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The Milton Measure

2016 Misses the Mark

by on Friday, November 2nd, 2012

Last summer, conservative political commentator Dinesh D’Souza released the political documentary 2016: Obama’s America, based on his 2010 book, The Roots of Obama’s Rage. Making over $33.45 million in domestic markets, the movie has become the second highest-grossing political documentary of all time.

According to its official website, the goal of 2016 is to reveal the “real” Obama. Since the president hardly knew his biological father Barack Obama, Sr., D’Souza attempts to find out how the president’s knowledge of Barack Obama, Sr., along with president’s other father figures, like labor activist and poet Frank Marshall Davis and Reverend Jeremiah Wright, have altered his political philosophy.

2016 essentially argues that the President’s interest in his father’s personal history, particularly his father’s leftist politics in mid-twentieth century Africa, has dictated the younger Obama’s political proclivities. The film concludes that President Obama — in what D’Souza says is an attempt to emulate Barack Obama, Sr.’s ideology — strongly believes in “anti-colonialism,” and therefore wants to weaken America’s economic and military  influence in the the world. According to D’Souza, President Obama ultimately wants to use redistributive economic policies to turn America into a socialist nation.

At first glance, it seems that 2016 aids Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney by portraying Obama as an unpatriotic communist. While the film may convince a few voters to disapprove of the president, its effect on the election will be marginal at best, since neither ideologues nor independents will likely change their opinions of the president based on radical propaganda.

At this stage in the race, most voters have made up their minds about Obama. From a conservative perspective, 2016 simply presents even more reasons not to support the president, while to liberals, the Obama portrayed in 2016 is built on absurd theories rather than facts.

A more significant issue, however, is how this film will affect undecided voters. In this election, which nearly all experts predict will be very close, key swing states will make all the difference.  2016 certainly had the potential of playing into Governor Romney’s favor, but it failed to address the issues most important to swing voters.

<br>Instead of criticizing Obama on his handling of  the country’s rising debt or gas prices—around $3.80 per gallon in the Milton area—D’Souza tried to “prove” that the president is an anti-colonial socialist. By not explaining why four more years of Obama would be bad for the country, the film will probably fail to have any significant impact on the undecided voters when they go to the polls next week.

Barack Obama has broken many promises as president, but 2016 failed to underline any of those shortcomings. Instead, D’Souza presents a mildly entertaining, pointless case that does not live up to its title.  2016 had potential to exposed the weak spots of the president’s policy and to give swing voters a reason not to vote for Obama. But for better or for worse, 2016 will not change voters’ minds before Election Day.

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Posted by on Nov 2 2012. Filed under More Opinion, Opinion, Recent Opinion. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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