Inside Obama’s Brain

I’m very wary when people try to psycho-analyze their political opposition.  It’s fun, I know – and unavoidable sometimes.  But in general, it strikes me as a suspiciously easy way of avoiding out-and-out confrontation with their ideas.  After all, just because some guy is a self-righteous clown who tries to make friends in men’s room stalls doesn’t mean his policy suggestions are wrong.  Just means he’s, you know, cree-pay.

That said, Dinesh D’Souza’s cover piece in the new Forbes, “How Obama Thinks,” is both devastating and remarkably convincing.  For those of us who haven’t been swayed by the idea that O’s a secret socialist or muslim or whatever – and yet are puzzled why he would continually put forward ideas that are so bad for the country he’s supposed to be leading – D’Souza has some answers:

Theories abound to explain the President’s goals and actions. Critics in the business community–including some Obama voters who now have buyer’s remorse–tend to focus on two main themes. The first is that Obama is clueless about business. The second is that Obama is a socialist–not an out-and-out Marxist, but something of a European-style socialist, with a penchant for leveling and government redistribution.

These theories aren’t wrong so much as they are inadequate. Even if they could account for Obama’s domestic policy, they cannot explain his foreign policy. The real problem with Obama is worse–much worse. But we have been blinded to his real agenda because, across the political spectrum, we all seek to fit him into some version of American history. In the process, we ignore Obama’s own history.

Every day people email me articles, saying this is a “must-read.”  This really is a must-read for those who want to understand this debacle of an administration.

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  • Tom Barkwell

    I don’t put much stock in labels, or overly simplistic narratives, in ascribing motives to peoples’ actions and behavior. But Dinesh makes a pretty convincing argument in this instance.

    But for me, “why” is not nearly as important as “what” when it comes to political beliefs. It is clear that Obama sees increased government power and reach as preferable to personal liberty and freedom. That’s all I need to know to condemn him.

  • Debra King

    I don’t think Maureen Dowd thought much of D’Souza’s article.
    My hope for Obama is that he is mature enough not to be in the grip of any familial psycho-drama. I am not convinced that he isn’t though and D’Souza’s article argues well for that view. Obama does have the most unusual background of any US president that I can think of. But honestly, I do not have much faith in any politicians right now. If we can’t find a way to set term limits on congress and scale back on executive power I think we’re done.

  • Fred

    That’s right he doesn’t fit what Americans see as the American mold. Because he wasn’t raised American. He was raised Indonesian. Communist influence. Marxist and Liberation Theology. He refused and protested the American flag as ‘symbol of oppression’. Today’s American’s are unfamiliar with all of these things. They are in denial or at least they were. That’s why they can’t quite put their finger on what is wrong with him!

  • KansasGirl

    Plainly put, the man has no intention of defending America.

  • Wemedge

    Money quotes:
    “Incredibly, the U.S. is being ruled according to the dreams of a Luo tribesman of the 1950s….America today is being governed by a ghost.”

    Maureen Dowd hates this article. But then again Maureen Dowd seems to be particularly short-tempered of late. I’ve been in Europe most of the last 22 years. It helps to be immersed in a different culture than the Us’s to really understand Dinesh D’Souza’s article. They’e closing in on nailing down this most unknowable of all presidents. Bout time.

  • Graham Nickerson

    I’m from Canada…and I generally “get it”. Look, where I’m from our entire economy has been build on trading with the US. Direct boat and road routes speed billions of dollar of goods south to you guys. I love ya. You made us here.
    That being said there is an awful anti -American sentiment that runs deep here especially with the liberal types, and Canada makes Vermont look far right.
    Where does it come from? Why after making so much money dealing with the US do these guys bite the hand which feeds them? The best countries in the world to them are Western European. Everyone I know wants to be Dutch….
    I’m really gonna over simplify it and just call it plain “jealousy”. Jealousy is a horrible thing…it can drive people off the deep end!

  • Seth Forman

    I’m surprised at how easily some writers, Howard Kurtz and David Brooks now included, have dismissed Dinesh D’Souza’s assertion that Obama absorbed the politics of his father. It is true that Obama Sr. left the family when Obama was two, not to reappear again until he was 10, and even then only briefly. But it is also true that Obama Sr. was a Harvard-trained economist and fierce anti-colonialist whose approval Obama spent much of his adult life seeking. Obama described his own memoir as “a record of a personal, interior journey — a boy’s search for his father, and through that search a workable meaning for his life as a black American.” Indeed, at one point, Obama imagines his father espousing his own brand of black nationalism, “inspiring, rebuking, granting or withholding approval. You do not work hard enough, Barry. You must help in your people’s struggle. Wake up, black man!”

    It is impossible to know how deeply Obama imbibed of his father’s beliefs, which is best described by this passage from an article Obama Sr. published in 1965: “Theoretically, there is nothing that can stop the government from taxing 100 percent of income so long as the people get benefits from the government commensurate with their income which is taxed.” But how far a road must one travel from here to arrive at Obama’s statement to a Quincy, Illinois crowd in April, 2010 that he doesn’t begrudge success that’s “fairly earned,” but “at a certain point, you’ve made enough money”? As I point out in my forthcoming book American Obsession: Barack Obama and the Rebirth of Racial Conflict, it is a safe bet that Obama’s path to a black American identity through radical politics was at least partially lubricated by knowledge of his father’s own anti-western, socialistic beliefs.

    Seth Forman, N.Y.

  • mexicano

    D´Souza´s article, while worthy, only scratches the surface and raises as many questions as it answers. The real issue is what makes Obama (or anyone) hold such irrational and unworkable views with such strength? Graham Nickerson is on the right track with his last few paragraphs – the answer lies in their psychological / emotional make-up. Jealousy, envy, hatred and inferiority are the key factors, and they are all a central to what makes Obama tick.

  • Logan

    An interesting article. If it is correct then what is Obama doing with his life? Trying to earn the love of the father who abandoned him or was absent when he was a child? Are we all really that transparent?

  • Anonymous

    I Agree with Andrew that this topic very important, a “must read” Dinesh D’Souza carries a lot of weight with me. He has written an important book on this subject.

    There is an important book. All Americans should have read this before the 2008 election (unfortunately, it had yet to be written), well, there’s no time like the present.

    The Roots of Obama’s Rage by Dinesh D’Souza

    Here’s the link to customer reviews:

    I found the review by S. Buica titled Can This be True? (5star) to be very interesting.

    Here is the first paragraph of his review;

    October 4, 2010

    Three weeks ago, Dinesh D’Souza has written the cover story for Forbes Magazine. He based the story on his book, about to be published about President Obama. D’Souza’s theory is that our President is driven by an anti-colonialist ideological hatred.

    Ted Marks has posted a 4 star review, he says,

    “The ultimate impact of the book, THE ROOTS OF OBAMA’S RAGE, will be determined by how many Americans actually read the D’Souza’s book — and how many of those readers concur with D’Souza’s conclusions.”

    Dinesh D’Souza is an accomplished and, in my opinion extremely credible writer. I strongly urge all Americans to take notice of the extremely important ideas Mr. D’Souza presents to us.

    God Bless,
    Will Erickson