2016 Obama’s America, the title of a movie playing at our town’s theater, caught my eye.
I hadn’t read a review of it, if there was one. My wife and I were a little skeptical about its content. Would it be a propaganda piece? It was produced by the person who produced Shindler’s List, so maybe it was a serious movie. And it was showing at our hometown theater. The good folk who run the theater wouldn’t deceive us with a piece of trash, would they?
We decided to take a chance on it. Even if it were propaganda, I told my wife, maybe we could learn something from it. I wouldn’t get up and walk out. We paid a regular admission fee, went in, and sat down.
Too late, we realized we had been deceived. The movie is made up of such far-fetched conspiracy theories I thought it might have been dreamed up by Glenn Beck. Even the lies being told about Obama in the Republican campaign sound almost reasonable compared to this presentation.
It offers a number of factual statements, then distorts the motivations for them maybe even more than one of Beck’s wild interpretations. In this instance the writer and narrator was Denesh D’Souza, a native of India and Dartmouth graduate who belongs to several conservative organizations and has written books conveying the same types of messages.
Did you know Obama is shutting down oil production in this country and spending our money on imports from South America for some devious reason I didn’t catch. His support of rebels in Egypt, Libya and other Middle Eastern countries is part of a plot to build a huge and hostile fundamentalist Moslem power bloc. His efforts at reducing the number of nuclear weapons in the world is part of a plan to disarm us while others remain strong. And, finally, he is further weakening this country by spending wildly, putting us at the edge of bankruptcy. Almost everything said in the film was the opposite of the truth.
When it was over and I had succeeded in sitting through it, I watched the fast-moving final credits for someone’s name I might recognize, but of course whoever paid for the film, Koch brothers or some other billionaires, would be operating under some other name. I checked a website for the film and found that our friend Denesh did have a connection with Glenn Beck. He appeared on Beck’s show.
There weren’t many people in the theater for the showing and I have no idea how they felt about this. It was all pretty surprising to me that my local theater would run such tripe posing as the truth. The management not only assisted the corporate GOP in lying to me, but they even lured me into paying to expose myself to it.
I sincerely hope anyone lured into watching this masterpiece of deceit will recognize it for what it is and cast their votes against the corporate takeover of America in November.
Lewis Donohew retired from the University of Kentucky College of Communications in 1999 after nearly 35 years of service and having earned a national reputation as a communications scholar and researcher. Now down on his farm growing grapes and living close to the earth, he contemplates issues of the day from a lifetime of experience and a love of the land.