Many thanks to commentor El Cid for his link to the brilliant Economist smackdown of Dinesh D’Souza’s weird racialist “Obama Derangment Syndrome“:
I DON’T find it at all difficult to understand how Barack Obama thinks, because most of his beliefs are part of the broad consensus in America’s centre or centre-left: greenhouse-gas emissions reductions, universal health insurance, financial-reform legislation, repealing the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, and so forth. Dinesh D’Souza, on the other hand, appears to have met so few Democrats in recent decades that he finds such views shocking, and thinks they can only be explained by the fact that Mr Obama’s father was a Kenyan government economist who pushed for a non-aligned stance in the Cold War during the 1960s-70s.
Most Americans wouldn’t have a hard time answering the question of why the government ought to guarantee all kids a good education. “Because it’s not the kids’ fault that their parents aren’t rich PhD’s” pretty much covers it… So why would Mr D’Souza perform the moral contortionist’s act necessary to justify elitism in education as integral to a “free society”? Well, here’s an explanation modeled on the one Mr D’Souza provides for Mr Obama’s views:
If Mr D’Souza grew up amongst a tiny hereditary elite desperately trying to protect its privileged status in a huge and bitterly poor third-world country, that would explain why he wants to make sure disadvantaged children are denied the educational opportunities his daughter receives.
What about his weird instinct to dredge up the irrelevant topic of anti-colonialism in explaining Barack Obama’s run-of-the-mill center-left political agenda? Using the same phrasing:
If Mr D’Souza hailed from a tiny Westernised elite that allied itself with the European colonialist project against the national independence movement of his own country, that would explain his monomania about anti-colonialism.
It would, however, be unfair to explain Mr D’Souza’s views this way. First of all, I’m no expert on Indian history or the caste system in Goa, and the description above may be just as shallow a caricature as the one Mr D’Souza provides of post-colonial East African politics in his inflammatory article. Specifically, I know no more about Mr D’Souza’s family’s political views than he does about Barack Obama’s father’s (about which he appears to know strikingly little, given the wealth of information available on the subject)… [A]nybody who wants to know “how D’Souza thinks” is free to look up what he’s written in books and articles over the years, just as Mr D’Souza could criticise the views of Barack Obama by referring to things Mr Obama has said and done.
By all means, read the whole thing, because it’s very cheering to know that there are still a few sane people with access to the levers of Respectable Major Media Access.