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The charge of socialism is closer to the mark. Obama as President has presided over the largest expansion of state power in American history. To an unprecedented degree, he has extended the tentacles of the federal government into banking, mortgage lending, finance, healthcare, insurance, automobiles, and energy. In Britain and the rest of Europe, such aggressive intervention is customary, but in America it is an anomaly. While Europeans debate ways to trim the bloated welfare state, Obama continues to make America's welfare state even more bloated. Consequently, America has become the world's largest debtor, and Obama threatens to stick the bill to the richest Americans, a group that he says is not paying its "fair share".

None of this amounts to strict socialism — Obama isn't threatening state confiscation of private property — but it does represent a movement towards European-style socialism. Even so, the charge of socialism, while it may account for aspects of Obama's domestic policy, cannot account for his foreign policy. Even Obama's own backers have noted that he doesn't seem to share the traditional socialist preoccupations with the poor and with social equality. Obama rarely speaks of either subject with passion. Something else seems to be going on here.

A good way to understand the American president is to ask a simple question: what is Obama's dream? Fortunately, we don't have to speculate about this because Obama himself provides a vital clue. Obama's autobiography is entitled Dreams from My Father. So there it is: according to Obama, his dreams come from his father. It is not Dreams of My Father. Obama isn't writing about his father's dreams. He is writing about the dreams he received from his father.

This isn't just a matter of a book title. Obama's book is chock-full of admissions that Obama derived his aspirations, his values, his very identity from Obama père. Although his father was gone for most of his life, Obama writes that "even in his absence his strong image had given me some bulwark on which to grow up, an image to live up to, or to disappoint". Obama writes: "It was into my father's image, the black man, son of Africa, that I'd packed all the attributes I sought in myself." Others who know Obama confirm this account. Obama's grandmother Sarah Obama told Newsweek: "I look at him and I see all the same things. This son has taken everything from his father. The son is realising everything the father wanted."

So who was Barack Obama Sr and what did he want? As a man, the senior Obama was deeply strange. He was a polygamist who had four wives and eight known children. He looked after none of them, and was accused by one of his sons, Mark, of being a wife-beater and an abusive father. He was also a chronic alcoholic who was known at Harvard as "Double Double" because he liked to order a double Scotch and tell the waiter, as soon as it arrived, "Another double." Since he regularly drove while intoxicated, he was involved in multiple accidents. In one, he killed a man; in another, he injured himself so badly that both his legs had to be amputated and replaced by iron rods. Eventually, he became drunk in a bar in Nairobi and drove into a tree, killing himself. 

Not much of a role model for a son. But young Obama didn't know about his father's misdoings, because a romantic image of his father had been cultivated in his mind by his mother, Ann. She revered her husband even though he abandoned her. When Obama complained about his absentee father she chastised her son, informing him that Obama Sr was a great man, a champion of African liberation. 

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August 28th, 2012
6:08 PM
Love this story. I am going to go and see the movie 2016 today. And everyone needs to do the same, it will open your eyes to what Obama has in his plans for our country. I hear it did not go far enough to explain Obama though. He is determined to destroy our country and to bankrupt it too.

May 11th, 2012
2:05 PM
I just found this article, while looking into my presidents history. I have to say this is absolutely true and is the best analogy I have heard yet! Thank you for writing this, it explains a lot about the president. I am ashamed as an American for the return of the bust and our presidents lack of loyalty to our allies. By the time he is done with his term in office you will no longer recognize my country. It is hard to recognize it now. So sad to watch my country crumble under this administration.

February 12th, 2012
3:02 PM
D'Souza's article is a wonderfully useful example of how it is possible to carefully pick one's way through the complexity of a Presdient's actions to sustain a preconception. Thus while much is made of Obama's not having (yet) taken forecful action against Iran, the article manages not to mention Bin Laden or Libya. In both cases Obama's moves do not fit D'Souza's Obama-as-anticolonial theme and so they are conveniently ignored. As for colonialism being dead, go tell that to indigenous people in Canada, Australia, the USA and Brazil.

Not Convinced
December 10th, 2010
8:12 AM
I suspect that Obama did not write either of his two books. To understand him we need to check his early mentors and his father was not one of them. He is certainly very left, very inexperienced and extremely ignorant on religious doctrine and comparative religion. He means well, poor man, but he is so ignorant and immature that he is going to be useful long after he has left the White House, and not before.

November 26th, 2010
1:11 AM
curiously, the last "anti-colonialist" has nothing to say about his feudalist ally Morocco, and West Sahara, or Turkey in Kurdistan and Cyprus et al... he is very selective

November 25th, 2010
11:11 PM
obama is the typical snobish kid from harvard, he has been educated with edward said and noam chomsky books. plus, he got that messianic complex, he thinks he can really bring "peace" all around the world, a second jimmy carter clearly, a dangerous charlatan

November 20th, 2010
6:11 PM
The first paragraph on this page is enough to show that you are not serious. The huge budget deficits, and therefore America's dependence on China, started when George W Bush decided to start two wars while cutting taxes. So maybe Bush was the real socialist...

November 5th, 2010
3:11 AM
This fact that you have even featured this rant, and advertised it on the cover of your magazine is an indication of how culturally, intellectually, and morally bankrupt you have become.

November 4th, 2010
1:11 PM
Fascinating analysis, which helps explain Obama's bizarre acquiescence to the demands of Russia over the missile shield; the demands of the Arabs in the Israeli-Arab conflict; the demands of Argentina in their attempts to legitimise the desire for the Falklands; the Islamofascist Mullahs of Iran and Muslims everywhere in their dislike of the West. My only criticism is that D'Souza seems to imply when saying that Obama's anti-colonialist socialism is antiquated and ossified, that it ever was a rational or sensible political/economic model. Socialism never has been and never will be. For all our sakes, I hope he's defeated in 2012.

Steffan John
November 3rd, 2010
9:11 PM
This is terrible analysis, on numerous points. Obama opposed the Iraq war, but he was always committed to Afghan war because he saw it as fundamentally necessary to American interests, and the necessary response to 9/11. Just listen to his Nobel acceptance speech, and see the distraught faces of the audience who clearly regretted their decision as they realised that he was defending not just the war, but War itself. Yes he reduced US nuclear arms - as did Bush and every other President. 6500 nukes are entirely pointless, and even halving that number will do nothing to 'weaken' the US, as any credible strategist will tell you. Obama's been pretty open about his influence - his main one being the theologian Reinhold Niebuhr, the father of anti-communist, Christian Realism. Obama's a '48 Democrat - holding the same realism as Hans Morgenthau and George Kennan. The former essentially founded American International Relations, convinced America to fight communism rather than appease it, and went on to being an early critic of the Vietnam War; the latter founded the aggressive doctine of containment, and at the age of 102, opposed the second Iraq War. He is not a '68 Democrat, nor an anti-colonialist (he's shown little or no interest in Kenya since his election for example - certainly less than Bush did). Niebuhr was quite a radical thinker during the '30s, but ameliorated himself to the establishemnt. Obama - being funded by Wall Street, with a Mitt-Romney-inspired health care system which doesn't challenge corporate power - is actually very mainstream. This article is high on innuendo, but low on any evidence - the only 'evidence' of which is his continuation of Bush's policy on nukes, and implementing Romney's health-care plan. Just because Obama's 'a bit foreign', people seem to accept any story, rather than read his actual intellectual influences, which he's been pretty explicit about.

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