2016: The Wisdom and Warning of Dinesh D’Souza

For a number of years I have considered Indian-born conservative thinker Dinesh D’Souza one of the brightest lights on the American scene.

I would call him the Francis Schaeffer of the current political debate.

His books have blessed me greatly. What’s So Great About America? is a tremendous apologetic about the biblical principles of liberty that made the United States the most free and prosperous nation in history. What’s So Great About Christianity? explains how the Christian faith reigns supreme in the development of civilization and has no equal among the world’s religions.

My dad really liked Life After Death: The Evidence in which D’Souza rebuts the atheist dogma that we die like dogs with no hope of an afterlife. It’s a great pre-evangelism tool for thinking people who are hoping there is a heaven.

Dinesh D’Souza’s latest triumph is the movie documentary 2016 where he searches Barack Obama’s inner compass and what kind of America he will give us by 2016 if he is re-elected.

Is Obama a liberal, a socialist, a communist, or a progressive?

None of the above.

Dinesh gives us another answer, and I believe he could be right.

I took my wife Shirley to an evening showing of 2016 on a beautiful Northwest night when most people would be expected to stay outside and enjoy the gorgeous sunshine. We traveled to a nearby town that is not known for being conservative in a state (WA) which is clearly labeled blue.

On the way, Shirley said that we would probably be the only people in the theater.

She was wrong. By the time 2016 began at 7:15pm. the theater was filled with people our age. I wish there had been more young people–but I think they were watching The Expendables 2 on a neighboring screen. Unfortunately it is the older generations who currently watch the news and are deeply concerned about the future.

The film is a documentary where Dinesh details his interest in what might have shaped Barack Obama’s view of the world. D’Souza traveled to Hawaii and analyzed Obama’s birth roots. He flew to Jakarta, Indonesia where Barry Sotero spent his grade-school years, and where his sister Maya was born.

Interestingly, Dinesh could relate to Barry Sotero’s upbringing and many other aspects of his life. He he himself was raised in India, also a developing nation. He and Barack Obama were born the same year (1961). They graduated from college the same year (1983) and they got married the same year (1992). Both came to the American mainland and launched their successful careers.

Back to the documentary, D’Souza then traveled to Hawaii and delineated the “founding fathers” that shaped teenage Barry Sotero’s life. They were not the same group of people that we consider the founding fathers of America.

Then Dinesh trekked back to the mainland US where Barry Sotero went to Occidental College (1979-1981), Columbia University (1983), and Harvard Law School (1988-91). He interviewed classmates and professors who shaped Barack’s Obama’s young adult thinking. These interviews were enlightening because the president has refused to release his college records and papers to the public–so we are left to speculate on the evolution of his life philosophy.

A central theme of the movie is the role of Barack Obama Sr. played in the life of our current president. Young Barack never knew his dad as a child–meeting him only once in Hawaii when he was eleven years old. During his college years, Obama had a deep desire to go to his father’s homeland of Kenya and find out what made his dad tick. He arrived there in 1987 just before he began Harvard Law School.

The “Barack Obama Time-line” describes the search for his roots this way:

“He arrives there because he knows very little of his father. He wants to know who his father was, so he can understand his own identity. In Alego, Barack Obama meets his late father’s family for the first time. He meets his grandmother and half siblings, cousins, nieces and nephews. The trip to Kenya helps Barack Obama realize the struggles that his father went through. It gives Barack a sense that the work he is doing is directly connected to his Kenyan family and their struggles. Barack Obama says: ‘[the visit] helped unify my outward self with my inward self in an important way.'”

The impact of the Kenya trip is described in great detail in Obama’s biography Dreams From My Father (whose words are heard throughout 2016 in Barack Obama’s own voice recording giving you the impression that he himself is narrating the D’ Souza documentary). Amazingly, the trip to Kenya takes up one third of the autobiography.

D’Souza simulates in the movie (with Obama’s own words telling the story in the background) how he knelt at his father’s grave in 1987 and experienced an epiphany of his identity and calling. For the remainder of his life, he would commit to live out the “dreams from his father” which had ended in a tragic car accident in 1982.

By this time, the thoughtful and analytical D’Souza has laid out a very compelling case as to what motivates Barack Obama that he gleaned from his father.

It is this: Barack Obama is an anti-colonialist, like his father, who believes that America is the last remaining colonial power in the world. His job, his destiny, is to see America brought down to size.

This revelation led to much discussion between Shirley and I after the movie. We talked about how the colonial period between the 16th and 20th centuries saw many European Powers sail the world–nations like Spain, Portugal, France, Holland, England and others–to expand and export their civilization. As is well documented in history, the colonial period produced many good results, but also some negatives ones:

  • The good list includes the coming of the Christian faith to many cultures living in abject poverty and pagan darkness–elevating people through industrialization, modernization, free enterprise, the development of the middle class, and growing prosperity. If you look around the world today, the colonial period really brought Africa, the Americas, the Pacific islands and Asia into the blessings of Christian civilization.
  • The bad list includes the aspects of colonialization that departed from the Christian worldview and exploited natural resources for the mother countries, suppressed and even enslaved peoples, unnecessarily destroyed aspects of local cultures, and in a phrase “did not practice the Golden Rule.”

The central insight of the film is that Barack Obama Sr. was a rabid anti-colonialist who participated in the Mau Mau Uprising of 1952-60 which led to Kenyan independence from Great Britain. His later views morphed into socialism-communism, but at the heart of his passion was a hatred for the Western colonial powers.

D’Souza believes that senior’s anti-colonialism made a profound impact on junior.

Barack Hussein Obama says the same in Dreams From My Father.

While Dinesh D’Souza was visiting Kenyan, he met with Barack Obama’s half brother George who famously lives in a shanty on the outskirts of Nairobi. This interview was the highlight of the film for me.

I’d always wondered why Barack Obama, who regularly talks about the importance of “being our brother’s keeper,” has done nothing to help his poor brother. Barack and Michelle Obama are now multi-millionaires (primarily due to book royalties), and could certainly write a check for $10,000 or $100,000 to help brother George escape the clutches of poverty. But they never have.

Now I know why. It was a great insight of the movie.

D’Souza interviews George on a park bench. He asks him whether he’s bitter that his wealthy and successful brother hasn’t helped him in life. George displays no ill will toward his older brother and says nothing offensive. In fact, he acknowledges that Brother Barack “is helping him by trying to help the whole world.”

Then D’Souza asks about George’s worldview, especially on the subject of colonialism. George responds that pushing the English out of Kenya actually hurt the country. He says that Kenya is poor today because the English didn’t stay long enough to elevate them out of poverty. He mentions South Africa as a nation where the Western powers stayed longer, and because of that, South Africa is much wealthier and more prosperous than Kenya is today.

D’Souza seems a bit intrigued that George is more positive toward colonialism when it is very apparent that his father and brother are not. Dinesh concludes that maybe this is the reason that Barack and George have no relationship and that the Obamas haven’t helped him.

George doesn’t share their worldview.

Having come to the conclusion that Barack Obama’s worldview is inherited from his father, and that he is anti-colonial when he looks at history and politics, D’Souza then examines the policies that Obama has pursued in his first presidential term. One is disdain for the rich and the course of exploding public debt. D’Souza surmises this is a deliberate strategy by the Obama administration to bring down the economic political colonialism of America to be more in line with other nations.

Same is true on the defense front. Obama has spent his first four years apologizing for America and shrinking our international influence and power. Again, he appears to have an anti-colonial agenda: America is the only remaining superpower (colonizer), and must be brought down to size.

The movie concludes with D’Souza imagining by 2016 what America might look like if Obama is allowed to continue his anti-colonial policies. The picture is not pretty.

At the end of the movie, the audience seemed gripped with realization of what really motivates Barack Obama. I have heard that in some theaters people cheered. In ours, everyone quietly filed out in deep contemplation and hushed conversations.

On our drive home, my normally placid wife said something like this: “Barack Obama is anti-American. He does not believe in this country. He is not one of us. He really wants to change America into a humbled colonial power.”

Reluctantly, I have to agree. I believe Dinesh D’Souza has given us the best glimpse so far into Barack Obama’s soul. D’Souza’s research is impeccable, thoughtful, non-reactionary and well supported by the words and actions of Barack Obama’s life.

No wonder 2016 stunned Hollywood in making nine million dollars on its opening weekend in one thousand theaters. This coming weekend, it is expanding into 2000 theaters across the country.

We have just received wisdom and warning from a brilliant Indian thinker.

What will the American people do with that knowledge?




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