By Susan D. Harris
Granted, I haven’t been to the movies in a long time, so when I went to see Dinesh D’Souza‘s movie “America” (based on his book) on opening day, I was surprised to find the movie playing in a smaller theater (within the mega-theater), on a screen that didn’t seem much bigger than many large screen TV’s in homes across the country.
Maybe it’s because I’m in New York State that the audience consisted of about twenty five people; all white-haired senior citizens. The way the world seems to be running, I wasn’t surprised that the obligatory previews ran with only audio and no video. Eventually, someone walked out to report it.
Then the movie began.
Let me start out by saying that I have a great respect for Dinesh D’Souza. His film “2016: Obama’s America” was the #2 political documentary of all time. He’s not a politician, nor the leader of a large movement. He is a regular American citizen, an Indian immigrant, who used his ingenuity and passion to become a formidable force as a political commentator, author and producer. He is sticking his neck out to tell the truth in a way that most of us aren’t, can’t or wouldn’t if given the opportunity.
The film “America,” however, was old hat to most of us who have a grasp of American history and have been following Conservative issues for some time. It’s too little too late; but that isn’t D’Souza’s fault, it’s ours.
The first 2/3 of the movie seemed to be geared towards blacks, Native Americans, and Mexicans – to show them how their perception of America has been manipulated by false teachings. The trouble with this is the same as it is with Fox News Channel, Conservative websites, newspapers and magazines: Nobody that needs to see it is going to see it. To the people in the audience, he was preaching to the choir.
The movie began by asking us to imagine the unimaginable. It poses some dramatic questions: What if Hitler had gotten the atomic bomb first? What would the world look like if America didn’t exist? But the questions never seem to be answered and the points never driven home.
America’s contributions to civilization are covered briefly in the form of visual images of cars, airplanes and the space program.
Perhaps what bothered me most was the portrayal of, and constant references to, Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln could pen an impressive speech; but I am no fan of Abraham Lincoln, at least not in the category of elevated martyrdom that D’Souza ranks him. I know I’m in the minority with this opinion, but I am in league with people like Judge Napolitano that Lincoln had “total, utter, and complete disregard for the Constitution.” Also like Napolitano, I believe Lincoln has been “mythologized since the (Progressive era) of Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson, and particularly by the public school establishment…which would almost have you believe he is the fourth member of the Blessed Trinity.”
Slavery was dying in many places around the world, and was on the cusp of dying in the South when Lincoln assumed office. Instead of helping it die, Napolitano explains, “Lincoln set about on the most murderous war in American history in which over 750,000 soldiers and civilians died.” He argues that the abolition of slavery, being born out of unprecedented violence, is the reason true freedom for blacks in America wasn’t achieved until 125 years later. (To be fair D’Souza does make some good points about the amount of black slave owners and the simultaneous problem of non-black indentured servants.)
As a matter of fact, President Obama probably has more in common with Abraham Lincoln than any other president when you consider Lincoln’s unconstitutional income tax, his disregard of civil liberties, suspending the writ of habeas corpus and unjustly prosecuting people who spoke out against the government.
Putting the idolizing of Lincoln aside, D’Souza does a fairly good job of answering one question: “How can you convince a nation to author its own destruction?” He answers this by showing us some of the people in America “who want a world without America.” He examines, in direct interviews when possible, the views of people like Noam Chomsky, Bill Ayers, Ward Churchill, and Saul Alinsky. D’Souza rightfully devotes a fair amount of time to educate those not familiar with Alinsky on his Chicago-mob-learned tactics of polarization, demonization and deception.
He takes a close look at Howard Zinn, author of “A People’s History of the United States.” Zinn’s twisted view of history is experiencing a big push in middle and high school classrooms across the country, thanks to the Progressive “Zinn Education Project.” D’Souza then contrasts Zinn with Alexis de Tocqueville who documented democracy in America with neither malice nor hidden agenda.
I would have liked to have seen the movies’ segments on Capitalism expanded – D’Souza’s point that “Capitalism works because of the consent of the consumer” could be the impetus for a movie in its own right.
D’Souza mentioned in passing that America rebuilt Germany and Japan after WWII, but I would have liked to have seen the points of Gordon’s Sinclair’s editorial/recording “Let’s Hear it for the Americans” brought to the silver screen with pomp, circumstance, and cinematic awesomeness. I’d like to see every good thing that America has done since 1973 (when Sinclair wrote the piece) added to create a cinematic blockbuster that would send Progressives and America-haters reeling in revulsion.
Ultimately D’Souza’s movie examined how we got here. I have yet to see any proof that Conservatives, Republicans, Libertarians — or anyone who professes true devotion to the Constitution — can come up with a feasible plan of action to counter the Progressives war on America. There is no foreseeable “checkmate” on the ideological chessboard. In short, as the old saying goes, we can’t seem to think our way out of a paper bag.
Progressives are always one step ahead of us. Many acknowledge the current immigration crisis on our border was orchestrated to bring America to her knees and significantly pad Democratic voters to ensure her demise. Meanwhile, Republican leaders have been caught like deer in the headlights, repeatedly unable to predict Obama’s next move even when he broadcasts it in advance.
I don’t want to discourage anyone from seeing D’Souza’s “America;” but it’s certainly not an inspirational Independence Day movie. The only thing that would inspire me would be if concerned citizens and leaders from across the country…from every segment of industry and business…banking, farming, politics, and media etc. — held emergency meetings to formulate an immediate plan of action to stop this administration’s tyrannical bulldozing of the greatest country on earth.