By Brailey Lisath, Staff Writer
September 19, 2012
Audiences viewed “2016: Obama’s America” for the first time in mid-July; however, only now is it appearing in theaters nation-wide, dominating box offices, and raising debates on its credibility. Such a delay could seem irrelevant on the surface, but 15 minutes into the documentary, it is clear to see that the timing was perfectly planned; aiding the goal to hinder the Obama 2012 campaign.
Dinesh D’Souza, a best-selling political author, takes his theories to the big screen by adapting his book, “The Roots of Obama’s Rage.” His focus is on the views of Barack Obama Sr., and how those views transcend into the president’s political platform. Using excerpts from Obama’s autobiography, “Dreams from My Father,” D’Souza spends 87 minutes attempting to use Obama’s words against him, declaring him as an anti-capitalist, and essentially anti-American leader. However, he falls short, leaving the audience with nothing better than an enticing cover photo in an outlandish tabloid.
D’Souza attempts to make the basis of this film seem like a theory developed from objective views. He begins by establishing himself as similar to Obama (foreign heritage, ivy league education) and as a prior supporter of his presidency. D’Souza even admits to the anti-capitalist, anti-white influences in his own background that derive from his grandfather. He wants to paint a portrait of himself as unaffected by these influences while simultaneously discussing the same traits in mentors from Obama’s life. One must ask, how have they transcended into Obama’s politics and not D’Souza’s? As a result, this point that D’Souza revisits throughout the movie is tainted from its first mention.
“I’m not trying to bash Obama in a crude way,” D’Souza claims in the fraction of an interview he positions towards the end of the film. No, his approach is certainly not crude—it is very well crafted to impact the Americans it is meant to impact. Though crude can’t describe his tactics, unprofessional can, and in D’Souza’s position, that is just as bad. In the interviews he conducts, he consistently fishes for answers that support his claims—answers that his subjects won’t give.
During an interview with the president’s half-brother, D’Souza pushes for an answer that supports Obama’s supposed non-family oriented behavior. He asks repeatedly if the president “takes care” of his family in Kenya, to which his half-brother replies that he does as much as he can. D’Souza then tries to twist this reply to his own understanding, with no grounds or evidence to do so.
Similarly, D’Souza interviews a professional psychologist in hopes of validating his major argument: the influence of Obama’s father in his worldviews. The called-on professional rather pokes holes in the theory, discussing a typical abandoned child’s need to rebel against his father’s views. It undermines the very core of D’Souza’s concept: that Obama is acting out of his father’s anti-colonial disposition—a man the president barely knew.
“2016: Obama’s America” is obviously meant to make its mark on the 2012 election. Luckily, the audiences it will appeal to either made up their minds about Obama long before its debut, or bluntly, have no abilities of distinguishing evidential claims from a man knowing how to make millions of dollars.