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Dinesh D’Souza’s film 2016: Obama’s America came to my hometown of Richmond, VA this past weekend, and I got the chance to see it opening night. The theater was mostly full (despite a general lack of information about the film from the Richmond theaters themselves), reflecting the anticipation and momentum it has been generating. Earlier in the week, it was responsible for a full 35% of Fandango.com’s total ticket sales nationally.
After viewing the film, I know why.
D’Souza has crafted an entertaining and persuasive documentary, explaining the thinking of our forty-fourth president and why he hides his true beliefs and ultimate intentions for America. D’Souza logically ties together the major people and events that shaped President Obama’s life and worldview, often using Obama’s own words and voice (taken from Obama’s book Dreams from My Father, which he narrated himself) to tell the story. D’Souza’s conclusion is that President Obama adopted his father’s anti-colonialist views and is now governing the United States of America from the perspective that we are an oppressor nation and need to be downsized in order to level the playing field with the oppressed nations.
As an immigrant from India, D’Souza is familiar with anti-colonialist thinking and considers himself more able than the average American to understand how Obama’s worldview would affect his actions. D’Souza believes that viewing Obama as a strict anti-colonialist is the only way to explain many of our president’s confounding actions, such as returning the gift of a bust of Winston Churchill back to the British, his reduction in America’s nuclear arsenal, his apparent sympathy toward radical Muslims and antipathy toward our traditional allies (like Great Britain and Israel), and cutting our own domestic oil drilling while using taxpayer money to fund Brazilian drilling.
Toward the end of the film, D’Souza shares what he believes Obama will do in his second term–should he win one–and how America will look in 2016 as a result. Without resorting to over-the-top fear-mongering, D’Souza paints a frightening picture of a weakened U.S. military, a stronger Islamic influence in the world, and a debt crisis that could collapse the U.S. economy. Obama is “remaking America” (Obama’s own words) into something most Americans won’t recognize and certainly wouldn’t want.
The film makes its points effectively, using powerful narration, symbolism, and even some humor to keep its audience attentive. My only criticism might be that at an hour and twenty-nine minutes the film seemed too short–I left wanting more. But perhaps adding time would have disrupted the quick pace that made the film so easily watchable and even enjoyable, though scary at the end.
All voters with any degree of objectivity should see this film and judge the conclusions it presents based on their merits. I suspect many would learn more about their own president in those short eight-nine minutes than they have over the past four years since they first heard of Obama. And what they learn may shock them.
I fear, though, that those who don’t need to see this film are the only ones who will. As I was standing in line outside the theater, a friend of mine glanced around and said, “I think this is the choir.”
The film ends by telling viewers that the future isn’t in Obama’s hands–it’s in ours. So, it’s up to us to inform the non-choir members about this film, dragging them to it with us if necessary, and then getting them out to vote, if we don’t want to see Obama’s dream (nightmare) for America become a reality.