Sarah Palin and the Tea Party Express have roared right through the latest round of Republican Party primaries this week, rattling the party establishment and terrifying the Democrats.
For those of you who are trained in the fastidious ways of the British ‘liberalism’ and are therefore shocked and can’t think why the American Right is gaining such strength, here’s the reason: Barack Obama.
Americans are waking up to the fact that they have elected a man as president who is every inch an exotic creature. Which was rather fun at first.
The problem is, America is discovering that Mr Obama has brought more than just a foreign name and an interesting racial mix to the White House. He has brought a whole foreign way of thinking. And Americans don’t like it.
Millions of them now want national leadership with a more star-spangled way of looking at the world, which is why this week there is something else going on in America, a national debate on a story about Mr Obama in the business magazine, Forbes.
The story is called ‘How Obama thinks.’ Its conclusion is that he thinks like a 1950s East African anti-colonialist.
The article was written by Dinesh D’Souza, an academic and author who is as exotic as the US president. Mr D’Souza was born in Mumbai and immigrated to America as a student. He is now president of The King’s College in New York. He once served in the Reagan White House.
Many of Mr Obama’s critics claim he is a socialist. Certainly, as Mr D’Souza says: ‘Thanks to Obama the era of big government is back. He has expanded the federal government’s control over home mortgages, investment banking, health care, autos and energy.’
His critics explain this in two ways. ‘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 levelling and government redistribution.’
But ‘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.’ (And what’s Mr Obama’s foreign policy? As the Weekly Standard put it, omnipotence at home, impotence abroad.)
According to Mr D’Souza, the real problem with Mr Obama is worse than socialism – ‘much worse.’
‘Here is a man who spent his formative years – the first 17 years of his life – off the American mainland, in Hawaii, Indonesia and Pakistan, with multiple subsequent journeys to Africa.’ With an early life like that, we must wonder what the President’s dream is. Is it the American dream?
Mr D’Souza says: ‘We don’t have to speculate, because Mr Obama has already told us himself in his autobiography, Dreams from My Father. According to Obama, his dream is his father’s dream.’
Barack Obama Senior was a Luo tribesman who grew up in Kenya and studied at Harvard. He was a polygamist and a drunk. According to one son, Mark Obama, he was also a wife-beater.
In one of his drunken car accidents, the President’s father killed a man and caused his own legs to be amputated. In 1982 he got drunk in a bar in Nairobi and drove into a tree, killing himself.
Yet to his son, the elder Obama was a hero who represented a great and noble cause, the cause of anti-colonialism. He had grown up during Africa’s struggle to throw off European rule.
Mr D’Souza knows something about anti-colonialism. He comes from the first generation of Indians born after their country’s independence from the British: ‘Anti-colonialism is the doctrine that rich countries of the West got rich by invading, occupying and looting poor countries of Asia, Africa and South America.’
Obama Senior was an economist. Mr D’Souza has found an article written by him in 1965 in the East Africa Journal. In it, he proposed that the state confiscate private land and raise taxes with no upper limit. He insisted that ‘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.’
As Mr D’Souza points out: ‘Remarkably, President Obama, who knows his father’s history very well, has never mentioned his father’s article.’ Yet the article is directly relevant to what the younger Obama is doing in the White House – especially since the president admits that, even though his father was absent for virtually all his life, ‘My father’s voice has nevertheless remained untainted, inspiring, rebuking, granting or withholding approval.’
Sarah Obama, the president’s step-grandmother, agrees. She said: ‘The son is realising everything the father wanted.’
What the father wanted was state appropriation of wealth for the political objective of repairing the damage allegedly done by colonialism. Only now, for the younger Obama, the colonial power is America. As he learned from Edward Said, one of his lecturers at Columbia University: ‘The United States has replaced the earlier great empires and is the dominant outside force.’
If Mr Obama shares his father’s anti-colonial crusade – and it seems he does – that explains why he wants Americans who are already paying close to half their incomes in overall taxes to pay even more. From a young age, Obama adopted his father’s position that capitalism and free markets are code words for economic plunder.
If he sees America’s military as a force of neo-colonial occupation – and it seems he does – that explains why he is determined to withdraw American forces from Afghanistan no matter what the consequences to America’s power.
Yet colonialism today is a dead issue. As Mr D’Souza says: ‘Emerging market economies such as China, India, Chile and Indonesia have solved the problem of backwardness; they are exploiting their labour advantage and growing much faster than the US.’
However, instead of readying America for the challenge, the man in the White House is ‘trapped in his father’s time machine. The philandering, inebriated African socialist, who raged against the world for denying him the realisation of his anti-colonial ambitions, is now setting the nation’s agenda through the reincarnation of his dreams in his son.’
America is being run by the ghost of a dead Luo tribesman of the 1950s.