Have you seen the new movie 2016: Obama’s America? It’s one of those events designed to stir the souls of conservatives and inflame the rectums of liberals. I went last week and came away quite entertained by the central thesis of the movie – that President Barack Obama is driven by a deep-seated anti-colonialist view of the world and that those views were ignited by his father and burnished by his mother and a series of African-American radicals, including Frank Marshall Davis and Jeremiah Wright.
Dinesh D’Souza goes to great lengths, using interviews and statements from people who have known and observed Mr. Obama, to lay the foundation for his thesis. He reinforces those statements with excerpts from Mr. Obama’s own writings to establish his thesis. The most poignant of those excerpts is Mr. Obama’s own description of how, after having traveled to Kenya and talking to his deceased father’s friends and family, he threw himself on his father’s grave and declared that the aspirations of his father were now his aspirations.
But Mr. D’Souza’s film is not without its detractors. The mainstream press, walking in lockstep, has condemned the film. The Washington Post, echoed by The New York Times, has declared it to be an “infomercial.” Of course these were the same media outlets that were nearly orgasmic over Michael Moore’s anti-George W. Bush screed, Fahrenheit 9/11. So incensed are these beacons of journalistic excellence that they went so far as to even defame the background music of the film.
But their main criticism was that Mr. D’Souza did not make a “full disclosure” of ALL of the facts. In other words, Mr. D’Souza did not include the liberal view of Mr. Obama and his “history.” Apparently this is a sin of omission that would eternally condemn Mr. D’Souza to the likes of – oh, I don’t know – the Washington Post, The New York Times, NBC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, Reuters and AOL who attempt to manage public opinion as much by what they refuse to report as by what they do report.
But let’s understand that Mr. D’Souza’s film is a thesis. That facts presented are true and documented. That by itself distinguishes it from Mr. Moore’s flights of fantasy, which are riddled with half-truths, comments out of context, and bald-face lies. Attempted comparisons between Mr. D’Souza’s film and Mr. Moore’s garbage are ridiculous for those reasons alone.
His film is more in the vain of the works of Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. and other friends and admirers of the Kennedy family who attempt to portray President John F. Kennedy as the heroic, steadfast warrior who stared down the Soviet Union over the placement of missiles in Castro’s Cuba. The “facts” presented in those works are also correct but omit significant amounts of information leading up to the missile crises that would suggest that the entire crises was manifest from the weakness and indecisiveness that Mr. Kennedy displayed for months prior. Mr. Schlesinger and others had a thesis – the elevation of Mr. Kennedy to heroic status – and the facts presented were in advancement of that thesis. You are free to accept that thesis as generations of Democrats have, or doubt that thesis as I have for years.
So too is the thesis of Mr. D’Souza. You are free to accept or reject it. Acolytes of the right and left may do so without further consideration. But an intelligent person will consider Mr. D’Souza’s thesis along with other facts and opinions in forming his or her own conclusions. Fortunately, the majority of people from whom I have heard and whom I observed at the conclusion of the movie have used Mr. D’Souza’s thesis as a catalyst for discussion and debate.
But the most telling remarks that I have heard to date center around how little is known about Mr. Obama. And into that vacuum, facts and conclusions from those details illustrated by Mr. D’Souza tend to explain what is otherwise unknown. For a president who pledged to provide the most transparent administration in history, Mr. Obama has gone to great lengths to suppress information about himself. That was to his benefit in the first election because it allowed voters to project their own ideals onto a blank slate. But now, Mr. Obama’s secrecy about this past, coupled with his failure to live up to the expectations projected on to him, provide a fertile field for others to conjecture about the “real” Barack Obama. If Mr. D’Souza’s thesis rings true it is because an alternative thesis remains hidden by Mr. Obama’s secrecy.
Mr. D’Souza’s thesis proceeds then as follows. The Senior Barack Obama was a dedicated anti-colonialist. He was a violent member of a violent and corrupt regime in Kenya. An anti-colonialist is one who believes that wealthy nations (and to the same degree wealthy individuals) – primarily the United States and several European countries – have derived all of their wealth by looting the resources of other nations – particularly Africa and Southwest Asia. It is the anti-colonialist’s view that justice will only be served when all of that wealth is taken from them. And peculiarly, these anti-colonialists believe that only rebels are qualified to retake those illicit profits. This is not a scheme for redistributing wealth but rather a scheme for exacting punishment. There is nothing in the history of these anti-colonial movements that suggest there is a plan for redistributing reparations; rather it is the rebels who are entitled to the reparations and they can be used as they see fit.
The senior Mr. Obama was a person of some privilege who was provided a Harvard education at the expense of his government. While there he met Ann Dunham. I envision Ms. Dunham as one of literally hundreds of white co-eds assuaging their taught white guilt by immersing themselves in the danger of black men who preached violence. Regardless, he impregnated Ms. Dunham and thereafter abandoned her and her infant son, the future president of the United States. Mr. Obama returned to Kenya, became a member of a corrupt government, impregnated additional women, married some but not all of them and at some point in time died an untimely death in a car accident. He never once saw the younger Barack Obama after his tenth birthday.
But despite the desertion by the senior Obama, Ms. Dunham continued a mythology about his greatness to his son and the importance of his work. Psychologists tell us that this is not uncommon and usually reflects a rationalization for the desertion – the greater good called him away. He became a hero in absentia and a role model without reason for Mr. Obama. The essence of anti-colonialism – that success was gained at someone else’s expense – was subsequently reinforced by the likes of Frank Marshall Davis, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Bill Ayers, and Saul Alinsky.
Clearly Mr. Obama is an enigma. No more is known about him today than when he began his quest for the presidency six years ago. Gaps in his academic record, deflections regarding his associates, and contradictions created by his own hand, leave most thinking Americans gazing into an empty space. Absent a better explanation and a more complete disclosure by Mr. Obama, Mr. D’Souza’s explanation is as good as any. Two recent incidents tend to reinforce Mr. D’Souza’s view of Mr. Obama.
First, Mr. Obama’s singular initiative for economic improvement is to raise taxes on the rich. His justification is not that the money is needed for a specific program, or to reduce the deficit, or to create jobs. Rather, his justification is that the rich are not paying their fair share. It is a rationale for punishment – for taking away wealth. And second, Mr. Obama’s recent unscripted comment, ” . . if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own. You didn’t get there on your own.” Mr. Obama’s comments came after the release of Mr. D’Souza’s movie and can be said to reflect the belief that those who gained success did so at someone else’s expense.
In the end, the decisions regarding 2016: Obama’s America are yours to make. Accept it, reject it, or add it to the pile of other information upon which you make decisions. All of it would be a lot easier if Mr. Obama would pull back the curtain and reveal who he really is.