WASHINGTON, September 24, 2012 – In our initial article discussing “2016: Obama’s America”—Dinesh D’Souza’s low key but disturbing documentary exploring the mind of President Barack Obama—we examined and rebutted reflexive critical dismissals of Dinesh D’Souza’s path breaking film, whose aim is neatly summed up by Christian Toto:
“‘2016: Obama’s America’ is clearly a conservative’s effort to explain the president’s actions while cautioning against a future in which Obama is unchecked by political reckoning.”
But what’s our own opinion? After viewing the film twice, it’s our conclusion that D’Souza has done a masterful job of looking under the rocks the media never bothered to examine in 2008 and unearthing the real Barack Obama: a cold, largely unfeeling individual who’s out of his depth in the White House. Worse, he can scarcely conceal his loathing for this country and its traditions, and has done his best in the past four years to diminish its international standing, influence, and economic power.
It’s hard to believe that one man can cause so much damage in less than four years, but the evidence is there. D’Souza’s film does much to explain the destructive actions of this president, whose every action is consistent with the Marxist and post-colonial theories in which he fervently believes. The one problem with the film, however, is that it doesn’t go far enough.
D’Souza opens his film by quickly establishing his own bona-fides as a non-Caucasian, post-colonial immigrant from India at the opening of “2016.” The purpose of this preamble is to draw the parallels between his life and Obama’s while inoculating himself from the Pavlovian charge of “racism” this administration fires without forethought to silence its opponents with Alinsky-style viciousness.
Once his preamble is out of the way, D’Souza, who also serves as the film’s chief interviewer and narrator, charts the strange and occasionally unverifiable life trajectory of our current President.
Even today we know more about what was in Sarah Palin’s dumpster circa 2008 than we do about Barack Obama’s early childhood, youth, and college career are. Even after nearly four years of his presidency, Obama still remains a cipher to many, including those who regard him as the Second Coming. That’s because his mentors, his handlers, his widely extended family, and a phalanx of MSM propagandists disguised as journalists have all done their best to hide any and all information—and there is a lot of it—that might damage the carefully-nurtured Obama mythology.
From the heavily redacted copy of his Hawaiian birth certificate to his tightly sealed college transcripts, it’s indisputable that the man elected in 2008 to lead America and the free world remains as unknown and unknowable today as he was when he first ran for the Presidency.
D’Souza’s aim in creating “2016” was to shatter this Dome of Silence, examining the facts and parsing the mythology responsible for the election (and potential re-election) of a man nobody really knows.
In brief, D’Souza presents hard evidence that Barack Obama was mentored from childhood by a succession of card-carrying leftists and post-colonialists professors that included both his missing father and his implacably hard-left mother. His life and mind were carefully built by others on a firm substructure of pure Marxist theory. He knows and believes only in this and in nothing more, and his supreme confidence in this worldview is unshakable.
To build its case, D’Souza’s film examines Obama’s secret origins in considerable detail, although predictably, some inquiries were frustrated by obfuscation, stonewalling, and, in one case, an implicit threat on his life. Nonetheless, D’Souza names names and gives ample evidence justifying his firm belief that this President and the theories that drive him, are radically outside the thoughts, customs, and traditions of mainstream America.
D’Souza accepts Obama’s obsession with his distant, absent father—documented in the President’s memoir, Dreams from my Father—at face value. Using it as a jumping off point, he then attempts to fill in the many blanks in order to develop a clearer picture of who Obama is, where he came from, and where he intends to go by 2016 if he wins re-election.
D’Souza conducted interviews with people closely associated with the young Obama or his mother as well as with a few helpful academics who attempt to shed light on the President’s developing character. The quality of D’Souza’s interviews ranges from enlightening to inconclusive. Surprisingly forthcoming is an old academic associate of Obama’s late mother. Unhelpful are individuals within or close to his family circle.
Examples of the latter include Obama’s Kenyan half-brother who has a congenial chat with D’Souza while ingeniously avoiding, like a seasoned Washington politician, anything of substance that might help D’Souza to develop a case against the President.
D’Souza is at times a little too cautious about stating the obvious. For example, Obama’s absent father was clearly a Marxist-Leninist of the ilk that nearly destroyed many African countries in the chaotic period following the withdrawal of colonial powers from that continent. Obama Sr. was closely associated with Kenya’s post-colonial government and likely helped steer Kenya’s and much of Africa’s early and economically disastrous pro-U.S.S.R. tilt. D’Souza’s African interviewees essentially tell him this in code. Why the filmmaker doesn’t pursue these inquiries to their logical conclusion is unclear.
Receiving revolutionary dreams “from” his father is the subterfuge beneath which the current president manages to conceal his own Marxist and post-colonialist theories and belief system. Whether living in Hawaii, Indonesia, or the U.S., young Barack was steeped in Marxist theory almost from birth. To this day, he has never held a real job.
Further, he has largely remained insulated from conservatives, capitalists, entrepreneurs and others who might have explained to him the swashbuckling, creative spirit that drove U.S.-style capitalism. While he consistently attacks the latter, he has no first-hand knowledge about it whatsoever.
Academically, both his mother and his mentors ensured that Barack only encountered Marxist interpretations of the political and world order. Making matters worse, both his mentors and college instructors infected his mind with that latest intellectual rage, colonialist and post-colonialist “theory,” the kind of non-content that dominates college curricula today.
Post-colonial developed from a single, overriding premise: Europeans—particularly the English—have been historically guilty of illegally colonizing and exploiting the peoples and resources of the third world to create wealthy, highly advantaged lifestyles for themselves. In turn, these early colonialists impoverished the people and countries whose resources they raped and pillaged. Even though the offending powers have retreated, the damage they caused has remained and the unfair impoverishment of Third World countries must be reversed in this post-colonial period.
As the guilt the colonialists earned has now been passed on to the United States—the successor power to Great Britain—this country is now the guilty heir and thus the proxy that must pay for the original sin of its forbears.
The centuries-old sins of the colonial powers can only be corrected by re-extracting the “ill-gotten gains” of the colonial period primarily from the U.S. in order to return them to the indigenous peoples fro which they came—most particularly to those exploited “people of color.”
It’s important to emphasize that as the proxy for and successor to the original European colonial powers, the U.S. has been singled out as the ultimate capitalist enemy by Marxist and post-colonialist theories. Thus, any of its strong allies automatically become equally guilty. That’s doubly true for Israel which has also been singled out for scorn primarily for its alliance with the U.S., but also because it was “illegally” carved out of Palestine, once a British protectorate that, of course, was created with the sole purpose of exploiting the indigenous Arab peoples.
If you follow these dots, it’s hard not to see, for example, why Obama sent back to England a bust of Winston Churchill that had been gifted to the White House in another, friendlier presidency. It was intended as a clear, post-colonial insult to our closest ally. Such seeming anomalies in this presidency are no longer mysterious when you understand the warped philosophy that lies behind them, and D’Souza is correct in pointing this out in his film.
It’s at this juncture that a somewhat bemused D’Souza points out that even his own Indian father preached to him a similar theory when he urged the college-age Dinesh not to study in the U.S. lest he be infected by the oppressor’s ideology. In other words, these are not original ideas. But they can become pernicious if hardened into an ideology, which is precisely what the President has done. In any event, by exploring the Marxist and post-colonialist theories of Obama’s father and mentors, D’Souza is generally successful in providing a viable rationale for the current president’s seemingly inexplicable foreign policy decisions.
Upon viewing “2016,” it becomes abundantly clear that the Federal government under Barack Obama is government based on pure, unproven academic theory. It’s a re-imagining of how the world works or is supposed to work, conjured up largely by people who have rarely or never worked. They know virtually nothing about the way in which incentives and rewards drive wealth creation in a capitalist society. For them, the worst crime is making money. The just punishment for this is taking it away from the wealthy and redistributing it to the more deserving other.
The concrete result of this intellectual chicanery is a kind of reverse Robin Hood government where already rich kleptocrats steal from the middle class, using some of the money to buy off the poor while pocketing the rest to feather their already posh nests—a model, ironically, perfected by the old Soviet Union and its client states in the young, post-colonial Africa.
These are the powerful ideas around which D’Souza’s important documentary revolves. They’ll be new to many moviegoers who are open to something beside the latest Democrat talking points.
In spite of the film’s accomplishments, however, D’Souza largely misses a key point in his headlong pursuit of the lost-father motif: Barack Obama had a mother, too. She remains, even in this film, a somewhat shadowy figure, discussed but not thoroughly explored by D’Souza.
That’s a key omission. For it’s abundantly clear by examining the scanty amount of biographical material available on her that it was she, far more than Barack Obama, Sr., who influenced the current president most profoundly. Barack Sr.’s “dreams” might possibly be serving as a smokescreen for his more secretive mother who, according to some individuals, may herself actually have written the bulk of Obama’s fabled memoir.
To be fair, D’Souza does devote some footage to tracking down the wanderings of Obama’s mother, the late Stanley Ann Dunham, born in 1942. But he omits key details of Dunham’s earlier educational experiences that reveal that she, perhaps much more than the cipher of Barack Obama, Sr., was Barack’ Jr.’s earliest and most influential mentor.
After her birth in Kansas, Dunham’s parents moved to the Seattle area and from thence to quirky, nearby Mercer Island. The reason for living on the island—then quite primitive and obscure—seems to have been primarily to allow Dunham’s parents to enroll their daughter in classes at Mercer Island High School. It was known at the time as Washington State’s equivalent of New York City’s famously Marxist “Little Red Schoolhouse,” another public school co-opted by radicals.
Equally interesting is the fact that Dunham’s parents—casually described as Methodists or Baptist by the President—actually leaned farther to the left. Moving to Mercer Island gave them the opportunity to attend services not at a Methodist or Baptist church but at a “progressive” Unitarian Universalist church, dubbed by island wits as the “Little Red Church” for its consistent support of far-left causes.
None of this is mentioned in “2016” and D’Souza seems curiously disinterested in it, perhaps because it competes with his missing father narrative. Yet these key facts provide ample evidence that Barack Obama and his mother would rarely have socialized with “normal Americans” during his early upbringing.
D’Souza does enter the world of Obama’s mother more forcefully when he describes her second marriage and subsequent divorce from Lolo Soetoro, a onetime leftist Indonesian who disappointed her by morphing into an enthusiastic employee and supporter of the Union Oil Company, an American capitalist entity.
D’Souza reports on the split, but never gives much attention to what it really meant—namely that Ann Dunham was resolute in her intention to raise her son in an environment where he might encounter an enthusiastic capitalist. She made sure that, to the extent possible, her family avoided associating in any way with members of the ownership society.*
In spite of what this critic regards as crucial missing evidence that should have been in the film, “2016” is otherwise a professional, generally well-researched, and highly informative film. Its Freudian analysis of the father-figure meme is a bit thin, and its overemphasis is something of a tactical mistake. But in the main, D’Souza makes a good case for the fact that Barack Obama is the first American president to wholly reject the founding principals of America—something that many, perhaps too many, American voters don’t yet comprehend.
*Some websites, like this one, purport to have additional and potentially disturbing information on Ann Dunham, but we can’t confirm any of it at this time.
(For those interested in a further exploration of key Marxist and post-Marxist theories that have strongly influenced President Obama, we’ll shortly be posting a companion piece to this review. It will appear in our Prudent Man column over in Business and we’ll add a link here when the piece is available.)
Read more of Terry’s news and reviews at Curtain Up! in the Entertain Us neighborhood of the Washington Times Communities. For Terry’s investing and political insights, visit his Communities columns, The Prudent Man and Morning Market Maven, in Business.
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