COMMENTARY | “2016: Obama’s America” attempts to answer a burning question about the current president. Is he an evil genius out to destroy America as a super power? Or is he someone who, while driven by leftist ideology, has simply risen to his level of incompetence?
The movie falls squarely on the first interpretation of one of the most unlikely presidents in American history. More of that anon.
The documentary, produced by Dinesh D’Souza from his book “The Roots of Obama’s Rage” posits a theory about the mindset of President Obama. Because of his life experiences and the malign influence of a number of people, starting with his radical mother, Obama is a third world style anti colonialist, believing that America has had a damaging influence on the world, thwarting the aspirations of third world peoples, taking their resources, and enjoying a high standard of living at the expense of others.
D’Souza makes a solid case, albeit a controversial one, that the president holds these views. He has even offered evidence that he means to carry out policies based on these anti colonialist views. But his premise falls down just a little by neglecting restraints on his ability to carry out whatever plan he might have to take American down a peg.
D’Souza ignores the feedback mechanisms that the American political system has inherently developed to restrain the overweening ambitions of people like Barack Obama. Obama’s drive to make American a socialistic, relatively weak nation has been accompanied by a backlash and a push back. The rise of the tea party movement as a potent political force, the conservative political tsunami that swept so many liberal politicians out of office in 2010, and even the rise of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as the most powerful female politician on the planet suggests that there is a limit to what Obama can do to the country he was unwisely elected to govern.
Even if Obama were to achieve a second term, history suggests that presidential second terms tend to be unproductive at best, ridden with scandal and political acrimony at worse. Only President Reagan was able to produce anything of substance, a tax simplification bill, in his second term, even as his administration was hobble by Iran Contra.
In any case, as of this writing, Obama is likely to be denied a second term, if current polling is any indication. Still, “2016,” a movie that has become unexpectedly popular, is a useful visual document that serves as both a narrative and an indictment of one of the most destructive American presidents in history.