Dinesh D’Souza’s film 2016 shows that Barack Obama comes from a dysfunctional family, and the results of that on him. The dysfunctionality can be defined as being “due to the absence of a father, either physically or emotionally, or both.” Obama’s father abandoned him early in life, at age 2, when he left Obama’s mother and returned to Africa. In his memoir Dreams from My Father, Obama described Barack Obama Sr. as a gifted but erratic alcoholic who never lived up to his intellectual promise. Obama’s half brother, Mark Ndesandjo, confirmed that. In his recent book Nairobi to Shenzhen, he said their father was an abusive alcoholic who beat his mother and him.
Obama’s experience of abandonment was compounded by his Indonesian stepfather, Lolo Soetoro, who married his mother Stanley Ann Dunham and took her and Obama to Indonesia, but later left her when Obama was 10 and never reentered his life.
A child needs two parents for mental health and wholeness. Boys need a father or father figure who provides emotional nurturance, moral guidance and positive male role modeling. In their absence, boys grow up with a gaping emotional void. A need to fill that void, to seek constant adulation and approval, often drives them into careers—such as politics and other power-holding positions—to compensate for the love and approval they never received from their fathers.
That is what’s behind Obama’s socialist politics. That is what’s behind his wish to take care of everyone from cradle to grave in the way he must feel no one took care of him—at least in significant ways.
How best to accomplish that goal? Offer government programs, tax-free welfare and other forms of “spreading the wealth” which will earn him the Great Provider moniker he seeks so that he becomes, figuratively, “the father of our country.” (Move over, George Washington!) That way he will be able to ease the pain of his father’s and stepfather’s absence and to exorcise the uneasy presence of that influence.
Or so he unconsciously thinks. However, it is a badly misguided attempt to find the love and approval which his father and stepfather failed to provide. (Incidentally, you can’t “fix” a person’s pain by making them endlessly childlike and dependent! Most dependents end up hating the “benevolent” giver, precisely because that so-called giver reinforces his or her feeling of inferiority.) That is why biracial Obama regards himself as a black man (after his father) rather than white (after his mother or grandparents). He has said publicly that he self-identifies as a black man. That is also why he adopts the victim identity of black-liberation theology, both of which are his cries for love and approval from his father and his stepfather—who are deceased and therefore can never provide what Obama lacks and wants.
That puts Obama in an unsolvable dilemma: unconsciously yearning for something he can never have, yet not daring to recognize—first personally, then publicly—the nature of the problem because it might destroy all he has done to compensate for it.
(To be continued)