CHICAGO – Mention the name Harry Lennix, and images of his many character roles are bound to emerge – Harold Cooper in the TV series “The Blacklist,” General Swanwick from “Batman v Superman” and Commissioner Blades from Spike Lee’s recent “Chi-Raq.” The deeply knowledgeable Lennix brings his years of dramatic expertise, as he directs the Congo Square Theatre Company’s world premiere stage play “A Small Oak Tree Runs Red.’
‘2016: Obama’s America’ is a Cesspool of Partisan Hackery
CHICAGO – What are you afraid of, right now? Is it the shaky economy, the red/blue political divide or maybe Dunkin Donuts ran out of Oreo smoothies? You know what’s easy about justifying those fears? Blaming President Obama. “2016: Obama’s America,” written and directed by conservative propagandist Dinesh D’Souza, wants to blame Obama for the sun going down.
Conservative propagandists love to use the weapon of “how Obama thinks” as their main critiques of the man, which is as unfair as tying a sprinter to the starting blocks before a race. D’Souza, who has written books with titles such as “The Roots of Obama’s Rage,” and has made a career gathering his pieces of silver working at “conservative think tanks” (an oxymoron or epic proportions), also has blamed the “cultural left” for 9/11. The whole film is merely a speculative circus parade of how parts of Obama’s life equals “this is the way he thinks,” even though they is no evidence of D’Souza’s amazing mind reading in the life or policies of the president. Basically, this is red meat for Obama haters, and uses the same boring talking points from 2008 (Bill Ayers and Reverend Wright, anybody? Anybody?).
Dinesh D’Souza is an immigrant from India, who claims he radicalized Dartmouth University with his collegian conservative newspaper (many aspects of the life of D’Souza and Obama are “recreated” in the film). With attention from neo-conservatives, D’Souza eventually takes a picture with President Reagan, where he was an “advisor’ for that administration. The first twenty minutes of the film is about Dinesh, with no point to it afterward.
Photo credit: Rocky Mountain Pictures
The basis for D’Souza’s amazing mind reading powers is President Obama’s past. Despite spending most of his life as an American growing up in the 1960s and ‘70s, D’Souza focuses on the four years Obama lived in Indonesia (ages six to ten) and the president’s own autobiography, “Dreams from My Father.” Parsing excerpts from the book and traveling to the roots of Obama’s world, D’Souza concludes that the president is an “anti-colonialist.” Shocking!
Personally, I would describe myself as a progressive, and have voted for Obama. In truth, we have seen how the government actually works in his administration. It is about power, pure and simple, the opposing party’s need for power, in their pathological speculating about who the president is (mostly with no evidence). Which president has ever dealt with a 24/7 Fox “News,” whose goal is to oppose him (Fox started in 1996 during the Clinton administration, and was able to smoke screen behind the Lewinsky incident)? D’Souza’s film is nothing more than a documentary style version of Fox News.
One of the big lies, and a popular conservative talking point, is that Obama ordered a bust of Winston Churchill out of the White House. The truth is more boring, the bust was scheduled to be moved back to England after the Bush administration. In the film, D’Souza not only repeats the lie, but attaches the anti-colonialism proof by noting Churchill’s pro-colonial policies, so of course Obama would want his statue removed. OOOkay. Hey Dinesh, did you also know that Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt practically had a love affair? What would the boys at the Heritage Foundation (a conservative talking points provider, which Dinesh once worked for) say about that? The New Dealer and Churchill. Buddies!
The weirdest part is the “founding fathers of Obama’s policies” which includes a African American communist that the FBI harassed. But he’s a commie! And we now do business with Chinese communists. What is the point of this McCarthyism in today’s world? Bill Ayers and Reverend Jeremiah Wright are also in the founding fathers presentation. 2008 called, they want their smear back. Dinesh likes to take pinpricks in Obama’s life as a child, and blow them up as PROOF that Obama is a nefarious third world lover. How many people have had their political beliefs formulated as a child? Dinesh simply wants it to be so.
Photo credit: Rocky Mountain Pictures
As a documentary – or better stated, a fictional film – it also fails. It’s all about the ominous music and dark clouds ahead (literally, several scenes shows clouds accumulating), enough to scare the blue hairs that dominated the afternoon matinee I attended. Dinesh himself is a dead ringer for John Turturro’s portrayal of Herb Stempel in “Quiz Show,’ and each have the same nervy approach to life, but no doubt Dinesh is more willing to sell out. If I were to make a conclusion about how Dinesh D’Souza’s thinks, it would all add up to “money.” The Repubs pay well for anyone willing to play Judas with their own integrity.
Needless to say, this is a long 87 minutes, and my precious time leaked away when sitting in dark rooms taking in the darkness of such propaganda. In the realm of what is fair and what is unfair, “2016 Obama’s America” has it’s own category. Bullshit.