Newt Gingrich has gotten some play from accusing President Obama of being (gasp!) an “anti-colonialist” in a National Review interview. He says he learned this from the “stunning insight” of Dinesh D’Souza in a Forbes column.
This is a bit like Rand Paul on the Civil Rights Act. Do we really want a Republican Party that is re-arguing European colonialism? When I started reading National Review back in high school, and got introduced to Dinesh D’Souza, an overall message that I got at the time was that intellectual type conservatives recognized that conservative reluctance or recalcitrance on civil rights had been a screw-up that, along with Watergate, had contributed to our minority status at the time.
Here is Ta-Nehisi Coates, in The Atlantic: On Pro-Colonialism. For me, being anti-colonial is very much in keeping with the “original intent” of our Founding Fathers.
Regardless, Obama has gone to Africa, early in his term, and spoken to Africans: what was his actual message to Africans as the President of the United States (as reported on the Voice of America)? Can people like Gingrich actually be bothered to reflect on this, or is that unnecessary since there will be people who will obviously buy whatever pop psychology is served up about our “half-caste” leader?
Update: Related thoughts from Eugene Robinson in today’s Washington Post column:
The rational explanation is that Gingrich seized on the “programmed by his absent father” thesis as a way of furthering the “birther” narrative — the paranoid fantasy that Obama is foreign, exotic, alien, somehow not American. So what if D’Souza’s piece makes assertion after assertion that is plainly, demonstrably unsupported? Just throw it out there, and maybe a few gullible souls will believe it.
Of course, Glenn Beck was the first to push this meme publicly that I know of. See my post here about Beck’s agitprop about Obama and “anti-colonialism”.
From Antony Karanja in The Daily Nation: “Why Kenya and Obama are being dragged in the mud of U.S. racism”.