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In the classic tale The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy and friends peer behind the curtain to discover that the great and powerful Wizard of the Emerald City is not who he seems. Now in the new documentary There’s No Place Like Utopia, filmmaker Joel Gilbert sets off on a whimsical, eye-opening, occasionally animated (a lá Michael Moore), Oz-like journey of his own, skipping down the Yellow Brick Road of failed socialist promises and peeling back the curtain to reveal Barack Obama as America’s very own fraudulent Wizard.
Gilbert is also the director and writer of the documentaries Dreams from My Real Father, Atomic Jihad: Ahmadinejad’s Coming War, Obama’s Politics of Defeat,and Farewell Israel: Bush, Iran and the Revolt of Islam. In his latest, he is our guide, traveling from New York to Los Angeles speaking with former Obama voters who are much less enamored of him now that his promises of prosperity have turned out to be empty lies.
This Yellow Brick Road leads through the impoverished wastelands of Democrat-ruled fiefdoms like Detroit, Denver, Newark and Chicago. Gilbert strolls through what look like the bombed-out husks of former factories, churches, police stations, and projects (and indeed, those ruins are compared to photos of the post-war Berlin landscape). When he asks a black Newark woman how Democrat star politician Cory Booker has improved the city in the last eight years, she looks at him in astonishment and says, “Do you mean, how has he destroyed it?”
Along the way Gilbert bumps into notables like Jesse Jackson, Michelle Obama’s mother, and most interestingly, Peggy Joseph, the Florida woman who scored brief internet fame for announcing after the 2008 election that she would no longer have to work because Obama was going to pay her mortgage and her gas. Much to Joseph’s disappointment, Obama not only didn’t follow through, but her mortgage and gas prices are even higher. She educated herself politically since 2008, and does not support him today. Neither do some of Gilbert’s other interviewees, poor blacks in communities increasingly devastated over the decades by progressive policies.
The aim of those policies “is the creation of the perfect future: Utopia,” says interviewee David Horowitz. “It’s the kingdom of heaven on earth.” Progressivism is rebranded socialism (author Jerome Corsi tells Gilbert that the word “progressive” was a “public relations feint”), and Konstantin Preobrazhensky, author of FSB: The Trojan Horse, declares that “socialism is a religion, and the leader is God on earth.”
Those leaders include charismatic men like Hitler, Stalin, and Mao, who promised people a workers’ paradise. Barack Obama is depicted in the documentary as the latest in that line of socialist charlatans. As Corsi tells Gilbert,
The Wizard of Oz is the great fable of the lie of trusting this all-knowing, this all-powerful human being that has all the answers. At the Emerald City, suddenly all your problems are solved… But when you finally get behind the curtain, you realize it’s all deception, it’s all a smoke-and-light show. The wizard is just a carnival hawker.
And yet the brainwashing runs deep. Gilbert speaks with young Chinese tourists in Washington D.C. who declare Chairman Mao “a great man” despite having made “great mistakes” – like the starvation of 50 million Chinese, which the tourists freely admit.
That brainwashing in America came partly when hardcore revolutionaries like Obama’s terrorist friends Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn realized that they couldn’t foment a full-blown revolution, but they could discredit the American dream. And so we see footage of Michelle Obama speaking to crowds before Barack’s election, painting a picture of an America that had failed its dreamers – and urging voters to see her husband as their brilliant savior, their new Wizard.
Obama dismissed the free market (“It has never worked”), but a former auto plant owner in Detroit tells Gilbert that the free market does work, by rewarding good behavior and punishing bad. But the Democrats’ welfare system rewards bad behavior. Author Jack Cashill says that the socialists discovered that the non-working man who depends on the government for his continued existence is even more useful than the working man, because the ultimate aim of social welfare programs, says Corsi, is “dependent, sheep-like voters.” It is an intentional strategy to use poor people, not help them. “They’re stuck in Oz,” says Cashill. “They never get home.”
Speaking of home, Gilbert chats in Spanish with illegals from Guatemala, El Salvador and Mexico looking for work outside a Home Depot. They tell him that they have come to America to make a living because socialism has deteriorated their homelands so badly. They support Obama and look forward to amnesty, which would flood the job market with millions of Democrat voters and deal an even bigger blow to the already unemployed black community.
Gilbert also travels to Dearborn, Michigan, the most Muslim-populated city in America. Islam, he suggests, is expanding ominously into cities whose populations are imploding, like Detroit.
Gilbert also walks Hollywood Boulevard, where people seem uncomfortable complaining about Obama on-camera, except one would-be rapper who is selling his CDs on the street. When Gilbert asks how he thinks Obama is similar to the Wizard of Oz, the young rapper replies, “They’re both sneaky and fake, at the end of the story.” The rapper then worries aloud that Obama, who is “a powerful man,” might see this documentary and retaliate.
Cashill says this reluctance to speak out stems from the fear engendered by political correctness, “the strong arm of cultural Marxism,” and there’s nothing funny about it. He adds that “The prison camp is the end of the socialist experiment.” When asked if Russia had the book The Wizard of Oz, former Soviet agent Preobrazhensky replies, “It was so popular that you can’t imagine,” but says the translator spent many years in a gulag.
Ultimately Gilbert returns home to his own Kansas – Tennessee – and concludes that the American spirit is still strong, even among many of the poor, disillusioned blacks he interviewed. They still see this country as the land of opportunity – as long as you don’t trust the Wizard.
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