I'm looking forward to the movie. I think Dinesh D'Souza has come up with the best take on Obama's ideology.
(Although I see it just a little differently - I think you need to add to, or modify, the pure anti-colonialism with the flavors of hardcore Progressive positions learned from Saul Alinsky activism when he was an organizer, and the street tough thuggishness of the unions, and the dirty politics of Chicago, and the academic elitism from the Harvard far left, and the racial tones of Black Liberation Theology, and the Global Governance pushed so hard by George Soros. But over-all, I think D'Souza got it right... the central feature is some kind of twisted anger at the United States and Great Britain and Capitalism that seems to have been adopted from his miserable father. All the other elements are the supporting theoretical structure and methodology)
In a world where there are many countries with governments that ban books and movies, I feel so lucky to be in a country that is, culturally, only in a pre-dictatorship stage -- where there is still enough freedom for folks like D'Souza to fight back on such a large scale. If Obama were to be reelected, after 4 years, that kind of freedom might become eradicated (in the interest of national security, or whatever):
Let me be clear ... the recent ban I enacted on all anti-government media was not something that I wanted to do, but it was something that I had to do, in order to guarantee the kind of broad-based Hope and Change that I promised all Americans. And that UN Treaty I signed which pretty much hands over U.S. sovereignty to the UN -- you know, the one that Dick Morris has been railing about since June of 2012? -- well, I just had to do that, too. It wasn't me. Uh, it's not all about me, you know. It was for the good of the country. Oh, er, and that ...uh ... and that suspension of all further elections ... er ... let me be clear ... that was something that I did not want to do, either.
Like Theodore Roosevelt brokering the Russia-Japan War, George H. W. Bush traveling with Bill Clinton, and Jimmy Carter in the Middle East, Barack Obama will be with us for many long years to come. His relative importance in the grand scheme of things might change if Earth's culture changes; otherwise, you might as well get tired of hearing about him now, because you are going to get tired later.
Barack Obama 2016? Perhaps before 2116, he can be sharing that hut with George: "I used to be somebody..." Otherwise, look forward to him being the non-colonial colonial governor of Titan...
There is a review by Thomas Sowell here, which appeared yesterday. I havenít seen the film yet, so I canít comment on its projections. I did read the review by Sowell, and I must say I am wary of accounts that give so much weight to a personís early life situation in explaining the personís considered adult views. What matters far more for an intellectual sort of person---Obama, me, or Rand---is what they study and what they make of what is in their studies. Important intellectual influences on Obama include Reinhold Niebuhr and John Rawls.* Similarly, important intellectual influences on me would be Ayn Rand and Robert Nozick. These are the greater weights in our world views. Portrayals of views of Obama or of Rand as flowing out of their early life situation flirt with ad hominem and devalue what those persons actually say and argue in setting forth their views.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Ed, whom were you quoting in #3? Can you give us a link for it?
I saw the movie yesterday and I highly recommend it. It is a powerful and convincing statement that Obama's beliefs are far different than most voters would ever have thought, and that the anti-colonial beliefs provide the best explanation of what are otherwise very hard to explain behaviors.
Stephen, your point is well taken. A person's early life situations don't necessarily influence the specific beliefs a person will end up holding as an adult, and therefore these early life situations aren't necessarily the place to go to explain an adult's beliefs. But in the film, the most startling and convincing statements are from Obama's autobiography and given in his own voice.
We all know that people will approach someone like either Rand or Rawls, and will not necessarily come away having changed their belief structure such as to be in complete agreement. For example, Paul Ryan was deeply influenced by Rand, but not to the point where he would question some of the basic Catholic beliefs. I have no doubt that Obama encountered a large number of thinkers as he went through Columbia and Harvard, but how much of what he accepted from them was because it agreed with his anti-colonialism? And what did he reject because he preferred a belief that better fit anti-colonialism. How much of his acceptance of Black Liberation Theology is because of its anti-colonial stance? How much of his acceptance of Global Governance is shaped by its fit with his anti-colonial views? How much of his middle-East policy is shaped by seeing the region and the conflicts through the anti-colonial lens?
The "smiley face" that I left just after that quote was meant to indicate that it was actually a joke. Perhaps I should have been more forthcoming with my delivery, but I just simply made it up. I manufactured that quote out of raw imagination, and sprinkled it -- no, I dowsed it -- with the characteristic: "Er ... let me be clear" verbal mannerisms of Barack Obama.
By the way, thanks for the intelligent insight as to holding someone's background against them. It struck a chord in me. I grew up largely as an anti-individual, a Christian socialist -- grabbing altruistic attitudes and memes (thinking that that was the only way to be principled) that were floating around me. I was never indoctrinated in the formal sense, but with enough cultural and familial osmosis, I reached the same point as would one who was indoctrinated to be a destructively-ideological value-vampire.
Then 3 things happened to me, in what was probably the correct order -- forever altering my fundamental orientation to the world: (1) the writings of M. Scott Peck, (2) the writings of Mortimer J. Adler, and (3) the writings of Ayn Rand.
I saw the movie yesterday, as one of six people in the theater, although it was during the afternoon, so it may get a better audience at night. Very insightful, as it provides a new perspective on Obama, which most people -- even his detractors -- are almost certainly unaware of: Obama, not so much as a socialist or collectivist (although he is that), but as anti-colonialist.
D'Souza travels the world and talks with people connected with Obama in one way or another. He has an interview with Obama's half brother, George, who lives in a shack in Kenya. In one ironic exchange, D'Souza asks George how he feels about President Obama's not helping him when the President says that we are our brother's keeper. George tries to soft pedal his brother's neglect him by saying that the president has more important things to do and that Obama helps him by bettering the world. D'Souza replies, You mean that he helps you by fighting global warming, so that you're better off in that way? George nods. He finds his relationship to the president embarrassing.
I second Steve's recommendation. This movie is well worth seeing. I've also ordered the book.