2016: Obama’s America Reviewed

The buzz is growing and growing for Dinesh D’Souza’s new movie, 2016: Obama’s America. Read more about the movie here. Go see it at one of these theaters here. The distribution is exploding week by week. Joleen and I are normally Friday night date people, and we more often than not just do dinner, but this week I went out on a limb and not only moved date night to Saturday, but added a political movie to the date night agenda – a bold move on my part (ask me some time about when I took her to see The Stoning of Soraya for a date night). Both of us not only thoroughly enjoyed the movie, but I am wondering if my wife might now be as concerned about an Obama re-election as I am … In fact, nearly any rational person who sees the movie will have to admit there are grave problems facing this country if Barack Obama is re-elected.

I will start the review with a caveat: I do not know if Barack Obama is a raging self-conscious ant-colonialist or not. Dinesh D’Souza authored the best-selling book, The Roots of Obama’s Rage, nearly two years ago. I read it cover to cover. I have discussed the book with Dinesh many times. I had him speak at a couple Lincoln Club lunches. He also spoke at a dinner event I did with the Acton Institute. The book did one thing I liked a lot: It gave a counter-narrative to the idea that Obama was a Muslim, or born outside of America, or even a closet European socialist (as Victor Davis Hansen has pointed out many times, Obama is very hostile towards the pre-1970 Europe – not fond of it). And in fairness to Dinesh, while the book may have been praised by some people whose opinion I don’t much care for, and criticized by some people who believed the book lacked enough evidence, I do not believe the critics of the book ever fully interacted with this basic fact: The vast, vast majority of the book and its various evidences were taken directly from the words of Barack Obama himself. It is odd to say, “How dare you claim Obama is living on the dreams of his father”, when this guy wrote a book called Dreams from my Father. Not just odd – dishonest. But here’s the thing: I do believe an equally valid narrative exists (perhaps one that coincides with Dinesh’s anti-colonial theory) about what makes Obama tick: He is a generic Ivy League radical. How’s that? And by the way, who’s to say what’s worse? For me, Ivy League radicalism and Kenyan anti-Americanism are barely distinguishable from one another (apart from the salaries of the people advocating them). Dinesh, through the book and now the movie, has done readers and viewers a tremendous service in this: He has not speculated on some cock-eyed crazy Obama-as-Muslim-from-another-country nonsense; he is a respected scholar and articulate thought leader who has essentially used a basic timeline of facts, juxtaposed with OBAMA’S OWN DIARY, to propose an explanation for what is driving Obama ideologically.

Now, let’s say Dinesh is wrong. Admittedly, much of Dinesh’s theory relies on a certain degree of psychological assumption (evidenced by Dinesh’s compelling interview of a psych prof from NYU in the movie). Maybe Obama is not affected by the legacy of his disaster of a human father as much as Dinesh says (or as much as Obama himself says, for that matter). Maybe he was affected, but has gotten over it. Maybe. I honestly don’t care. What this movie does, beyond any shadow of any doubt, is demonstrate the path Obama has this country on and the consequences of not removing him from office. The America we have in 2012 does not look like the America we will have in 2016 if Obama is re-elected – this much is undeniable. Viewers of the movie do not have to believe Obama is an anti-colonialist, and they do not have to believe that his past mentoring at the hands of Frank Marshall Davis or Jeremiah Wright is important. I happen to think it is very important (and even more important for the BLATANT cover-up job implemented by the media to protect their boy on his way to the White House). However, Obama’s own words, after being elected President – his own intentions – while running for a second term – are very important. Obama is a good enough politician that he does not explicitly speak often about his intentions for America’s role in the world in terms of foreign policy and military strength. God knows he has no intention of telling you how he can get us out of debt (no, an $80 billion tax increase on successful business-owners will not solve a $16 trillion national debt any time soon, and even non-Ivy Leaguers know that). His votes and policies have been consistent, though. Dinesh’s movie does a masterful job at showing viewers what they are really dealing with. Many politicians say one thing and do another. Obama has been guilty of that to some degree, in that he said he would cut the deficit in half, he said he would close Gitmo, and he said he would repudiate a politics that lacked civility. So, yes, he is a liar. But actually, Obama has mostly done what he said he would. He has pushed for the mother of all redistribution plans. He has moved the system one step closer to his dream of a single-payer health care plan. He has sided with Muslim radicals in Egypt over a secular ally of the United States. He has pushed for a perpetual weakening of the U.S. military and her nuclear deterrent threat. He has attacked business owners with reckless abandon, carrying on his verbalized belief that business owners are beneficiaries of luck and circumstance, not hard work and risk-taking. He is an ideological President. Dinesh’s movie does explore the causes of this, some of which viewers may not agree with (though they certainly will not be able to refute). At the end of the day, though, the causes of this man’s radicalism are secondary in importance to the reality of his radicalism.

Come November 2012, I pray enough Americans will see what he has done, what he is doing, and what he wants to do, that they will say: No more years. Then, 2016 may be a year we can be excited about. In the meantime, go see this movie, see it soon, and see it with undecided voters who live in Ohio, Florida, Virginia, Colorado, or Wisconsin. You will be glad you did.