This past week, I finally went with my sister-in-law to see the much discussed documentary 2016: Obama’s America. Initially, the movie had a limited release, but due to excellent response the film's release was expanded to over 1,000 theatres last weekend. The documentary is based on the book by Dinesh D’Souza and attempts to identify the motives behind Obama’s actions as president. This review is not an attempt to verify all the information and history presented in the film, but rather to give the reader an inside look (at least from my perspective) at this explosive and controversial documentary.
The director’s primary explanation for why Obama governs as he does, is that Obama has a bias towards anti-colonialism. The following quote by Che Guevara, an Argentine Marxist Revolutionist, describes anti-colonialism this way:
“We must bear in mind that imperialism is a world system, the last stage of capitalism — and it must be defeated in a world confrontation. The strategic end of this struggle should be the destruction of imperialism. Our share, the responsibility of the exploited and underdeveloped of the world is to eliminate the foundations of imperialism: our oppressed nations, from where they extract capitals, raw materials, technicians and cheap labor, and to which they export new capitals — instruments of domination — arms and all kinds of articles; thus submerging us in an absolute dependance .... ”
Interpretation: Big countries took stuff from small countries (and got rich in the process) and
somebody should make them give it back.
So how would Obama have developed this mindset? The movie highlights a history of Obama’s interactions with known Communists, his late father’s avowed socialism, and his mother’s radicalism. During his early years, Obama surrounded himself with rather “unconventional” thinkers. (Frank Marshall Davis, Bill Ayers, Rev.Jeremiah Wright, to name a few.) In college, Obama gravitated towards liberal professors and causes. D'Souza follows these various associations, again, attempting to identify how these individuals could have influenced his political ideology.
Much of the movie’s focus was what I would call psychoanalysis on Obama by D’Souza, trying to determine his motives for his behavior. Even if the director’s analysis of why Obama does what he does is incorrect, the facts are still valid as to what he is doing. He has reduced our nuclear arsenal and indicated to Putin that he would be more flexible after the election to continue with further reductions. He has increased our debt at a frightening pace. He has done virtually nothing to stop Iran from getting a nuclear weapon and taken positions more favorable to Palestinian interests than Israel’s. He has blocked development of the Keystone Pipeline and off-shore drilling while approving drilling by Mexico in the same waters and funneling more money to Argentina to develop their own reserves.
For me, the most alarming element in the movie was warning about the U.S. debt. If your goal is redistribution of wealth, and not just between U.S. individuals but between rich and poor countries, how would you proceed since America still has tremendous resources? The answer: destroy the dollar. And this is exactly what has been happening. If you drive up the debt up to a point of inability to repay without resorting to printing new money, your currency becomes greatly devalued. The amount of additional currency printed by the Federal Reserve in the past four years has already contributed to the dollar’s decline. When you submit annual budgets with an excess of $1 trillion in deficits four years in a row, you are not serious about reducing the debt. Either Obama doesn’t see it as a threat, or he definitely sees it as a threat and is choosing to allow it to grow. Ultimately, the result is the same regardless of the intent. What matters is that we must stop the overspending now, not 30 years from now, or we will find ourselves in a different America than we know now.
The ultimate question D’Souza asks through this documentary is ”How in the world did we elect a man, 2 years out of the Senate, that we knew little to nothing about?” I have repeatedly asked myself this same question! D’Souza’s perspective is that because Americans wanted so desperately to move past our history of racism, there was an inherent desire for many around Obama to help him succeed. Many of those who voted for him had no idea who he was, what policies he believed in or where he had come from. But what better way to prove you aren’t racist than to vote for somebody of color?
The sub-title of the documentary states, “Love him, hate him, you don’t know him.”
But we are getting to know him. We have seen his lack of leadership during the past four years and the dangerous direction he is taking our country. And for the sake of our future, in the words of Clint Eastwood, “It’s time to let him go.”