2016: Obama's America movie poster. One cultically creepy children's chorus.

As Dinesh D'Souza notes with copious help from an audio book by the subject of the movie he co-produced, Barrack Obama's relatively meteoric political success came in good part from not coming on like an angry black activist. And whatd'ya'know, where Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton failed at becoming the first U.S. president of their color, Obama succeeded. Then the angry talk started, huh?

But just as Obama took a level-headed rhetorical approach in '04 and '08 in his national ascent, D'Souza remains cool in his role as narrator-and parallel personality in 2016:Obama' s America. It may have been fun and equally apt for a more emotionally effusive conservative personality, such as Michael Savage, to be the voice of a documentary that seeks to vet Obama in a way the mainstream media refused to do while he was campaigning to become commander-in-chief. But D'Souza's tone acts as a strength in his portrayal of the man who has openly claimed to want to fundamentally change the nation over which he sought to reign, as former Obama chief-of-staff and current Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel once glibly-and forebodingly-put it.

While D'Souza takes a nearly stoic, sometimes sympathetic approach, it's his own life that acts as the doc's framing device. Born in India, he understood the unshackling of his homeland's colonial exploitation by the British not many years before his birth; D'Souza was afforded the opportunity to pursue an Ivy League education in the United States. Obama's father agitated for the liberation of his homeland of Kenya from the U.K.'s imperial sway. By circumstances both tragic and fortuitous, Obama would know the advantages of a high-class boarding school education and a collegiate history equal in prestige to D'Souza's. Regardless of his relatively charmed life, his dad's anti-colonial mindset seems to have influenced his over-arching philosophy, even so far as his presidency.

Or so D'Souza hypothesizes in 2016 and his previously published book, 2011's The Roots Of Obama's Rage, that first posited that template for Obama's policies and actions as the most powerful man on earth. He expanded upon his theory there in his book from earlier this year, Obama's America: Unmaking The American Dream to examine the furtherance of his initiatives should he be re-elected this November. Combined with many properly contextualized snippets from the audio book of Obama's first memoir, Dreams From My Father, D'Souza's case seems to explain a great deal of Obama's governance in the executive branch.

Much or all of what D'Souza shares will come as no surprise to regular listeners of right-leaning talk radio over past half-decade. Viewers who have examined Obama's own rhetoric and history without buying into the cult of personality that swept him into the Oval Office (and spawned songs that ranged from Stevie Wonder's idiotic one made solely from Obama's name in a "my dog has fleas" instrument-tuning style to at least one cultically creepy children's chorus, a bit of the latter of which is heard in 2016) should neither be taken aback at many of D'Souza's revelations. One could say they're allegations, but Obama's own words from Dreams well affirm them beyond doubt.

Though Obama has proven himself to be the first occupant of the White House to actively decry American exceptionalism, to be the most anti-Israel man in his position since Jimmy Carter (or, at least, what Carter has become), and sought to rule and legislate by executive fiat, regulate or outright nationalize free enterprise, purposefully ignore law he was elected to uphold (Defense of Marriage Act, among others) and, as he infamously said to Joe The Plumber that he wanted to, "share the wealth," D'Souza posits him as something of a pitiable figure. Sired by a man who was not only politically far left, but a verbally abusive alcoholic polygamist who ended up dying in a car accident, birthed by a radicalized vagabond mom who resented her second husband soon as he started to buy into the virtues of capitalism, the young Barrack was likely better off not to have been very close to his parents. That the grandfather he was shipped off to would set him up with mentor Frank Marshall Davis, who was so hardened a Communist that the F.B.I. would have suspected him were there ever a revolutionary uprising in the United States, it's as if he was thrown from the frying pan of anti-American dissent to the fire of anti-American dissent. Obama's half-bother, George, in a revelatory interview with D'Souza, shows a sibling not so stuck on anti-colonialist buck-passing as his famous relative, which has contributed to Barrack 's emotional distance from him as well. A one-on-one with a woman described as Obama's adoptive grandmother in Kenya goes well until others advise her to not speak with D'Souza, the bulk of which is caught on film.

But the tie to his negligent, angry father remained. As D'Souza points out, Obama wouldn't have entitled his first book Dreams FROM My Father without that remaining connection shaping his worldview. And it goes a long way toward explaining actions seemingly trivial as returning a bust of World War II-era British Prime Minister Winston Churchill to Old Blimey from its place on 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue to more substantive ones, such as the the lack of support show by his administration for an anti-Shariah regime change in Iran but much warmer feeling for forced removal of U.S. ally Hosni Mubarek for a government led by the jihadist Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. And it's not difficult to recognize the continuing ideological debt Obama owes to his dad, as well as those who D'Souza says comprise the heads of his Mount Rushmore. Those include Davis, one of his anti-Zionist college professors and the Marxist/black liberationist pastor of the United Church of Christ congregation the Obamas attended during their twenty years in Chicago, Jeremiah "God D**n America!" Wright. Seeing as how D'Souza is also president of a Roman Catholic college, it could have been enlightening were he to have elaborated more on his subject's spiritual upbringing and its influence on his current office.

D'Souza's not the only commentator to speculate on how much more dire things will become under four more years of Obama, and speculate he does toward the end of 2016. But it's tough to figure how some of life under Obama for the past three years and the next 5 all points to his anti-colonialist frame of reference. How does his position on abortion, so bellicose that it sounds as if he wouldn't mind were his daughters to forgo his grandchildren to Planned Parenthood's devices, figure into that thought template? Likewise for his hobnobbing with celebrities and the liberality with which he has spent public money to take himself and his family on especially extravagant getaways and play more golf-not really the sport of the proletariat-than most any president? And the mystery of how little he apparently attended his classes at Harvard and Columbia and how so many of his college and other documents are nowhere to be seen (and no, D'Souza's not a birther, noting that two Hawaiian newspapers reported Obama's arrival into the world). His curious triangulation between a professed-if heterodox (to put it mildly)-Christianity, admiration for Islam and an anti-freedom-of-religion legislative streak that must have endeared him to the A.C.L.U. and Richard Dawkins by now is enough grist for another documentary or book.

2016 may not answer every question worth asking about Obama. but D'Souza has made a movie, engaging as any Michael Moore has, worth seeing not only for those already sold on its protagonist's failings, but anyone honestly curious about the man who seeks another term by which to fundamentally change the nation over which he would...preside?

-Jamie Lee Rake

{module Possibly Related Articles - Also search our Legacy Site}