Obama's Dad Was No 'Radical'
'Anti-colonialist' accusations misunderstand father and son
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Oct 15, 2010 11:04 AM CDT
This 1960s file photo shows Barack Obama with his mother Stanley Ann Dunham.   (AP Photo/Obama Presidential Campaign)
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(Newser) – Those who suggest Barack Obama is a “rabid anti-colonialist” based on impressions of his father are way off the mark about both father and son, writes Bruce L.R. Smith in the Washington Post. Dinesh D’Souza recently argued that “the president inherited political radicalism from his father.” But Obama Sr.—whom Smith knew personally—“was, in fact, an urbane, Western-oriented intellectual” of an only “modestly leftist bent.”

Meanwhile, it is clear that D’Souza has misread President Obama’s autobiography, Dreams from My Father. The younger man was inspired by Obama Sr. “as a man of reason, a defender of modernity against tribalism and corruption,” Smith notes. “Conservatives have many reasons to oppose and criticize the president, but caricatures such as D'Souza's contribute nothing to the political dialogue.”