Then a friend told me she saw it and that it was a powerful piece of cinema. Since I value her opinion, I decided I had to go, but I expected that only a few people would want to see so ideologically slanted an effort.
Theater owners apparently came to the same conclusion, and hence the multiplex my wife and I attended was showing the film on just one screen. Thus, we arrived about 15 minutes early on the assumption there would be many seats to choose from. This turned out to be a mistake.
I cannot remember a movie theater that was more crowded. Eventually almost every seat was filled, including the ones up front. Then, after the film began, the mostly middle aged audience paid rapt attention. Nary a sound could be heard as this riveting testimonial to one man’s vision unfolded.
D’Souza, who is an immigrant from India, comes to the conclusion that Obama is motivated primarily by anti-colonialist sentiments. According to D’Souza, as the son of a father who was dedicated to ejecting the British colonialists from his Kenya homeland, Barack too is biased against first-world oppressors.
Dinesh then extrapolates from this insight to make sense of Obama’s attitude toward the United States’ place in the world. If our president identifies our country with the colonialists — as his father did — then he should perceive us as an overbearing country whose wings deserve to be clipped.
Assuming America is not an exceptional country, and Barack has pointedly denied that it is, it merits neither military nor economic supremacy. Its armies need to return home to be demobilized, while its wealth has to be scaled back and redistributed so as to curb its imperialist pretentions.
This seems to me to be an extreme hypothesis, but one for which D’Souza marshals a great deal of persuasive evidence. Indeed, much of it is so convincing that it took one’s breath away and made one fear for the safety of our nation — that is, should there be a second Obama term in office.
Although I still believe this anti-colonialist theory does not tell the whole story, I have now come to agree that it probably explains part of it. One reason I have changed my mind is that it echoes my relationship with my own father.
My father was a harsh man. He was physically powerful and occasionally abusive. Nevertheless I loved him dearly. His emotional honesty, plus the fact that I knew he loved me, combined to make me sympathetic regarding his many failures.
As a result, when he was in his deathbed, I visited him to wish him a tearful farewell. There he lay, his once formidable strength ebbing away, preparing to meet his end. We immediately clasped arms and I silently, with my eyes, vowed that I would finish the work he had not been able to complete.
I meant it back then — and I feel it to this day. It therefore made sense to me that Barack might harbor a similar attitude toward his absent, and also not very successful, father. Even though his dad was an imperfect human being — or maybe because of it — he would feel compelled to fulfill his mission.
Of course, Mitt Romney also seems intent on realizing his father’s agenda. Whatever he says about his motivation, a desire to reach an office his father could not appears to be one of his objectives. So does returning our nation’s grandeur.
Sadly, few liberals will have an opportunity to assess D’Souza’s theory for themselves. Having prejudged it, they will stay away in droves.
Melvyn L. Fein Ph.D. is a professor of Sociology at Kennesaw State University.