what is his only executive experience in either of his two memoirs. Not so funny is Obama's dishonest description of Ayers as "just a guy who lives in my neighborhood."

Diana West

Diana West is the author of American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation's Character (St. Martin's Press, 2013), and The Death of the Grown-Up: How America's Arrested Development Is Bringing Down Western Civilization (St. Martin's Press, 2007).