2016: Obama's America (2012) Script

My journey to america can be traced back To the independence of india, The land of my fathers.

Barack obama's journey can be traced back To the independence of kenya, the land of his fathers.

It's been a long time coming, But tonight, at this defining moment, Change has come to america.

An african-american Has broken the barrier as old as the republic.

A seismic shift in american politics.

People want to be able to tell their grandchildren That they voted for barack obama.

How many chances like that come along in history?

He was a wave.

I just got this sense that nothing was going to stop it.

To those americans Whose support I have yet to earn, I may not have won your vote tonight, But I hear your voice And I will be your president, too.

- The poor are getting poorer. - The rich are getting richer.

The politicians, they grab everything.

It's us who are to blame because we are the ones who choose them.

We are all shaped by our pasts.

And we carry elements of the past into the future.

But nothing can threaten the future Quite as much as the debts of the past.


When I was a kid, I would sit on the floor of my house in mumbai And I would read about the great nations, The great empires.

The roman empire, the ottoman empire, The british empire--

They all came and they all went.

But I always thought there was one exception to that rule, And that's the United States of america, Which is a different kind of empire If it's an empire at all.

It's an empire of ideals.

In 1978, I achieved one of my dreams By coming to america to go to dartmouth college.

I signed up for a group called The international students' association.

I liked the fact that this group had mexican food, Chinese food, indian food.

These white students, very often, like, ponytailed guys, Would show up and they'd be, like, sampling the food.

"oh, dinesh, man, really interesting to meet you.

You know, what a name. You know, 'nesh."

And then they'd be like, "india, man, What a fascinating place, man.

I've always kind of wanted to go, But, you know, never made it and stuff."

And I, you know, genuinely would say to them Something like, "well, what it is about india That's so fascinating to you?"

"you know, it's mind-blowing. It's just so liberating."

And I would say, "man, what are you talking about?

What do you mean by 'liberating'?

Are you talking about, like, dowry, Arranged marriage, the caste system-- what?"

I sometimes wonder what my life would have been like If I had never come to america, If I had stayed in india.

I would have probably lived my whole life In a one-mile radius of where I was born.

My destiny would, to a large degree, Have been given to me.

So in america, my destiny isn't given to me, It's constructed by me.

And if I look at my life as a writer, A thinker, a speaker, These are possibilities That would have been closed to me in india.

My education at dartmouth would have been incomplete Without a rebel group called "the dartmouth review."

This was a group of renegade conservatives Who started the newspaper Mainly for the purpose of causing trouble.

You know, someone once said to me, "you people At 'the dartmouth review' are sophomoric."

And we would then say, "well, yeah, but we're sophomores."

One of the things I really love about america Is that this is a place where we can discuss And debate the big issues.

I had an interesting debate at stanford university In front of 2,500 people in memorial auditorium Against jesse jackson.

And the topic was "is america a racist society?"

In the debate I said, "reverend jackson, look, Racism is a reality.

And in a big country, I'm quite convinced we can find examples of it.

But show me a racism today that is strong enough That it will prevent me or you Or my daughter or your children From achieving the american dream.

Where's that kind of racism? Show it to me."

And he gives an amazing answer.

He says, "I can't show it to you, dinesh, But that's not because the racism isn't there...

It's because it's gone underground.

The racism used to be overt.

It is now covert.

And so this subtle, invisible racism Is even worse than the old type of racism, Because the old type of racism was at least on the surface.

You could deal with it."

"here you are, reverend jackson, And you are the same color as me.

If we both put our hands up And someone took a photograph of only our hands, They could not tell the difference.

And yet we see the same america--

It's like watching an accident And we both give a totally different description.

And it occurred to me I'm an immigrant And you are the leader of an indigenous minority group.

An immigrant is coming from another country.

And so, by that comparative standard, America looked fabulous.

You're comparing america to its own highest ideals.

America is falling short.

But don't you realize that in criticizing america For falling short of that standard, You're actually kind of conceding america's moral superiority?"

I was part of the reagan generation, and a lot of young guys--

And a bunch of us from dartmouth-- all came to washington To be part of the reagan thing.

I worked for a magazine, "policy review,"

For a couple of years when the white house said, "we'd like to offer you a job."

And I said, "wow, I'm incredibly honored, But I don't think I can do it because I'm not a us citizen."

And these three or four guys looked at each other, And one of them said, "well," he said, "what we're concerned about is are you a reaganite."

Four weeks later, I was working in the white house.

I became fascinated by reagan Because he was such an unlikely guy.

He didn't seem even like that serious of a guy.

This guy was nevertheless Running against the huge idea Of the 20th century-- collectivism, Which from reagan's point of view Was an expanding welfare state at home And a soviet empire growing abroad.

And I think reagan, if you understand him, In one shot, was trying to block both.

I saw reagan transform the country firsthand.

In 1980, the us was in a tough spot--

A horrible economy, unrest in the middle east, A lot of the similar issues we face today.

The question was could we find Another transformational leader to solve these issues? yes, we can! Yes, we can!

Yes, we can! Yes, we can!

Yes, we can! Yes, we can!

People voted for obama on the basis Of what they hoped he would do.

Just like the rest of the country, I was intrigued by obama.

When I look at american presidents, Most of them in their life are totally remote from me, No similarities.

George bush, bill clinton--

Totally different life story than mine.

Obama-- I get it.

We were both born in the same year, Which is 1961.

We both went to an ivy league school--

In his case columbia, later harvard;

In my case dartmouth.

We got our bachelor's degree.

We graduated the same year-- '83.

We were married in the same year-- 1992.

We both have a kind of mixed-race background.

There is not a black america And a white america and latino america and asian america, There's the United States of america.

- Like most americans, - I was introduced to obama Through his 2004 speech at the democratic convention.

The pundits--

The pundits like to slice and dice our country Into red states and blue states--

Red states for republicans, blue states for democrats...

And if you listen to that speech, That's a speech that would have drawn applause At a republican convention.

...Federal agents poking around...

The country rejected two known politicians, Betting on the young senator from illinois.

This is something we had done once before During a desperate time.

Other presidents, when they came to office, Were known figures, Even if their rise was unexpected.

Now, obama came out of nowhere.

No one really knew him.

And he came into the white house On the basis of promise, of hope.

There's a lot about him we don't know Because we haven't asked enough tough questions.

But they're questions you don't know.

I don't know what barack obama's world view is.

I really don't know. No, no. I don't either.

I don't know how he really sees The whole global structure.

Obama is voted in on hope.

But when we look at his actions in the first term, We see people across the spectrum Say radically different things about him.

Obama is a radical communist. I think he's a marxist.

Do you believe he's a muslim?

Do you really believe he's a welfare thug?

I-- he's certainly acting like it.

I love our president, but he's black and white.

He appeals to all.

I was for obama.

I did some fund raisers for him.

He's in a tough situation, and I'm very disappointed With the way some things have gone.

I voted for him, I donated, I worked hard.

I thought he was the one.

But now? No.

He's betrayed virtually everything That I got the impression he was going to do Based on everything he said in the run-up to the election.

The federal reserve noted that since 2007, Americans have lost 40% of their wealth.

If you had a $200,000 house, It's now worth only $120,000.

That is the greatest fall of wealth Since the great depression.

These are difficult economic times, And the country needs a president Who can find solutions To lead us out of this recession.

That's why I was confused when I saw obama Making some really unusual decisions in his first term, Decisions you would never see a typical democrat, Like clinton, kerry, carter, Or even kennedy make.

One of his first actions was to return A bust of winston churchill, a gift from the british.

Churchill led britain during world war ii, Helping us defeat the nazis.

Obama is the first president to back argentina, Not britain, in the dispute over the falkland islands.

He delays the keystone pipeline, A project that would have created Tens of thousands of american jobs.

Then he blocks oil drilling in america, But gives billions of dollars in taxpayer money to brazil, Colombia, and mexico to drill.

He increases nasa's budget, but lowers their horizon From pushing for our return to the moon To reconciling with muslims.

Very strange, but true.

Then, in the middle east, obama acts inexplicably.

He uses force to stop what he calls genocide in libya, But refuses to stop greater genocide in syria.

In egypt he supports the removal of america's ally, hosni mubarak, But he won't support democracy protestors in iran.

Then obama refuses to take meaningful action To stop iran from getting nuclear weapons.

Meanwhile, he slashes america's nuclear arsenal And plans further reductions, leaving america vulnerable.

He takes the palestinian position In negotiations with israel, Even though israel's been a long-standing ally And most jewish americans Traditionally are strong democratic supporters.

All of this was baffling behavior.

So I was sort of intrigued by--

What is obama's compass?

And my way of putting it was to ask, "what is obama's dream?"

Is it the american dream?

Is it martin luther king's dream Or someone else's dream?

My father was a foreign student, Born and raised in a small village in kenya.

He grew up herding goats, Went to school in a tin-roof shack.

His father, my grandfather, was a cook, A domestic servant to the british.

I realized that I was trying to fit obama, As many people do, into american history And I was ignoring obama's own history.

We could guess or speculate Or conjecture about obama's inner compass, His dream, but we don't have to.

Obama himself gives us a big clue In the title of his autobiography.

Notice it says "dreams from my father,"

Not "dreams of my father."

I stood before you and told you my story, Of the brief union between a young man from kenya And a young woman from kansas.

I realized that obama's father Might be the central character In obama's search for identity, In his search for who he is, For where his deepest aspirations and values Come from.

Barack obama sr. Is born near the shores Of lake victoria in kenya, africa.

In 1952, the mau mau uprisings start in kenya.

In 1954, he marries kezia aoko, Who gives birth to son roy and daughter auma.

1959, he is given a scholarship To study at the university of hawaii.

While here, the 23-year-old barack Meets 17-year-old stanley ann dunham in a russian class.

The two are married on February 2nd, 1961.

Stanley ann is unaware that he is married And has a son and daughter on the way in kenya.

Then, on August 4th, 1961, barack obama ii Is born at the kapi'olani medical center in honolulu.

His birth is reported in two local newspapers.

About a year later, barack sr. Goes to harvard, Leaving ann and young barack behind.

In 1963, kenya becomes independent of great britain.

In 1964, barack sr. And ann officially divorce.

While at harvard in June of '64, Barack sr. Meets ruth beatrice baker.

The two move back to kenya where she has two sons--

Okoth and opiyo.

In 1968, barack sr. Is reported to have One of two more sons with his first wife kezia--

Sampson and then bernard in 1970.

In 1971, barack sr. Visits his 10-year-old son in hawaii.

This is the only time Obama actually spent time with his father, Although the two carried on a correspondence For several years before barack sr.'s death in 1982.

"there was only one problem--

My father was missing.

And nothing that my mother or grandparents could tell me Could obviate that single unassailable fact.

Their stories didn't tell me why he had left.

They couldn't describe what it might have been like had he stayed."

This raises a question--

How can obama be so influenced By a father who wasn't around?

I took this question to psychologist paul vitz, Who has studied the influence Of absentee fathers on children.

What effect does that have on a kid, To grow up without a father?

I'd say the general effect of not having a father, If the father is seen as having Abandoned you or left you, Is that you become hostile to the things That are associated with your father.

But in obama's case, his mother spoke of his father Quite favorably and positively.

If I remember, she married later again, But spoke much more favorably of obama's father Than of her second husband.

She kept alive in barack's mind a positive image.

Isn't it true that sometimes the absentee father can be A better model in that he's a model erased of defects?

Yes, that's true.

He's an airbrushed father.

The details of what he's like Sometimes don't live up to the image you've created.

Well, in world war ii, Not only were there lots of absentee fathers, A lot of them didn't come back.

They died in the war.

And in the 1950s, it wasn't uncommon To go into a home and find a photograph Of a father who had been killed in the war.

And he would be prominently displayed in that photo, Usually in the living room or someplace like that.

And you soon discovered that he was a presence.

The mother, the wife, had wisely represented her husband And the father of her children as a good man, A man who had died fighting for the country And often as a brave man and a successful soldier Or pilot or marine or what have you.

Now, in obama's case, of course the father was alive.

He wasn't dead. He was in africa.

And so, at some point in his life, when obama comes to college, His sister comes to him and she confronts him.

And she basically says, "the man you're idealizing, This mythical father, isn't like that.

You have a fantasy about the guy."

And this provokes in obama a kind of crisis.

Well, it certainly would create a crisis Of the meaning of your own identity.

Many young men have this experience Of disappointment with a father.

It often motivates them very strongly To prove that they're significant, To prove that they're worthwhile, To prove to the world That however much you may have disappointed me, I'm not a disappointment.

"I would meet him one night in a cold cell In a chamber of my dreams.

My father was before me With only a cloth wrapped around his waist.

'barack, I've always wanted to tell you How much I love you,' he said.

He seems small in my arms now, the size of a boy.

And when I whispered to him that we might leave together, He shook his head and told me it would be best if I left.

I awoke still weeping, my first real tears for him And for me, his jailer, his judge, his son.

And I realized perhaps for the first time How, even in his absence, his strong image Had given me some bulwark in which to grow up, An image to live up to or to disappoint."

He has the conflicts and he has the tension Between his americanism and his africanism.

He himself is an intersection Of major political forces in his own psychology.

After my visit with vitz, I felt a powerful desire to enter obama's world And follow his journey to find his father.

At the age of six, obama moved with his mom And stepfather lolo soetoro to jakarta, indonesia.

What attracted ann to lolo Was that he was a third world guy Like her first husband.

Lolo recounted to ann How he lost his father and brother In the indonesian revolution.

The dutch burned down lolo's house, Destroying nearly everything, Forcing his mom to sell her gold jewelry In exchange for food.

Lolo, as a teacher, Would now be part of transforming the country Since the colonial dutch had been driven out.

"she had expected it to be difficult, This new life of hers.

Before leaving hawaii, she had tried to learn All that she could about indonesia...

The history of colonialism--

First the dutch for over three centuries...

Then the japanese during the war, Seeking control over vast stores of oil, metal, and timber, The fight for independence after the war, And the emergence of a freedom fighter named sukarno As the country's first president.

She was prepared for the dysentery and fevers, The cold-water baths and having to squat Over a hole in the ground to pee, The electricity's going out every few weeks, The heat, and the endless mosquitos.

So I'm fascinated Because, of course, I resonate with this.

All this colonialism and anticolonialism That is a little bit alien to most americans, I'm completely familiar with.

I grew up with this.

This was in the air When I was growing up.

And suddenly I realized, wait a minute, This is not birmingham or selma in the '60s, This is like the india that I grew up in.

This scene, these smells and sounds Are completely familiar to me.

The british in a sense owned india.

They could take raw materials, Send them to factories in England, Make them into goods, and then sell those goods around the world.

They encouraged an indian educated class To help administer the empire, But they set a very low ceiling Above which no indian could rise.

So my grandfather felt the wounds, The injuries, the insults, The humiliation of colonialism, And it always made him not only anti-british, But slightly anti-white.

When I told him for the first time--

You know, I said, "grandpa, I think I'm going To be going to america for a year,"

His first reaction was something like, "don't go.

It's all white over there."

Alice dewey is a famous anthropologist.

She's the granddaughter of the philosopher john dewey, And she's been a very close friend Of ann obama.

I happened to be on the committee that chooses The new import of graduate students.

And here was a woman who had spent seven years In indonesia, spoke indonesian.

So I said, "I want that one," and, "she's mine."

Right. Did you ever meet young obama?

- Oh, yeah. - You did? What was he like?

A jolly, nice young man.

You know, obama--

His book is "dreams from my father."

Yeah. And yet he knew his mother Much better than his father, right?

He hardly knew his father. Met him once. Yes.

And do you think it's possible, then, That young obama In some ways got a lot of his father's ideas through his mother?

Well, I hadn't thought of that, but I think you're right.

She always respected barack sr.

Now, did you also know lolo soetoro?

Yes, in time. Yeah.

It seems like lolo went in a more--

Almost like a more pro-government direction or a more pro-market--

Yeah. Yeah, I think that's possible.

But something very striking happened to lolo.

He took a job working for a california oil company.

He moved the family into a white neighborhood.

He signed up with the indonesian military to fight the communists.

And ann obama turned on him.

"looking back, I'm not sure that lolo ever fully understood What my mother was going through during these years, Why the things he was working so hard to provide for her Seemed only to increase the distance between them.

Sometimes I would overhear him and my mother arguing in their bedroom, Usually about a refusal to attend his company's dinner parties Where american businessmen from texas and louisiana would slap lolo's back And boast about the palms they had greased To obtain the new offshore drilling rights While their wives complained to my mother About the quality of indonesian help.

He would ask her how it would look for him to go alone And remind her that these were her own people.

And my mother's voice would rise up to almost a shout--

'they are not my people.'

She had only one ally in all this, And that was the distant authority of my father.

Increasingly, she would remind me of his story--

How he had grown up poor in a poor country, In a poor continent, How his life had been hard, As hard as anything that lolo might have known.

He hadn't cut corners, though, or played all the angles.

He was diligent and honest, no matter what it cost him.

He had led his life according to principles That demanded a different kind of toughness...

Principles that promised a higher form of power.

I would follow his example, my mother decided.

I had no choice.

It was in the genes."

Ann separates barry From lolo's growing pro-western influence.

She decides to send him back to hawaii To live with his grandparents.

When we think of hawaii, we think of tourists And surfing and mai tais.

But that's not the real hawaii.

That's not the hawaii the natives experience.

Obama explains.

"the ugly conquest Of the native hawaiians through aborted treaties And crippling disease brought on by the missionaries, The carving up of rich volcanic soil by american companies For sugar cane and pineapple plantations, The indenturing system that kept japanese, Chinese, and filipino immigrants Stooped sunup to sunset in these same fields, The internment of japanese americans during the war--

All of this was recent history."

Hawaiian colonization is still a current issue.

At the university of hawaii, I met willy kauai, An activist speaking about the american occupation of hawaii.

What hasn't really gone all that well-documented Is the amount of american resistance to this idea Of illegally annexing hawaii.

There's great debates within congress.

All of these newspapers throughout the United States Were showing their opposition to this idea Of the United States annexing hawaii.

So finally, president mckinley, Regardless of the law Whether it be international law, Whether it be hawaiian kingdom law, Or whether it be us constitutional law, He made the decision to go ahead and occupy hawaii.

Okay. Now, many people may think, "well, what's the big deal? That was 100 years ago.

It's ancient history. Who cares?"

Is this an issue that's live now in hawaii? Very much.

It's very much an issue that's live in hawaii.

Why? Isn't it a done deal?

Isn't hawaii now the 50th state? Yes, yes.

I mean, that's-- that's the general understanding That a lot of people-- residents in hawaii And outside of hawaii-- have.

But since the 1960s and the 1970s, There's really been a movement Towards gaining a better understanding of what took place.

And so a lot of that history that I refer to Is now starting to be revived And starting to gain traction.

And people are starting to use Some of this history As a venue for legal recourse.

This place was really built with the wealth Of the sugar planters and the pineapple planters, And they used all that money to build this beautiful school.

Of course, the ideology of the school now Is probably the opposite.

It's the anticolonial ideology.

Oppression studies, if you will.

And obama got plenty of that when he was here at punahou.

Barack's grandfather sought out a mentor For his grandson.

He found an aging journalist And poet named frank marshall davis.

The two became close over eight years Until obama left for college.

I had the opportunity to talk To cold war historian paul kengor, Author of a book on frank marshall davis.

What is the connection between obama And frank marshall davis?

Well, in "dreams from my father,"

He mentions frank by name

22 times.

I mean, he never once refers to him As frank marshall davis or frank marshall Or frank davis; it's just frank.

Why is that?

Frank marshall davis Was a very controversial political figure.

He wrote for a number of publications And he even started in chicago in the late 1940s A communist party publication called the "chicago star."

He did that for two years and then he moved on To honolulu, to hawaii, and there he wrote--

Called the "honolulu record."

And if you read these columns, They were so breathtakingly anti-american.

I found numerous--

Over and over and over and over again--

Comments where he was mocking and ridiculing The american way.

Stanley dunham, the grandfather, Was also on the left.

Obama himself recalled how his grandfather And frank marshall davis would get hammered, drunk.

They would spend hours together, And he saw in davis a potential mentor, Role model for barack.

So frank marshall davis wasn't some kind Of a benign civil rights figure.

Frank marshall davis was considered such a threat by the fbi That they actually placed him On the federal government's security index.

And what that means Is that he was considered such a potential threat That if a war ever broke out between the United States And the soviet union, frank marshall davis Could be placed under immediate arrest.

Why has the media avoided reporting On the connection between obama and davis?

Mm, it would have to.

I mean, have we ever had A president of the United States Who was mentored to some meaningful degree By a literal pro-soviet, pro-communist, Card-carrying member of communist party usa?

Card number 47544. and of that alone-- that alone the media--

The pro-obama media has to ignore.

And they have.

And they'll call me "joe mccarthy"

For even bothering to look at it.

"at night in the dorms, we discussed neocolonialism, Frantz fanon, eurocentrism, And patriarchy.

I chose my friends carefully--

The more politically active black students, The foreign students, the chicanos, The marxist professors and structural feminists And punk-rock performance poets."

Obama's half-sister auma Visits him and gives a very different picture Of barack obama sr.

This father is an abusive alcoholic.

He beats his wives.

He gets into drunk-driving accidents.

In one case he kills a man.

In another, he hurts himself so badly That both his legs have to be amputated.

He bursts into auma's room at night, Raging about how he has been betrayed by the world.

"I felt as if my world had been turned on its head, As if I had woken up to find a blue sun in a yellow sky Or heard animals speaking like men.

To think that all my life I had been wrestling With nothing more than a ghost."

I had learned about obama's stepfather lolo And his early mentor frank marshall davis, But it was time to learn more about Barack obama sr., his absentee father.

I would follow obama's own footsteps When he visited kenya in 1987.


Kenya made a big impression on obama.

He dedicates nearly one-third of his book To his visit there.

His family history was explained to him by granny obama.

She's not actually his grandmother, But one of his grandfather's five wives.

As a member of the luo tribe, he was a polygamist.

In an interview with "newsweek,"

Granny sarah said of obama...

"I look at him and I see all the same things.

He has taken everything from his father.

The son is realizing everything the father wanted.

The dreams of the father are still alive in the son."

I was hoping to learn more From granny sarah about barack sr. And jr.

Granny's speaking fee was a goat.

We played it safe and brought three.

At first, we were welcomed by granny.

Through an interpreter, she began to tell us About the obama family.

My eyes fixated on the grave Of obama's grandfather and father.

I whispered to our cameraman, "this is where it all began."

The interpreter called obama's half-sister auma, Who told granny not to do the interview.

The mood turned quickly.

Gone was the sweet smile which greeted us, And the police who maintained security Around the house became tense.

Auma called the local chieftains.

Our security advisor made it clear We were not safe in kogelo anymore.

- During the campaign - I was surfing the web.

I saw a story, I believe, on cnn That obama's half-brother george obama Was living in nairobi in a hut.

And I thought, "this has got to be some kind of a joke."

But I click on the story and there's a picture, And it looks like something out of "slumdog millionaire"--

A kid in his 20s Standing with his arms outstretched, And the arms reflect the size of the hut.

That's it.

You met obama the first time when you were very young.

I remember that, yeah.

I was, like, five years or six years old. Yeah.

We shook hands, Talked for a couple of minutes, and they left.

I was just surprised--

This half-white guy Is, like, my brother, you know?

Right. Yeah.

As you know, during the time of the election, There were some news reports in cnn and elsewhere.

The theme of the articles was that Obama had not done anything to help you.

I think he has a family of his own.

He's supposed to help his family.

Right, but don't you think you're part of his family?

Yeah, I'm part of his family, But I'm overage, so I help myself.

You're an adult. You can help yourself. I understand.

Well, let me put it a different way.

Recently, president obama spoke And he was quoting from the famous story of cain and abel, That we are our brother's keeper.

Now, my point is you are his brother.

Has he been your keeper?

Go ask him.

He's got other issues to deal with.

Well, he's taking care of the world, but don't you start at home?

Yeah, he's taking care of the world, so he's taking care of me.

I'm part of the world.

So you mean when he fights To stop global warming, it helps you?

Yeah. Because there's less carbon in the world And you can breathe a little more easily?

Right, so he doesn't have to help you directly is what you're saying?

No, he doesn't have to do that. Okay.

Your book came out what year?

2010. 2010.

I want to read you a couple of things you say in your book, Which I found very interesting And, quite honestly, I agree with.

They resonate with my own life.

You say, "I don't think that colonialism"--

Which is a big theme in obama's book also--

"is responsible for the sufferings and poverty of kenya."

You say that "around the time of independence"--

I'm quoting you-- "kenya was on an economic par With malaysia or singapore.

We were at the same level in terms of development.

Look where we are now and where they are.

They are practically developed and industrialized While kenya is still a basket case."

Can you say a word about that?

Yeah, I think it's true.

Look at south korea.

When we got independence, we were far ahead of them.

Right. But look at them now.

Now, let me read you one more thing.

You say about south africa--

I must say I even find this a bit shocking, But I want your opinion on it.

"look at south africa.

They were under the whites until the 1990s, And look where they are now.

They are practically a developed nation.

So who is better off--

Us, who kicked out the british, or the south africans?

Maybe if we had let the whites stay a bit longer, We'd be where south africa is today."

Do you actually-- would you actually think It would have been better if the whites stayed a little longer?

Yeah, but it's true. So, because--

It would have developed us, yeah.

Instead of-- we were fighting, fighting, Fighting over nothing. Okay.

We are third world. They are second world. Right.

I assume you have no memories Of your actual father, your biological father.

Yeah, he died when I was six months old, so...

What did your mom tell you about him, if anything?

He was really educated. He was well-educated, yeah.

Yeah, my mom was disappointed in me Because I actually didn't finish my schooling.

Yeah? So it was like I really did let her down.

I let my father down, too, Because he was an intellectual guy, you know.


"a few months after my 21st birthday, A stranger called to give me the news.

The line was thick with static.

'barry? Barry, is this you?'

'yes. Who's this?'

'yes, barry, this is your aunt jane in nairobi.

Can you hear me?'

'I'm sorry. Who did you say you were?'

'aunt jane.

Listen, barry, your father is dead.

He was killed in a car accident.

Hello? Can you hear me?

I say your father is dead.'"


This is why obama must go to kenya--

To confront his father's ghost.


"how to explain the emotions of that day.

I can summon each moment in my mind almost frame by frame.

It wasn't simple joy that I felt in each of these moments.

Rather, it was a sense that everything I was doing, Every touch and breath and word Carried the full weight of my life, That a circle was beginning to close So that I might finally recognize myself as I was, Here, now, in one place.

For a long time, I sat between the two graves and wept.

When my tears were finally spent, I felt a calmness wash over me.

I felt the circle finally close.

I realized that who I was, What I cared about was no longer Just a matter of intellect or obligation..."

I, barack hussein obama...

"...No longer a construct of words."

...Do solemnly swear...

"I saw that my life in america--

The black life, the white life, The sense of abandonment I had felt as a boy, The frustration and hope I had witnessed in chicago--

All of it was connected With this small plot of earth an ocean away, Connected by more than the accident of a name Or the color of my skin.

The pain I had felt was my father's pain.

My questions were my brothers' questions.

Their struggle, my birthright."

This is where obama reconciles with his father.

He resolves not to be like his father, but to take his dream.

Where the father failed, he will succeed.

In doing so, perhaps he can become worthy Of his father's love, the love he never got.

But you've heard the statements and views Of president obama on television.

Mm-hmm. And you knew barack obama sr.

I knew him, barry.

Were their ideas - different or similar? - Ah.

There I can tell you that their ideas Seemed to be like...

- Like one. - The same.

- The same. - The same.

So actually, the father and son were...

The same. They are.

In nairobi we found philip ochieng, A distinguished writer and editor of the newspaper the "nation."

He came to america to study At the same time barack obama sr. Did.

The two remained lifelong friends.

Right.

Do you believe that the west became rich By taking the wealth from the colonized countries?

Right.


To tame israel.

Now, do you see israel as, like, A little colonial power in the middle east?

I see.

Now, what about the economic wing of colonialism?

We sympathize with anticolonialism Because, remember, america started out As an anticolonial country.

We got our independence from the british.

But ochieng's anticolonialism is different.

This anticolonialism developed in the third world in the 20th century.

It was a reaction against western militaries, Western missionaries, and western merchants.

And consequently, this kind of anticolonialism Became anticapitalist, Anti-christian, and anti-american.

It sees the rich countries getting richer, Not by invention or innovation or hard work, But by invading and occupying and looting The poor countries and taking their resources.

And here we get some help From barack obama sr.

In 1965, he published an article In the "east africa journal"

In which he asked this question--

"what does a country do when you have Powerful concentrations Of economic wealth at the top?"

He proposed two solutions.

First, you have to use the power of the state To control and regulate private industry.

And second, he said you need very high tax rates.

How high?

"theoretically, there is nothing That can stop the government from taxing 100% of income, So long as the people get benefits from the government Commensurate with their income which is taxed."

Is this what president obama means By paying our fair share?

This is not the anticolonialism Of washington, jefferson, and franklin.

When I was growing up, india tried the recipes Of socialism and collectivism.

So did china. But they failed miserably.

And so now india and china, but also other countries--

South korea, indonesia, chile--

These countries are embracing globalization, Modernization, capitalism-- the american recipe.

And they are growing at three to five times The rate of the United States.

So obama has things completely upside down.

He's embracing his father's Failed third world collectivism Even as these other countries are embracing The american recipe and succeeding.

So how does obama do it?

How does a guy who possesses A third world, anti-american view, An ideology as remote and unrecognizable to most americans As the capital of kenya or indonesia, Manage to get himself elected?

How does he sell this in peoria?

My mother was white and my father was black.

I had a sort of familiarity with both worlds.

Barack obama would have had that.

He would have known them intimately.

He would have known how he was received in both worlds.

He understood that Given our racial history in america, That he was in a sense an ideal.

He was a kind of redeemer.

He was something that we had to prove, Which is that we could be a society That could somehow move beyond race.

If we couldn't move beyond race, He wouldn't exist, literally.

There's an aspiration in american life to overcome, To redeem ourselves from this past.

This is an impulse in american culture, To finally have it behind us.

He was the guy who could touch it.

And he knew people were projecting all of these things onto him.

People want to be able to tell their grandchildren That they voted for barack obama.

"and maybe I was wrong, maybe I made a mistake, Maybe I didn't really know him, But it still documents the fact that I'm not a racist.

I'm not what america used to be. I'm innocent of that."

And how many chances like that come along in history?

Not many. He's the first one in politics.

Look at what's interesting.

The reason he's in the white house Is because of his race, his blackness.

Minorities, often when they come into the american mainstream, They wear a mask that they hope will bring some advantage.

Bargaining is one of those masks, challenging is another.

But in bargaining, the bargainer Goes to white americans and basically says, "listen, I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt.

I'm going to presume that you are not racist.

If I do not hold your race against you, You will not hold my race against me."

Call it the "gratitude factor."

This is what obama knew he had.

He knew he had this talent.

"another one of those tricks I had learned--

People were satisfied so long as you were courteous And smiled and made no sudden moves.

They were more than satisfied, they were relieved.

'such a pleasant surprise to find a well-mannered young black man Who didn't seem angry all the time.'"

He was sort of naturally born to bargaining.

He talks about it in his own autobiography That he realized whites would like you If you were black as long as you weren't angry.

They're very likely to support you More than they would someone else.

So I think barack obama realized from childhood on That this was a mechanism in american society That redounded to his benefit, That he could play, that he could work This gratitude that whites feel for not being judged.

Let's get unified.

The sky will open.

The light will come down, Celestial choirs will be singing, And everyone will know we should do the right thing, And the world will be perfect.

Now, jesse jackson ran for president.

Much of today's civil rights leadership Are blacks who come into mainstream american life And say to whites, "I'm going to presume you are a racist.

Look at the whole history of america.

It's been racist. It's still a racist society.

And I'm going to presume the worst about you, That you're a part of that."

Challengers in that sense look for entitlements.

They look for programmed--

"I will give you your innocence as a white, But you're going to have to do something to demonstrate."

People who are challengers do very well Inside of american institutions, But they would never do well in a general election.

Jesse jackson tried to run. Al sharpton tried to run.

Neither of them ever got very far at all Because white americans particularly don't feel comfortable.

They feel that, in a sense, they're being shaken down.

Their leverage is being used against them.

When he was running to be the president Of the "harvard law review,"

He had spent a lot of time searching for himself And deciding that he was a black man.

He goes to harvard, and there's this Politically correct, fraught time, And there are conservatives and there are liberals.

He manages to persuade all of them That he's on their side. - Yeah.

And he realizes that people want to help him.

They want to help.

It makes people feel good to help.

And this is an important insight for him.

"oh, my gosh, I have this gift. I have this knack.

People are going to want to help me.

I'll let them help me all the way to the white house."

It was a racially motivated vote.

No white man could be two years Out of the illinois state legislature And walk into the white house.

Americans did not know him, Didn't want to know him.

And he knew that, too.

He knew he was invisible, and he knew people Were projecting all of these things onto him.

For white america, a majority white country, To turn over the ultimate power...

...And to entrust that to an african-american Only 35 years after the civil rights movement--

I mean, that is a stunning accomplishment.

Now, that's not obama's accomplishment, That is america's accomplishment.

Still, for obama to make himself acceptable to america, He had to hide major elements of his past.

He had to hide the group I call

"obama's founding fathers."

And who were his founding fathers?

Well, let's just say they were not jefferson, Washington, and franklin.

We already met frank marshall davis, The poet, the communist party member.

And here is bill ayers, obama's chicago pal.

Ayers has something in common with osama bin laden--

They both tried to blow up the pentagon.

Ayers also bombed a new york police station And the us capitol as a member Of the terrorist group weather underground.

Obama and ayers met in 1995, And the two served on the annenberg challenge And also as directors on the woods fund.

Ayers held a fund raiser for then state senate candidate obama.

Obama sought out other mentors, Including his columbia professor edward said, The leading anticolonial critic of israel And a former representative to the plo.

Obama stayed in contact with said until his death, Even attending a palestinian fundraiser in chicago With said as the main speaker.

Then we meet his harvard law professor Roberto mangabeira unger, a brazilian socialist.

He is a leading anticolonial scholar.

He left harvard to join the socialist government in brazil, But he was too radical even for them, So they kicked him out.

Now he's back at harvard Where he seems to fit right in.

Obama took several classes with him, And the two kept in close contact Until the presidential election.

Unger declined all interviews in 2008, As he noted afterward that he was "a leftist, And, by conviction as well as temperament, a revolutionary.

Any association of mine with barack obama In the course of the campaign Could only do harm."

Finally, there's this guy-- jeremiah wright.

He was obama's pastor for 20 years.

He married the obamas, baptized their children, And was in a sense a surrogate father for barack.

The connection between obama and wright Is undeniable and long-lasting.

When wright's sermons surfaced during the election, They were a genuine threat To obama's carefully-constructed image.

So the media portrayed wright As a kind of a radical nut.

But he's not a nut.

He's actually the leading champion Of third world liberation theology, The religious wing of anticolonialism.

We cannot see how what we are doing Is the same thing al-qaeda is doing Under a different colored flag.

Obama knew the wright scandal could sink him.

That's because it raised the sensitive issue of...

Not god bless america, god damn america...

Wright was saying that america Is the leading rogue nation in the world.

Not iran, not north korea, but america.

For the first time in obama's public ascent, His anticolonial beliefs Were on the brink of being exposed.

According to wright, He was offered $150,000 to keep quiet.

And when that didn't work, Obama himself met with wright to get his silence.

The politically safe thing to do Would be to move on from this episode And just hope that it fades into the woodwork.

The fact is that the comments that have been made And the issues that have surfaced over the last few weeks Reflect the complexities of race in this country That we've never really worked through, A part of our union that we have not yet made perfect.

Obama acts as if we need to have Some kind of a national seminar about race relations.

Somehow the real issue, which is whether america Is the most evil nation in the world, Disappears into the background.

Obama has skillfully changed the subject, And we fell for it.

If senator obama did not say what he said, He would never get elected.

Obama's founding fathers Are successfully swept under the rug.

He trounces the political machine, Taking the democratic nomination away from hillary clinton, ...And is then chosen as the fulfillment Of the civil rights movement.

This insecure kid who grew up in hawaii and indonesia, Whose life is shaped by his father's ghost, And whose ideology could not be more directly remote From what americans believe or care about, Is now the president of the United States.

It's been a long time coming.

But tonight, because of what we did on this day, In this election, at this defining moment, Change has come to america.

I will ask you to join in the work of remaking this nation The only way it's been done in america for 221 years--

Block by block, brick by brick, Calloused hand by calloused hand.

Since taking office in 2009, change has come to america.

But the changes obama has enacted Transcend the traditional differences Between democrats and republicans And reflect something different, Something completely separated From america's thought altogether.

"all my life, I had carried A single image of my father, One that I had sometimes rebelled against, But had never questioned, One that I had later tried to take as my own."

Only through the dreams of obama's father Can we understand the actions of the son.

Now we understand why obama would return The bust of winston churchill.

Churchill was a lifelong colonialist, Head of the colonial office, and the prime minister Who crushed the anticolonial mau mau uprising in kenya.

We are still a leader in space exploration, But frankly I have been pushing nasa To revamp its vision.

His anticolonialism has diverted nasa From being a symbol of american greatness To being a more modest foreign relations operation.

When I became the nasa administrator, He wanted me to expand our international relationships, And perhaps foremost he wanted me to find a way To reach out to the muslim worlds To help them feel good About their historic contribution to science and engineering.

The british empire is now gone Except for a few outposts like the falkland islands.

Obama wants to close that chapter By returning the falklands to argentina.

Through the dreams of obama's father, We can understand why obama would restrict drilling in america While promoting it in brazil and mexico and colombia.

He's enriching the previously colonized countries At the expense of the colonizers.

Then there was the health care bill.

Have you read all the way through the bill yet?

We have to pass the bill So that you can find out what is in it.

And what would this cost?

Obama had a solid handle on it.

What they'll say is, "will it cost too much money?"

But you know what?

It would cost about-- it would cost about The same as what we would spend--

It-- over the course of 10 years, It would cost what it would cost us--

It--

All right. Okay, we're going to.

It would cost us about the same As it would cost For about-- hold on one second.

I can't hear myself.

But I'm glad you're fired up, though.

I'm glad.

Obama's solution is to bring major industries Like health insurance under the rod of government control.

Now we understand why obama would allow His brother george to live in the slums of nairobi.

George doesn't worship at the altar of barack obama sr., Nor does he hold his father's anticolonial views.

Anticolonialism is not about helping the poor So much as it is about stripping wealth from the rich.

And obama has a global definition of "rich."

When he talks about the 1%, the 99%, He doesn't just mean in america, He means globally.

Even poor americans are rich by global standards.

If obama seems weirdly sympathetic To muslim jihadists captured in afghanistan or iraq, Wanting to close down guantanamo, Giving them constitutional rights, we now know why.

He sees these guys As anticolonial freedom fighters, Like his dad, the occupied people Pushing out the occupiers.

The occupied people pushing out the occupiers?

No wonder obama supports The occupy wall street movement so strongly.

You're the reason I ran for office in the first place.

Young renegades pushing out the ones They believe have stolen all the wealth.

In his first term, we have already seen Obama begin the work of remaking america.

But he's not done yet.

Another guy lost here in the complexities Of 21st-century america-- dinesh d'souza...

Then you've got the cover Of "forbes" magazine, That cover story by dinesh d'souza.

I think nothing has turned my stomach so much In recent years as reading that piece.

Look at that "forbes" magazine article About the president.

It reads like science fiction.

Barack obama-- kenyan anticolonialist--

Kenyan "anticolonialist."

A father who was a drunkard And is now reincarnated-- I forget the exact phrase--

In the white house.

It's all being channeled through.

And guys like newt gingrich Repeating that garbage?

They attempt to delegitimize one of the most talented men To enter american politics in three generations.

There is an unhinged quality to a lot of this, And dinesh d'souza's story is, for a scholar, Very unscholarly.

You're trying to put him Into a left-wing straitjacket here Based on the writings of his father.

- Not really. - I need more evidence.

I'll give you the evidence. - Where's the evidence?

- "he's a muslim; - he's not an american;

He's a socialist" I don't think really work, So I'm putting a new card on the table.

And look, I'm a college president.

I'm not trying to bash obama in a crude way.

I'm trying to give an explanatory framework.

And I think the anticolonial framework Explains his domestic policy, explains his foreign policy, And explains a lot of little stuff he's doing That no other theory can explain.

- At the end of my book, - I made three predictions.

Obama will do nothing significant To stop iran from getting nuclear bombs.

He hasn't.

He would spend money as if the deficit didn't matter.

He has.

I also said that if the political climate changes And obama is forced to tackle the deficit, He will cut the military and seek to raise taxes.

These predictions give me the confidence To take what we know about obama And project what america will look like in 2016 If he's reelected.

We've learned a lot about obama, And yet in some ways we haven't seen the real obama.

Why? Because in the first term, A president sometimes holds his cards back.

The comments To the russian president off-mic Were an insight into obama's expectation That after he's been reelected, He will be free to pursue What he really wants to achieve--

Changes within the United States, To move it in the direction of socialism, And internationally to limit and withdraw American presence and influence.

- Welcome to the 2012 - nuclear summit.

Now who didn't come to the antinuclear party?

Iran didn't come. North korea didn't come.

And obama officials said they didn't care.

The whole purpose of the summit was to reduce The nuclear weapons of america and its allies.

When obama became president, America had around 5,000 warheads.

Now, according to the start treaty, America will go down to around 1,500.

Obama has asked the pentagon to study Going down even further to 300.

And here is the ultimate goal...

No single nation should pick and choose Which nation holds nuclear weapons.

And that's why I strongly reaffirm America's commitment to seek a world In which no nations hold nuclear weapons.

A nuclear-free world?

Dreamy idea.

The only problem is that none of our enemies Are reducing their stockpiles.

Obama calls for a nuclear-free world, But the only countries' nuclear weapons That he can reduce is ours.

Why is he doing it?

This levels the nuclear playing field Between america, russia, china, North korea, and everyone else.

This is the anticolonial dream--

To end american nuclear superiority And restore a world where many countries Have equal power.

He doesn't think well of the United States, And therefore he doesn't want to see its influence expand, Which is a strange thing for a us president.

I met with daniel pipes, An expert on the middle east And one of the only people to raise the alarm About radical islam before September 11th.

I've come here to cairo to seek a new beginning Between the United States and muslims around the world.

One based on mutual interest and mutual respect And one based upon the truth that america and islam Are not exclusive And need not be in competition.

Instead, they overlap and share common principles--

Principles of justice and progress, Tolerance and the dignity of all human beings.

Comes out of a tradition that's highly critical of the United States.

Sees the United States, internally badly set up And, externally a force for malign influence.

And therefore, he presumably sees his role As tempering both of those, making it better internally And reducing the bad influence of the United States abroad.

More recently, tension has been fed by colonialism That denied rights and opportunities to many muslims And a cold war in which muslim-majority countries Were too often treated as proxies Without regard to their own aspirations.

Obama's policy in afghanistan reflects, I think to a tee, this ambivalence he has Of wanting to have successes as president And not liking what the United States does in the world.

So on the one hand he increases the number of soldiers, On the other hand he says, "well, but they're going to be out by a certain date."

And the result is a mishmash.

How does obama view the state of israel?

Obama comes out of a milieu In which the state of israel is seen As a horrible entity.

Edward said was his professor at columbia, A leading anti-zionist figure.

Rashid khalidi was his friend in chicago, An important anti-israel professor.

And ali abunimah, an activist blogger in chicago, Who's far more vicious than either of those two.

And these were his buddies that we know about.

I think-- might speculate that were he reelected, More of those early ideas would come out.

What would you worry about if america was no longer america?

I think it will be a much more vicious environment In which wars will be more common, In which extremist ideologies will be more common, And there'll be no great power to hold them back.

So I think the power of the United States Is crucial for people around the world.

So, bad not just for us, but bad for everybody? - Indeed.

What prospects does america face In the middle east over the next few years?

What are the dangers that we have to look out for?

The general movement in the middle east Is away from the United States and towards islamism, Radical islam, totalitarian islam.

And the forces who have historically Been aligned with us are weaker.

That landscape is changing for the worse.

We are out of iraq and afghanistan.

Egypt moves from being an ally To being governed by the radical muslims.

Libya, saudi arabia, and jordan follow the same path.

No roadblocks are placed in the way Of iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons.

Israel is isolated.

The middle east transforms itself Into the United States of islam.

We have the power to make the world we seek, But only if we have the courage To make a new beginning.

The world could be a pretty scary place in 2016--

Israel brought to its knees, america's defenses weakened, The muslim world united.

But america would still be a rich country.

How does obama change that?

How does he restore the world before colonialism?

Actually, there is a way, and it's a beautiful way.

I call it "debt as a weapon of mass destruction."

What were annual deficits for reagan and the bushes Have become monthly deficits under obama.

And if we go over the tipping point, We don't just hit decline, we hit collapse.

We are rapidly approaching the tipping point, And it will be felt around the world.

There will be no place to hide.

From 1998 until 2008, I served as the comptroller general of the United States Or, in english, the auditor general.

The greatest threat to our future Is our own fiscal irresponsibility.

We are great in part because we have The largest economy on earth.

We're not going to stay great Unless we keep a strong economy.

The simple fact is when somebody holds your debt, They have more leverage on you And you have less leverage on them.

Based upon our current policy path, We're likely to see total debt levels In the United States, For the federal government alone, Of over $20 trillion by 2016.

So 20 trillion is $20 thousand billion. That's correct.

And that's up from 5.6 trillion in 2000.

From george washington to william jefferson clinton--

The first president to the 42nd president, We accumulated $5.6 trillion in total debt.

Under george walker bush, 43, And president barack obama...

We've gone from 5.6 trillion To over $15 trillion And adding debt at record rates.

We're only two to three years away from where greece was Was when greece had their debt crisis.

Now, we're not greece.

We're the largest economy on earth.

We're the temporary sole superpower.

We issue debt in our own currency And we have the largest reserve currency in the world.

And so that means we have more time.

That means that we are a temporary safe haven, Given uncertainties in the world.

But we are not exempt from the laws of prudent finance.

If we don't put our finances in order, Then the opportunities for our children And grandchildren will be less And their standard of living is likely to be less as well.

The first three words of the constitution Need to come alive-- "we the people."

We need to make sure That the president of the United States, Whoever that is, will tell the truth And provide the needed leadership.

Our future can be better than our past.

Will obama's america Offer real solutions Or more slogans?

♪ yes, we can can can

We meet at one of those defining moments, A moment when our nation is at war, Our economy is in turmoil, And the american promise Has been threatened once more.

Change happens because the american people demand it, Because they rise up and insist on new ideas

♪ yes, we can... And new leadership.

♪ yes, we can... A new politics for a new time.

♪ yes, we can... America, this is one of those moments.

It's time for us to change america!

♪ yes, we can!

The first time, we did not know What change would look like.

Now we do.

The first time, we did not know barack obama.

Now we do.

Which dream will we carry into 2016?

The american dream or obama's dream?

The future is not in my hands.

It's not even in obama's hands.

The future is in your hands.