Who is the Real Obama?

The movie 2016: Obama's America gives us insight into the real Obama in a well-produced documentary, but then when you have one of Hollywood's better film makers, Gerald Molen on board, a well-produced film should be expected. Dinesh D’Souza contrasts his own view of America with Obama's as both men were born the same year and part of the same generation. Near the beginning of the movie, D’Souza noted about living in India, “In India, my life would be given to me, but in America, I could construct my own life.”

D’Souza's theorem is that Obama’s biological father's beliefs form the core of who Obama is as his father is anti-colonist. An anti-West and a leftist worldview represents the real Obama. D’Souza makes the case that a second Obama administration will see Obama attempting to take America further down the path of a European Democratic Socialist state, but D’Souza overlooks one thing. While Obama writes of dreams from his father, the real architect of Obama's worldview is closer to home, his mother. Obama should have titled his book Dreams From My Mother as she is purveyor of Barack Obama, Sr.'s legacy and mythology. This becomes obvious when D’Souza noted that Obama's Indonesian step father, Lolo Soetoro, joined an American Oil Company in Indonesia and this caused conflict with Obama's mom, Ann Durham. Ms. Durham found it despicable that Soetoro abandoned her third world ideology to take a job with a Western company. Durham believed in a leftist vision of America being a plague among the world and to have a husband abandon her own world view was a factor in the dissolution of her second marriage.

Ann Durham did not come of her leftist world view for it came through her parents as her dad allowed Frank Davis Marshal, a card carrying member of the Communist to be a mentor for the young Barack Obama in Hawaii. D’Souza researched key influences in Obama's life, which included Bill Ayers and liberation theologist Jeremiah Wright, who is famous for his “God Damn America” sermon, but the primary influence was Obama’s mother for she kept alive the legacy of Barack's radicalism.

What will a second Obama administration bring? D’Souza is not very hopeful for he fears that Obama will continue to downgrade America’s role in the world and reject the exceptionalism of America. For Obama, America's place in the world needs to be reduced to make up for its many sins.  The most controversial aspect of D’Souza's film is Obama's view on debt as D’Souza sees Obama's strategy of piling up debt as a deliberate move to reduce America’s economic place within the World.

I have to admit, the idea of an American President purposely running up debt to reduce America's role in the economic sphere is rather a troubling thought and one that I suspect most Americas would have a hard time getting their hands around. D’Souza makes a good case for this theory, but it could be simply a case that Obama is ignorant on economics, a point that Wall Street Journal writer Bret Stephens made a year ago. I don’t buy that Obama is bankrupting the nation as part of some plot to humble America, but that his spending plan is simply Keynesian on steroids and Obama is not the brightest bulb when it comes to economic policy. Obama does have a goal and that is to transform the American economy into a European democratic socialist state and his budget is designed to do that. He is blind to the reality of his economic plan and how it is leading us off a cliff but he truly believes this is the path.

D’Souza's thesis on Obama's world view is more persuasive as he noted that among his professors includes the anti-Western Edward Said, whose view of Israel may be impacting Obama’s view on Israel. This may explains his view on the Middle East, his unwiliness to support the Iranian Green Revolution in 2009, his tolerance of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and desertion of Hosni Mubarak, plus his taking Palestine's side in Palestinian-Israel clashes. Beyond Middle East, his dissing of Great Britain including returning the Churchill bust to the British and taking Argentina's side in the Falkland Island crisis shows Obama's willingness to dispense with solid alliances to find favor with third world pariahs. One gets the impression that he is more comfortable with Venezula strongman Chavez than British President David Cameron.

Obama's foreign policy is a multilateral mishmash in which the United States surrenders its authority to the UN and other independent agencies. His famous leading from behind in Libya, in which Obama bypassed Congress while going to the UN, is but one example of this. The most dangerous aspect of Obama’s foreign policy is that it doesn’t pay to be an Ally of America as the Brits are finding out and Mubarak already has.

The movie 2016 is an extension of D’Souza's book, The Roots of Obama’s Rage, which explores similar themes. What is good about this film is the quality and the nature of D’Souza's own easy going personality. He interviews various lefties and simply allows them to speak their own theories while at times asking them to expound upon their theory. He doesn’t play gotcha type of journalism for his goal was to allow them to tell their story. His words are balanced by Obama’s own words from his book Dreams From My Father; thus we see side by side two views of America.

D’Souza noted that our Founding Fathers were the original anti-colonialists, but as D’Souza relays, their theories were about liberating the individual, whereas the 20th century anti-colonists were leftist and anti-West. Our Founding Fathers may have broken free from Great Britain, but they did not reject Western culture. This contrast makes for a good documentary and gives the audience a compass to judge Obama as well as D’Souza. The most damning aspect of Obama's worldview comes from D’Souza's interview with George Obama, one of Barack's half brothers in Kenya. George appeared nonplussed and not really caring if his more famous brother helps him or acts as his brother's keeper, but his point on Kenya's failure is on target. George Obama notes how Kenya was far ahead of South Korea when it became independent, but now is far behind and he adds that this is not the fault of the West that Kenya is poor but Kenya itself. This is the ultimate slam for as one Obama tries to live out his father's dream, another Obama rejects it in its totality.

It is nice to see conservatives in Hollywood produce a political movie or documentary that matches or surpasses those of the left that regularly wins awards. I won’t hold my breath that this will win an Academy, but part of its charm is it brevity for it is only 90 minute long and moves at a good pace. The audience is transformed to the screen for D’Souza proves to be a good teacher on not just Obama but the leftist ideology that drives him along with his various influences beginning with an absentee father and a mother who kept alive a mythology of a father’s dream.


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