The movie 2016: Obama’s America (prod. and dir. Dinesh D’Souza; Rocky Mountain Pictures, 2012) showed surprising box-office strength last weekend. Box Office Mojolists it as the seventh best money earner. Entertainment Weeklysays it is already the highest-earning political documentary of all time. (Ben Stein’s Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, 2008, held that record until last weekend.) What makes the 2016 movie so popular? Probably because it sets up a contrast between two young men, each with a background in a former British colony. So they have the same kind of heritage. And the former colonies have the same grinding poverty that followed independence. But the two men learned diametrically opposite lessons. One of those two men is Dinesh D’Souza, producer and director of the 2016 movie. The other is our putative President, Barack Hussein Obama.
The 2016 movie: why D’Souza made it
Dinesh D’Souza tells his viewers early why he would make anything like the 2016 movie. He has more than a heritage of post-colonial India. He lived there as a boy. He knows first-hand the grinding poverty that India has known since Louis, First Earl Mountbatten of Burma, handed over the keys to Jawaharlal Nehru. And he knows why India is in such a state. In a word: socialism.
Dinesh D’Souza came to the United States and fell in love. In the United States, a young man like him could be whatever he wanted to be.
He found out soon enough that too many young people in America don’t appreciate their own country. Hence his founding of The Dartmouth Review at Dartmouth College. And of course he joined the Ronald Reagan administration. Those men shared his values, and they all knew it.
Today, no liberal can read Dinesh D’Souza without gnashing his teeth. He doesn’t care. He cheerfully goes from one project to another. He also gives an example of conservatives being happier than liberals.
Barack Obama, subject of the 2016 movie
Barack H. Obama. Photo: Pete Souza, January 13, 2009
The real subject of the 2016 movie is not really how America will look in 2016. D’Souza points to the India he left behind, the Kenya of today, and the America of James Earl Carter, Jr. to show that. The real subject is Barack Obama himself.
The 2016 movie accepts Obama’s word that he was born in Hawaii. It also takes modern political scientists at their word when they define a natural born citizen as one born in-country, regardless of parentage. These are the only flaws of the 2016 movie.
But in portraying Obama and his heritage, the 2016 movie shows exactly why the Framers did not want a person with any alienage whatsoever to be President. For Barack Obama is as alien as D’Souza is, in spirit. D’Souza tracks Obama’s associations with Frank Marshall Davis, William Ayers, and other such rogues. (He says nothing about whether Obama is Davis’ bastard son, as some now claim.) But the 2016 movie shows, brilliantly, that Obama’s absentee father, Barack H. Obama Senior, is his inspiration. From him Obama learned that Europeans are bad, and “natives” are good. From him Obama took the lesson that he is a “native.” An African “native,” not an American.
The reified father
Actually, as you watch the 2016 movie, you soon learn that this is not correct. Barack Obama never knew his father. He read what his father wrote. He heard what others said about him. From this indirect evidence, Obama built an image of his father to look up to.
Debate coaches have a word for this. Barack Obama reified his father. To reify a thing is to make it concrete, when it is only abstract. All that Obama had, were abstract testimonies about (and allegedly from) his father. Obama made them real in his own mind. So he willfully ignores the lingering poverty of independent Kenya. (Kenya is his heritage, whether it is his birthplace or not.) He regards it as an ideal. But he has never once lived it, as Dinesh D’Souza did. So how can he know? It doesn’t matter to him. To him, it’s real. He reified more than a father. He reified a country, a heritage, and, to him, an ideal.
The service of an ideal
And to serve that ideal, Barack Obama uses his office to tear down the United States and build up non-European cultures. The 2016 movie gives many examples. He returned the bust of Winston Churchill. He shuts down new permits for oil drilling, but does favors for the Brazilian oil company. He openly scorns Israel, but bows to Arab leaders. And he would like to dismantle every nuclear warhead that the United States now has, while letting other countries keep theirs. That includes Russia. And yes, the 2016 movie includes the “Open Mike” footage.
This is my last election. After my election, I’ll have much more flexibility.
Dinesh D’Souza serves a different ideal: the American ideal. That’s why he made the 2016 movie.
D’Souza hopes to make more money with the 2016 movie than Michael Moore did with Fahrenheit 911. And he might be on track. The Chicago Tribunesays the 2016 movie will expand to 1800 theaters this weekend. If it keeps earning what it does now (the most per screen of any other movie that played last weekend), nothing will stop it.