A poorer, smaller, humbler, less influential America—that is Barack Obama’s vision for America as presented by Dinesh D’Souza, who spoke at The Heritage Foundation last Tuesday about his new book on this country’s 44th President, Obama’s America: Unmaking the American Dream.

The book’s incisive analysis arrives at many conclusions similar to those of The Heritage Foundation’s papers on the Obama Doctrine.

Many of Obama’s actions and policies can seem incomprehensible coming from the leader of the most powerful nation in the world. They are therefore often attributed to bungling and ineptitude. However, according to D’Souza, this is a President who did not seek the highest office in the land to preserve American greatness and leadership. Instead, Obama’s core motivating philosophy is deeply rooted anti-colonialism.

D’Souza sees the President as successfully pursuing a vision concealed by political rhetoric from most Americans who voted for Obama. From Obama’s perspective, says D’Souza, America is too rich, consumes too many of the world’s resources, is militarily too strong, and has to be reduced to its proper place among the eight or so major nations of the world. “He wants…an America in decline so that other nations might rise.”

In domestic terms, this explains why the President doesn’t even break a sweat as the national debt skyrockets by the trillions. If this crushing debt burden causes national decline, he is all for it. In foreign policy terms, such an analysis explains questions such as:

  • Why does Obama frequently seem to side with America’s rivals as opposed to its allies? A striking example is the Obama Administration’s decision to cancel the missile defense deal struck with Poland by the Bush Administration. Meanwhile, the President was caught on camera telling Russian President Dmitry Medvedev that he would have “more flexibility” after the November election. Another is the Administration’s backing of Argentina in its dispute with Britain over the Falkland Islands, a 180-degree reversal of standing U.S. policy. Dictators in the Middle East have been toppled, but enemies like Iran and Syria receive hands-off treatment.
  • Why does the Administration seek to eviscerate the U.S. nuclear arsenal while other nations are either failing to reduce theirs or actively building them? The President sees our nuclear arsenal as the biggest global threat—not Russia’s, North Korea’s, or Iran’s. The President’s Nuclear Security Summit in 2010 was a gathering of only U.S. allies—Iran and North Korea weren’t even invited.

As described by Heritage Foundation scholars and others, the Obama Doctrine grows naturally from this anti-colonial worldview. Its tenets include a more humble engagement with the world and more reliance on treaties and international organizations to deal with global crises and threats to our security. It emphasizes “soft power” instruments such as international aid over military power, and it aims for a more restrained international role for the U.S.

The problem is that the Obama Doctrine does not have its roots in the real world, which certainly will not be a safer place as a result of downsizing American power. The period of American pre-eminence is one of the most stable and certainly most prosperous the world has known. This country is exceptional, its alliances are worth preserving, and its moral stance against international aggression and oppression has to remain a beacon to the world.