The marketing materials for the upcoming film 2016: Obama's America claim that it "takes audiences on a gripping visual journey into the heart of the world's most powerful office to reveal the struggle of whether one man's past will redefine America over the next four years." If the movie is anything like its source material, we can expect it will be a mostly fraudulent journey.
The movie is based on Dinesh D'Souza's book The Roots Of Obama's Rage, which received high praise from people like Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh, neither of whom have shown any qualms about promoting outright lies, distortions, and outlandish claims in the past.
The New York Times reports that the film is partially financed by billionaire investor Joe Ricketts, who previously considered financing a multimillion dollar political ad campaign linking the racially charged rhetoric of Rev. Jeremiah Wright to President Obama.
The central thesis of the book is that Obama has some sort of anti-colonial world view, handed down to him by his ancestors, that acts as the motivation behind his actions and policies as president. It is just another form of birtherism, albeit a more highbrow variety of the ongoing conservative conspiracy theory. Appearing on Beck's Fox show, D'Souza explained:
Obama is not anti-American in that he wishes ill on America. He wants what's best for America. He thinks it's really bad for us to be a colonial power. And therefore, in his view, he is doing right for America by pulling us out, by knocking us off our pedestal, by in a sense taking us from being the world's arrogant superpower. He wants us to share the wealth. He thinks he's gonna get a better America. The problem is, he's stuck in this theory, he's frozen in this time machine. In a sense, he's a captive of the ideology of a Luo tribesman from the 1950s. It's an incredible idea.
D'Souza boosts this ludicrous premise (Obama ran for the presidency because he hates colonialism ... just like America's founders!) using several claims that are simply not rooted in reality. A few examples:
- D'Souza claims that TARP and the federal bailout were programs that "Obama launched." Both programs began under the Bush administration.
- D'Souza claims Obama went by the name Barack to adopt his father's "African identity," but Obama has explicitly said his name change "was not some assertion of my African roots."
- D'Souza insists that references in Obama speeches to a "nuclear-free world" are evidence of "anti-colonialism," but Ronald Reagan made multiple references to the same concept.
- D'Souza claimed that Obama supported the release of the Lockerbie bomber because he sometimes "supports the release of terrorists who claim to be fighting wars of liberation against American aggression." But the Obama administration formally opposed the release in an official letter from the State Department.
- D'Souza claimed that Obama referred to BP as "British Petroleum" in a May 2010 speech. He never did.
And D'Souza just goes on and on, inventing incidents that never happened, making historical claims that don't match up to the facts, shoehorning these made-up stories into a false narrative of racial resentment.
It doesn't appear that D'Souza has corrected or amended his flawed premise. 2016: Obama's America is just repeating the same falsehoods with moving pictures.
- Dinesh D'Souza