By Norman Berdichevsky
I share Tom Tillison’s dismay over the low ethical standards of some of the candidates in the recent dismal Republican primary and the very low turnout that bodes ill for the future of attracting new blood and carrying on a spirited campaign to defeat President Obama in November.
This malaise was even more apparent during the long drawn out and disreputable spectacle of the presidential primary race in which both Newt Gingrinch and Rick Santorum called Mitt Romney a liar, a buy-out venture capitalist without any scruples and worse, laying the groundwork for the current malicious campaign of the Democrats.
To a degree, he may also be right about what he calls “an entire cottage industry that has cropped up around this great awakening we call the Tea Party, which has proven to be a boon for book sales and peddling all manners of patriotic trappings. And the speaker’s circuit has never been more lucrative.”
As the author of a current book on politics myself (The Left is Seldom Right), and as an enthusiastic proponent of the film, 2016, Obama’s America by Dinesh D’Souza, an Indian American conservative political commentator, author, and Christian apologist who is currently the President of The King’s College in New York City, I would like to answer Tom’s questions about who’s really benefiting?…and..Is any of this reaching the audience it needs to reach? I believe so.
My wife and I went to see a showing of the film at the Regal theater in Winter Park Village. It was about three-quarters full. We didn’t go with a group but noticed that many in the audience came in groups of more than just a single couple. There were also examples of grandparents, parents and children. At the end of the film, the audience broke into loud and spontaneous applause. Was this only due to the film “playing to the choir”?
In part perhaps, but in the next few weeks I predict it will reach the audience we most need to reach -young voters -and are the most avid movie goers and the least likely to be reached by more traditional methods.
Young voters between the ages of 18 and 30 voted for Obama by a 2:1 majority in 2004. I know them and their susceptibility to movies. I have written about it (see the Leftward Tilt of American Culture in Florida Political Press, May 29, 2012 ) and experienced it in the classroom. Their prime mentor for political education is Hollywood. Many of them in accept much of the vituperative slander against their own country and its institutions as graphically portrayed in such films as ‘JFK’ and ‘Streets of New York’.
Dinesh D’Souza is an engaging, attractive dark skinned immigrant from India whose life and career follows in parallel with Obama’s – born and married in the same years and able to judge American institutions and values from a third world perspective.
The film does not accept any of the more controversial attacks on Obama’s biography but seeks to explain how his own words and thoughts cited continually throughout the film from the President’s autobiography ‘Dreams From My Father’ are a thread running through his policies and are at the core of what motivates him and makes him intent on downsizing, disarming, and apologizing for America, abandoning out allies such as Great Britain, Israel and Poland, fawning and bowing before Muslim despots, and seeking to create a society where individual initiative, ambition and self-reliance are replaced by the collectivist goals that have failed all over the world.
Instead of the 2:1 majority among young voters Obama enjoyed in 2008, the latest polls show that Obama now only holds a slight majority. The film will help reach exactly that audience influenced by a Hollywood that has endorsed the President’s vision of our country, what’s wrong with it and how to “cure it”.
2016 examines Barack Obama’s relationship with his absent father who was an activist in the anti-colonial struggle against the British, and following independence became part of that elite clique who fostered a one party bureaucratic, socialist state in Kenya that crushed all local government and free initiative resulting in a downward spiral of economic stagnation and poverty shared by Obama’s half-brother in the slums of Nairobi.
D’Souza is uniquely qualified to contrast this with how our founding fathers, who were also anti-colonialists but whom Obama can never really identify with, achieved independence but placed the rights and liberties of the individual at the top of the new nation’s concerns.
We follow the President’s life in where his mother remarries a local Indonesian man (also a Muslim, Lolo Soteiro), who eventually becomes a successful businessman and in so doing, alienates Obama and his mother who believe they are betraying the socialist and collectivist legacy of Barack Obama Senior.
This psychological portrait is one that makes sense and can be understood and appreciated by many young people who are themselves the product of homes in which there is divorce and remarriage.
The President’s endorsement of the “Occupy Wall Street” movement extends to the world stage in which the antagonists are portrayed as the 99% – the occupied and the exploitative 1 % – the occupiers.
Obama emotionally sympathizes with all those he places in the category of the victims of the colonialist white European nations (the one-percenters), returning the bust of Churchill, the gift of the British government, praising Islam as a progressive force while denying its oppression of women, children, non-Muslim minorities, his policies towards third world nations such as Mexico and Brazil whom his policies have encouraged to develop their oil industries while retarding our own, secretly supporting Argentina in its attempt to seize the Falkland Islands from Britain by force, pressuring Israel (regarded too as “occupiers”) to retreat from defensible borders, total passivity in failing to support the millions of demonstrators in the street against the tyrannical regime of the mullahs in Iran, etc.
Most damning of all are the close associations of the President and his most important mentors ignored by the media and Senator John McCain’s campaign in 2004 – convicted terrorist Bill Ayers, the “Reverend Wright (God Damn America and its “Liberation Theology” church in Chicago) and long-time Communist party member Frank Marshall Davis.
This is a powerful film that will exert a profound influence. As the billboards and advertisements on television proclaim… Love Him or Hate Him, you need to see this film.
I know it will have an impact on independents and even entice more than a few young people who voted for Obama in 2008 and are both upset and curious. The film’s most important conclusion that any white candidate with Obama’s biography would never have been regarded seriously by a major political party for the office of President is inescapable. A large part of his white support came from white guilt over past injustices.
I have reason to hope. Tom Tillison’s Florida Political Press does not just play to the choir. It was not motivated by any concern for economic gain. Florida Political Press was not allowed to fold by the fervent reaction of readers who had come to value it for its insight and integrity. My own efforts in writing a book were not to make money but among the comments I have received was the following one that gave me the faith that you can reason with people. A student in Tampa at the University of South Florida wrote…
As a student studying politics at the university level, I greatly enjoyed Dr. Berdichevsky’s poignant thesis and ideas in his most recent book, “The Left is Seldom Right.” I ordered a copy and read through it in only a matter of days. Thanks to its level of research and thought provoking material, this book has been incredibly helpful in cementing many of my own convictions and has given me an ability to counter the far-left lean of my classmates and professors. A former follower of Chomsky and Tariq Ali, this book was one of several that put my Marxist leanings to rest.
We all owe Dinesh D’Souza a debt of gratitude.
Norman Berdichevsky is a native New Yorker who lives in Orlando, Florida. He holds a Ph.D. in human geography from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (1974) and is the author of The Danish-German Border Dispute (Academica Press, 2002), Nations, Language and Citizenship (McFarland & Co., Inc., 2004), Spanish Vignettes; An Offbeat Look into Spain’s Culture, Society & History (Santana Books, Malaga, Spain. 2004), An Introduction to Danish Culture (MacFarland, 2011) and The Left is Seldom Right (New English Review Press, 2011). He is the author of more than 200 articles and book reviews that have appeared in a variety of American, British, Danish, Israeli and Spanish periodicals such as World Affairs, Journal of Cultural Geography, Ecumene, Ariel, Ethnicity, The World & I, Contemporary Review, German Life, Israel Affairs, and Midstream. He is also a professional translator from Hebrew and Danish to English and his website is here.
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