2016: Obama's Colonial America
2016: Obama's Colonial America
I went and watched 2016 to see what all the hype was about. I burst out laughing at several points during the movie because some of the things he says or transitions he makes are so ludicrous. It's full of standard manipulative associations between unrelated things, often without evidence, intended to make you FEEL like what he is saying is true. If you watch it with eyes and ears that want to believe it, it will be AMAZING to you and you'll most likely believe every word of it. However, if you watch it with even slightly skeptical eyes and ears, you'll notice the deceptive transitions and deceptive connections. He also counts on the audience not knowing the facts about some obscure things.
Overall, D'Souza's thesis is that Barack Obama Jr is anti-colonialist because he has adopted his father's beliefs. The brilliance of this movie/book is that he manages to convince his audience that being anti-colonialist is a bad thing even though being anti-colonial is how America was founded. He attempts to make the argument like this:
Obama's dad was anti-colonial. Obama's dad hated Britain. Britain is a symbol of colonialism. Britain is a powerful nation. America is also a powerful nation. Obama Jr hates Britain, is anti-colonial and therefore hates America too. That's a gross simplification of what D'Souza attempts to do, but it does capture the high points of how he slides his goal posts just slightly with every scene.
Now, this is just my opinion, but I think EVERY American should be anti-colonial. We should support freedom of nations all over the world, so I really think it's amazing that so many conservatives have latched onto this idea that being anti-colonial is somehow a bad thing.
Ok, enough generalities, let's get to some details...
THE funniest moment in the movie is when D'Souza is trying to make the argument that when Obama was living in Indonesia as a child, his step-father was very "pro-Western" but his mom didn't want him to have a positive view of America (D'Souza randomly switches between trying to incriminate his Father and then his Mother and then back whenever it feels like it will help his story more).
So, to protect Obama Jr from learning "pro-Western" ideals, she ships him back to his American grandparents in America. /facepalm Here's the part where I laughed out loud in the theatre. It cuts to D'Souza standing on the current campus of the prep school that Obama Jr attended in Hawaii. He implies that the school today is a normal school, teaching freedom and democracy (really he says they are teaching colonialism, but ok) and says back when Obama was there the ideology taught at the school was, and I'm not kidding, "PROBABLY the opposite." Then cue the tense music and cut away. LOL Probably the opposite? Sure, this school teaches freedom and democracy now... but then? PROBABLY the opposite. He doesn't provide any evidence for this assertion, he just makes it and moves on.
Now, D'Souza tries to cover the stupidity and lack of evidence of this argument by leading into this clip with a segment about how there are some people in Hawaii who are still upset about the US occupying and annexing Hawaii. He doesn't make any connection between the school and the native Hawaiians who are unhappy at the US (or were unhappy, etc). He doesn't try to provide any evidence that this school taught "oppression studies" back then. He just places the idea of disgruntled Hawaiians on the table and then silently transitions to the clip below and makes the wild assertion that Punahou school taught Obama to be anti-colonial and hate America. Sure, Punahou doesn't do that now, but back then? PROBABLY THE OPPOSITE. Yes, he received an education in "oppression studies."
Most people when they watch this movie will not remember that he said probably, which he did so that he can't be accused of strictly lying in this statement. Most people will watch the previous few minutes of the movie where they talk to a guy who talks about the resentment that native Hawaiians had for the US back then (and some still today). But none of those minutes talk about that school or talk about any kind of evidence that Obama got an American-hating education or that prep school did anything but teach normal classes. All most people will remember is "Hawaiians were really pissed at America" ... "Obama's school taught Obama to hate America."
The use of these kinds of non-existent connections combined with musical cues to make you uneasy is standard propaganda technique. He places two things next to one another on a table, tells you there is a connection between them without any evidence, and then for the rest of the movie pretends as if he has proven that beyond a shadow of a doubt.
Aside from all of this, D'Souza doesn't tell you that in the book, Dreams from my Father, Obama talks about how strict his mother was with him about getting a US education while they were living in Indonesia. She'd wake him up several hours early to cover lessons from a US correspondence course. D'Souza won't tell you that Obama details his mother's decision to send him home to the US was because she knew that a US education was vital to success and that a child growing up in the US had better opportunities for the future than a kid growing up in Indonesia. Sounds like she really hates the US, huh?
The insinuations and manipulative connections aren't the end though and he actually does lie in the movie. He attempts to support his failed thesis that Obama is un-American, wait, I mean anti-colonialist... (seriously, this one REALLY bugs me) by attempting to show that Obama has turned his back on Britain and doesn't support our ally.
He puts forth a list of actions by Obama which show his supposed anti-Americanism and I'll cover those in my next post, but for now I want to leave you with one last bit of the scary propaganda machine.
The climax of the movie is something spectacular. If you received all of the information from the movie without the scary music, misleading cuts, emotional cues and then you watched the end of this movie, you'd probably bust out laughing because it is so ridiculous. D'Souza starts talking about what would happen if Obama is re-elected and cue the big, scary, dark animation of thorns and DARKNESS creeping across the world until you have.... *scary music* the UNITED STATES OF ISLAM.
He also talks about how if Obama is re-elected that the national debt is going to reach over 20 trillion dollars by 2020! What he doesn't talk about is that even if the Paul Ryan budget had been enacted in 2010 we STILL would reach 20 trillion dollars in debt because Paul Ryan's plan doesn't even balance the budget until almost 2040. I'll write more about that in a future post.