Dreams from his Father: Obama as Petulant Anticolonialist
On the eve of the 2008 election, veteran newsman Tom Brokaw famously declared that we don't know Barack Obama. The astonishing admission occurred during a discussion on the Charlie Rose Show, and fellow veteran newsman Charlie Rose agreed wholeheartedly with Brokaw's admitted ignorance of the man they both wanted to see elected to the most powerful office on earth:
Shortly after the election, CNN's Jonathan Mann wrote that Americans "are putting a lot of faith in a man they barely know." This was true and, perhaps unintentionally, quite a powerful indictment of his employer.
The idea of Tom Brokaw, former anchor of one of the Big Three nightly newscasts and one of America's most prolific news anchors, a man steeped in American politics for decades on end, declaring that "we don't understand the universe" of Obama's thinking was incredible at the time. We had by then come to know of Rev. Jeremiah Wright and his peculiar race-centric Chicago church. We had by then come to know of Obama's relationship with William Ayers, the unrepentant 1960s radical terrorist who had openly lamented that he and his ilk hadn't committed enough violence against America to end the Vietnam war. We had, by November 2008, already come to know of Obama's past work with ACORN, the corrupt community organizing group, and we already knew that he planned to continue and elevate ACORN's work as president. Those of us who paid close attention knew that in his books Obama himself had confessed to associating with the radicals and Marxists on campus during his college days. We already knew all of this, yet Brokaw, Rose, and Mann were to some extent right to say that we still didn't really know the universe of Obama's thinking.
Nearly 20 months into the Obama presidency, it's finally becoming clear just how little about Obama we and the media that covered him really understood about him. Fifty-two percent of America elected a dream, but they didn't know whose dream they were putting in the White House or what sort of personality would drive that dream.
But we're getting closer. Victor Davis Hanson, writing here at PJM, and Dinesh D'Souza, writing in Forbes, have separately unlocked two key facets of Obama's personality and worldview that, together, may tell us exactly who Obama is and exactly what makes him tick.