BOOK REVIEW

Diminishing an Ideal

Diminishing an IdealTo be honest, I did not read Dinesh D’Souza’s earlier book The Roots of Obama’s Rage. I had caught snippets of D’Souza’s interviews in which he advanced his thesis about the anti-colonialist roots of Obama’s “rage.”

Maybe it’s because I work in academia where post-colonialism, a Marxist-inspired theory, has poisoned literary studies, and other departments.

Plus, I think it’s dangerous to delve into a man’s psyche. Obama’s words and actions reveal a deep resentment towards the United States and overweening estimation of his own abilities.

Fortunately, in Obama’s America, facts predominate, and they paint a frightening picture of what we can expect in an Obama second term. With ample evidence and a clear summary of the major initiatives, D’Souza gives us an excellent resource for countering the propaganda being spun by the White House and then delivered, with sugar on top, by the media and academia.

Here, the psychoanalyzing (and the therapeutic empathy for the young Obama abandoned by his father) is spare and comes towards the end of his book. Still, sometimes D’Souza displays a political naivety by taking Obama’s Dreams from My Father, straight, as a soul-revealing book, and not a politically motivated, probably ghost-written, tract. (The self-aggrandizement is very similar to that in Bill Ayers’ memoir Fugitive Days.)

Spreading the WealthD’Souza delves into Obama’s mentors and associates, one of those being the co-founder of the terrorist group, Weatherman, Bill Ayers, with whom he worked for several years on “education” issues. He accepts Ayers’ claim to have been simply protesting the Vietnam War. He quotes a typically overblown Ayers passage: “‘The world was on fire; masses of people throughout Africa and Asia and Latin America were standing up. . . . the worldwide anti-imperialist struggle had a counterpart inside the borders of the U.S.—the black liberation movement. . . . I threw my lot in with the rebels and resistors.’” D’Souza puts Ayers into the anti-colonialist category, as “fight[ing] the monster of U.S. imperialism,” even as he next quotes Ayers saying, “‘We set out to found an American Red Army.’” Alas, D’Souza suffers from a common academic affliction: timidity around the word communism. It’s about time we just called Bill Ayers a communist terrorist; the niceties about “colonialism” simply play into their hands.

But my beefs are minor. D’Souza provides interesting stories about gathering information on his travels to Africa and Indonesia, and quotes from neglected relatives to give a revealing character portrait of Obama. He then provides a great overview of the dizzying number of acts committed by this president that are unfaithful to his oath of office, like:

  • The incorporation of Alinsky strategies of deception and image.
  • The ability to play on white guilt (via the excellent analysis by Shelby Steele).
  • The “decolonization” (not nationalization) of private industries, wherein “the government doesn’t own the assets of the private sector, but it does essentially control them.”
  • Under the cover of environmentalism, the blocking and restricting of energy exploration in America, while bankrolling U.S. taxpayer drilling in Brazil, Colombia, and Mexico, countries that will either use the oil or sell it to China.
  • Disarming America, making us vulnerable to strikes from Iran, China, or any other nation.
  • A Middle East policy that views defeat in Afghanistan “as a victory for the anti-colonial cause, just as Bill Ayers and other radical leftists had cheered for Ho Chi Minh.”
  • An animus towards Israel, and wanting Israel “delegitimized” in the manner South Africa was over apartheid. Obama will avoid the predicament of having to defend Israel in the event of her attack on Iranian nuclear sites before the election. He will delay action until after the election by assuring Israel, “‘I’ve got your back,’” and after re-election abandon Israel. (See recent patching up between Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.)
  • In the Middle East, selectively helping those nations like Egypt and Libya (likely to achieve Muslim rule) become “democracies,” while ignoring protesters against the Islamic regime of Iran. Allowing Saudi Arabia to also fall into the “radical Muslim camp,” thus allowing “a complete unification of the Middle East under a single Muslim caliphate.”
  • Debt as a “weapon of mass destruction.” The nearly forgotten historical lowering of our credit rating, and becoming beholden to debtors like China. This would lower our living standards, which in Obama’s view is necessary for a nation that does not deserve her privileges. It is deliberate and on this I think D’Souza is right.
  • Obama’s thinly veiled support for the Occupy Wall Street movement.
  • The likeness to third-world “Big Daddy” dictators who survive on rhetoric of taking care of their impoverished, while leading extravagant lifestyles (vacations in Spain and Martha’s Vineyard, separate planes, ski jaunts, extravagant White House parties).
  • Disdain for limited constitutional powers evidenced in unilateral refusal to uphold the Defense of Marriage Act, and bypassing Congress and changing immigration enforcement.

Early in the book D’Souza correctly states, “the mainstream Republican critique of Obama is no less problematic than the liberal hosannas. Obama is not merely the presiding instrument of American decline, he is the architect of American decline.” He then explains, “[Obama] wants Americans to be poorer so that Brazilians and Colombians can be richer.” He wants no single nation to be “able to dominate or dictate terms to any other: Obama is a visionary for global justice.”

So are Obama’s intentions good when he proclaims in his inaugural address, “Starting today, we must…begin again the work of remaking America?” Or is he misguided because of his absentee father who was resentful about colonialism? Where does his hatred stem from?

Barack Obama has had more privileges than most Americans have had. Sorry for the peevishness, but I’m tired of seeing endless academic analyses of victimization, and then the abuse of the special privileges given to such victims to make up for “historical” legacies.

Obama is doing the same thing: exploiting white guilt to gather power. Read D’Souza’s book to see what we can expect in a second term of a power-hungry president.


Mary Grabar, Ph.D., teaches English at Emory University in the Program in American Democracy and Citizenship. She recently founded the Dissident Prof Education Project, Inc., an education reform initiative that offers information and resources for students, parents, and citizens. The motto, “Resisting the Re-Education of America,” arose in part from her perspective as a very young immigrant from the former Communist Yugoslavia (Slovenia specifically). She writes extensively and is also a published poet and fiction writer.