The Anti-American President?

by Robert James Bidinotto

Conservative author Dinesh D’Souza recently published an insightful, much-discussed article in Forbes, “How Obama Thinks.”


Drawing upon Obama’s writings and history, D’Souza concludes that his policy agenda—so at odds with traditional American values and principles—is rooted chiefly in the anti-colonialist intellectual influence of his Kenyan-born father:

What then is Obama’s dream? We don’t have to speculate because the President tells us himself in his autobiography, Dreams from My Father. According to Obama, his dream is his father’s dream. . . .

[T]o his son, the elder Obama represented a great and noble cause, the cause of anticolonialism. . . . Anticolonialism is the doctrine that rich countries of the West got rich by invading, occupying and looting poor countries of Asia, Africa and South America . . . .

Obama Sr. was an economist, and in 1965 he published an important article in the East Africa Journal called “Problems Facing Our Socialism.” Obama Sr. . . saw state appropriation of wealth as a necessary means to achieve the anticolonial objective of taking resources away from the foreign looters and restoring them to the people of Africa . . . . As he put it, “We need to eliminate power structures that have been built through excessive accumulation so that not only a few individuals shall control a vast magnitude of resources as is the case now.” The senior Obama proposed that the state confiscate private land and raise taxes with no upper limit. In fact, he insisted that “theoretically there is nothing that can stop the government from taxing 100% of income so long as the people get benefits from the government commensurate with their income which is taxed.”

Like father, like son, says D’Souza:

It may seem incredible to suggest that the anticolonial ideology of Barack Obama Sr. is espoused by his son, the President of the United States. That is what I am saying. From a very young age and through his formative years, Obama learned to see America as a force for global domination and destruction. He came to view America’s military as an instrument of neocolonial occupation. He adopted his father’s position that capitalism and free markets are code words for economic plunder. Obama grew to perceive the rich as an oppressive class, a kind of neocolonial power within America. In his worldview, profits are a measure of how effectively you have ripped off the rest of society, and America’s power in the world is a measure of how selfishly it consumes the globe’s resources and how ruthlessly it bullies and dominates the rest of the planet.

D’Souza’s thesis certainly goes a long way toward defining a thread of consistency in the policies and priorities of this president. But “anticolonialism” is a heterogeneous package of economic, political, and—above all—moral ideas that deserves closer inspection.

It is clear that Barack Obama abhors the core founding principles of individual self-responsibility, personal self-realization, and constitutionally protected individual rights, upon which our historically exceptional nation was built. He shares with America’s adversaries the view that our individualist ethos and worldview is selfishly immoral.

Thus, the consistent thrust of his agenda, foreign and domestic, has been to humiliate America as an exceptional nation and to punish its exceptional achievers, by imposing the principle of coercive, egalitarian leveling on the American culture and economy.

Evidence for this objective can be found throughout his life, statements, and career. It is championed in the works of his intellectual mentors: his father, Edward Said, Frantz Fanon, Saul Alinsky; in his personal associations—including the endless procession of anti-American leftists (Wright, Ayers, Jarrett, Jones, et al.) who have pockmarked his life, career, and administration; in his soak-the-rich economic policies; in repeated, blunt declarations from his hand-picked officials, advisers, and spokesmen.

Obama seeks to tax and regulate into leveled oblivion the exceptional achievers in our midst (”spread the wealth around”); to transform formerly competitive, entrepreneurial industries—banks, financial services, medicine, insurance, automobiles, pharmaceuticals, sciences, etc.—into docile, tightly regulated, corporatist public utilities; to accelerate everyone’s dependency on government (e.g., ObamaCare); to undermine, through environmental laws, economic restrictions, and ubiquitous behavioral regulations, the means of individual private travel (the automobile), of individual self-defense (guns), and of individual financial self-sufficiency (independent wealth); to gut America’s ability to defend herself (unilateral military cutbacks, unguarded borders, enabling Islamic radicalism, affording legal rights to terrorists, etc.); to betray vital Western alliances (Britain, Israel); to stop America from operating unilaterally in its own interests (treaties to erode national sovereignty); and to bow—both symbolically and literally—before foreign tyrants.

Connecting these dots and others, we find that they form a vector that points toward an overarching, unifying objective: to humble, even humiliate, exceptional individuals and our exceptional nation, so that arrogant Americans no longer think of themselves and their nation as better than anyone or anyplace else. As Richard Lowry and Ramesh Ponnuru put it:

The president has signaled again and again his unease with traditional American patriotism. As a senator he notoriously made a virtue of not wearing a flag pin. As president he has been unusually detached from American history: When a foreign critic brought up the Bay of Pigs, rather than defend the country’s honor he noted that he was a toddler at the time. And while acknowledging that America has been a force for good, he has all but denied the idea that America is an exceptional nation. Asked whether he believed in American exceptionalism during a European trip last spring, Obama said, “I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exception­alism.” (Is it just a coincidence that he reached for examples of former hegemons?) . . . .

Obama has frankly and correctly described [his] project as to change the country fundamentally. On those occasions when Obama places himself in the con­text of American history, he identifies himself with the post-Wil­sonian tradition—with, that is, the gradual replacement of the Founders’ design. He seeks to accelerate it.

Indeed. With the possible exception of Woodrow Wilson, Barack Obama is the only American president to truly despise, at the deepest philosophical level, what America uniquely stands for—which is why he stresses that he aims to be a “transformational president.” He has complained that the Framers of the Constitution failed to allow for “redistributive change.” Andrew C. McCarthy summarized Obama’s frustration with constitutional limits on government power:

As Obama sees it, the Warren Court failed to “break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the founding fathers in the Constitution.” The judges instead clung to the hoary construction of the Constitution as “a charter of negative liberties”—one that says only what government “can’t do to you.” For Obama, economic justice demands the positive case: what government “must do on your behalf” (emphasis added).

Fortunately, battered remnants of the United States Constitution still stand in the path of the anti-American president’s agenda of radical “change.” A clear majority in the polls fundamentally oppose the vision he would impose upon them. The president now faces a rising rebellion of millions of Americans, led by the Tea Party movement—a grassroots revolt that he and his media lapdogs have struggled, desperately but unsuccessfully, to defeat.

Barack Obama’s inherited dreams of transforming America from history’s individualist exception into a humbled, ordinary, unexceptional socialist state still remain unrealized. His campaign to vandalize the American legacy can yet be reversed—but only if we retain the will and acquire the intellectual clarity to make our voices heard and our votes counted.