Tim Cavanaugh sums up the (lack of) appeal of Dinesh D’Souza’s 2016: Obama’s America:
If you believe the biggest problems with Obama are that he has not invaded Iran, attacked the Alawite regime in Syria and sufficiently supported the Queen’s dominion over the Falkland Islands, this is the movie for you.
Although 2016 does treat Obama’s devastating fiscal legacy, D’Souza and Sullivan’s real passion is for crimes like Obama’s removal of a bust of Winston Churchill from the oval office.
In other words, D’Souza is preoccupied with trivial nonsense when he isn’t complaining that Obama is insufficiently militaristic, which means that the foreign policy parts of D’Souza’s “documentary” consist of the same standard hawkish boilerplate we’ve been hearing for three and a half years. When I first came across D’Souza’s “anti-colonial” interpretation of Obama, the foreign policy aspect was probably the most preposterous part of his argument. There were so many preposterous parts that it’s hard to pick just one, but that seems right. The idea that an avowed American hegemonist was shaping his foreign policy according to the dictates of a “Third World anti-colonial” worldview that he supposedly adopted from a father he never knew was so stupid that it didn’t require refutation. I pointed out the numerous errors in this thinking anyway.
What is far more pernicious in all of this is the casual identification of an “American” worldview with a particularly hard-line and nationalistic foreign policy. Opposing colonialism (both American and European) has been one of the more common traditions in American history. Especially since 1945, there have been very few Americans that haven’t been anti-colonialists. In addition, there has always been a tradition of anti-imperialism and non-interventionism in American politics. At one time, it was the dominant tradition in America. What makes D’Souza’s criticism on this front so absurd is that Obama is quite clearly not part of that tradition and has gone out of his way to separate himself from it.