Last night I went to see 2016: Obama’s America, the movie based on Dinesh D’Souza’s books:Roots of Obama’s Rage. I went into knowing what to expect and had read a good amount of Mr. D’Souza’s writings prior to seeing the film. If you have not read anything by him, I would suggest the Forbes article from 2010 as a jumping off or starting point. I found D’Souza’s writings compelling and arguments well laid out. The movie brings those arguments to life and puts them in a very digestible format.
Having seen it myself, I now can see why the film is doing well even after its initial showings in Houston. In fact, very well for a documentary style film. The audience that watched with me last night was interesting. The theater was more than two-thirds full for one thing. For another, it was very likely I was one of the youngest people in there and a lady never tells her age, but I am somewhere over 40. What was also interesting was the hearty applause from the crowd at the close of the film. One woman even stood up and addressed the audience after the applause ended, asking for anyone interested in helping with a voter registration drive to see her by the doorway.
From the film’s website, here is the “about” section which is an apt teaser as to what is in the film for those unfamiliar with D’Souza’s writing:
2016 Obama’s America takes audiences on a gripping visual journey into the heart of the world’s most powerful office to reveal the struggle of whether one man’s past will redefine America over the next four years. The film examines the question, “If Obama wins a second term, where will we be in 2016?”
Across the globe and in America, people in 2008 hungered for a leader who would unite and lift us from economic turmoil and war. True to America’s ideals, they invested their hope in a new kind of president, Barack Obama. What they didn’t know is that Obama is a man with a past, and in powerful ways that past defines him–who he is, how he thinks, and where he intends to take America and the world.
Immersed in exotic locales across four continents, best selling author Dinesh D’Souza races against time to find answers to Obama’s past and reveal where America will be in 2016. During this journey he discovers how Hope and Change became radically misunderstood, and identifies new flashpoints for hot wars in mankind’s greatest struggle. The journey moves quickly over the arc of the old colonial empires, into America’s empire of liberty, and we see the unfolding realignment of nations and the shape of the global future.
Emotionally engaging, 2016 Obama’s America will make you confounded and cheer as you discover the mysteries and answers to your greatest aspirations and worst fears.
Love him or hate him, you don’t know him.
Here is one of the trailers:
Warning, some Spoilers ahead.
I said earlier that the movie takes D’Souza’s theories and puts them in a digestable format. To expand on that, I would say the use of film was essential in laying out the roadmap of the roads Obama traveled to become to be who he is and showing the bridge on that map to the roads and actions he now takes as President. The anticolonial framework of the father is applied to the son. Once that is in place, the decisions of Obama as President fit in quite effortlessly. If I had to pick a quote from the film to sum that roadmap up, it would be this one:
“Obama has a dream, a dream from his father – that the sins of colonialism be set right, and America be downsized. America has a dream, from our founding fathers. That together we must perfect liberty, and that America must grow so that liberty grows. Which dream will we carry into 2016?”
For me, using Obama’s own voice from the audio version of Obama’s book, “Dreams From My Father”, added to the effectiveness of the key points D’Souza lays out about Obama’s past. By the end, the sound of Obama’s voice as he reads his own book passages really starts to grate on you. I think that grating happens because the audience is hearing Obama’s confessions of who he really is in his own words and voice and that these confessions have been out for a long time — and ignored.
The movie wasn’t overly dramatic but it sends home the anticolonial theme quite effectively and more than adequately explains Obama’s aversion to American Exceptionalism. There is a scene in the film where D’Souza has tracked down close friends of Obama Senior. One such interview is with Philip Ochieng. In the film, Ochieng says that he sees the dreams of Obama Sr. alive and well in the actions of Obama Jr.; that they are one in the same. Ochieng made some noise about D’Souza’s fundraising for George Obama with an article in 2008. The 2008 piece is rather hostile, but the interview in the film shows Ochieng as a bit guarded but very cooperative — even prideful of the the fact he sees President Obama fulfilling the dreams of Obama Senior. The final paragraph of that 2008 article is extremely telling:
“That is one answer to those who seek to ruin Obama’s chances by cooking up stories that he is cruel to his African family. My advice to Americans is: Take Barack to the Oval Office because he represents genuine change for America’s psychology.”
For me, I wish D’Souza had expanded a bit more on the plight of Israel with Obama as President of the United States. The movie touches on it but doesn’t delve too much into it. Obama’s foreign policy seems incoherent until you put the pieces together and recognize that Obama views Israel through Palestinian and anticolonial glasses. For Obama, Israel has to go. Obama actions: the 1967 lines, the Cairo speech, the funding of Gaza and the supporting of uprisings in one Middle Eastern nation versus another. These actions have one purpose – to drive war to Israel.
Near the end of the movie, the “Founding Fathers” of Barack Obama’s life are laid out in a sort of summary of who was an influence on Obama. The movie lays out each of these ‘Founding Fathers’ as:
Frank Marshall Davis – Communist
Bill Ayers – Domestic Terrorist
Edward Said – Anti-Zionist
Nice list of male role models there…yikes.
The film is very effectively in helping to understand Obama’s world view, which in turn explains his actions as President. He’s been raised by a mother who herself came from a family that looked favorably on Communism and an absentee father who ground an axe against colonialism his entire life. Add living outside the US during his formative years and an early mentor like Frank Marshall Davis and there is no denying Obama, or anyone raised as he was for that matter, would emerge with a healthy disdain for a capitalism based nation like the United States.
Taking his past into account, Obama’s worldview then can be boiled down into two groups: the oppressors and the oppressed. The part that turns your stomach then is the realization that ‘Hope and Change’ of 2008 wasn’t meant as a slogan for the American people. It was a slogan for who Obama deemed as the oppressed people outside America.
Update: Linked by Doug Ross – THANK YOU!
More Updates: New reviews to cheer up the commentors stuck on 2-4 years old articles & arguments. I’m interested by how a coherent, well laid out and calm psychology-driven timeline style idea like D’Souza’s as ticked off so many people. Perhaps he should have called him a secret Muslim infiltrator with Marxist Socialist dreams and saved the time and energy.