Dinesh D’souza’s “America:” Politically Provocative, Philosophically Astounding

America the Movie Poster

Yesterday, I had the privilege of seeing this movie for a second time and thoroughly enjoyed both experiences (on the second time around, I had to bring a pen and notepad).  This political documentary seeks to unwind a lot of the political propaganda out there – on the campaign trail and in the classroom – that says that America is based on an unjust foundation and thus must be removed or “fundamentally transformed.”

Dinesh D’Souza did not want to direct a one-sided propaganda film himself to rebut the false narrative of America-shaming.  Instead, he engages with top authors and academics in order to assert his point.  This movie brings to light commonly unknown facts concerning the loss of land, labor, territory, resources, and, yes, even the American Dream by the American hand. How do we rectify what is wrong?

Some voices in the hallowed halls of academia, like professor Ward Churchill, suggest the annihilation of our country via an atomic bomb if given the opportunity. When D’Souza asked Churchill in an interview if he would drop an atomic bomb on America since he personally holds that our country is the new evil empire – like Nazi Germany – would he do it, it was stunning just to see the expression on his face. It was almost like he had never thought of it before but was relishing the idea; his eyes widened almost like you would do if somebody offered you a deal you couldn’t resist. Those were his eyes, his body language; but more importantly, his verbal answer was yes. Yes, the evil, brutally wicked United States ought to be bombed and bombed to its core.

Now is this societally healthful? How can we progress as a society with liberal self-hating? And by “self-hating,” I really mean “other”-hating, but I say “self”-hating so that I can feel better about myself. When I say “self-hating” I am actually referring to capitalists or people who are more well-off than myself. When I say “self-hating” I am really wanting other people to do the suffering – to do the “penance” for America.

So, D’Souza weeds through all of this. What I liked about the movie is that it went through and took care to unfold the argument point by point: that America is an evil, awful place (so much so that millions of non-Americans break into America annually just to experience a part of the pie).  Howard Zinn’s shame-narrative in The People’s History of the United States of America, which is required reading in most public schools today, is contrasted heavily with the narrative presented by French philosopher Alexis de Tocqueville, who visited our shores in the nineteenth century to see what made America tick so exceptionally well for such a long time. And what he found is truly remarkable, indeed.

Democracy in America (Alexis de Tocqueville)

Democracy in America – by Alexis de Tocqueville

His research, recorded in Democracy in America, does a better job at analyzing the American heritage than Mr. Zinn ever could – including in describing how slavery was a societal dampener in the places where it was practiced.      The French aristocrat at one point even stands on the border of Kentucky and Ohio and makes an incredible observation: Kentucky, a slave state, had plenty of farms but Ohio had industry coming out at all sides, even though either land mass was completely suitable for either economy.  What happened?  Making a timeless assertion, he observed that since the slave could not keep the property he or she labored for and the master simply relied on the labor of his slaves if he wanted anything involving work to be done, both master and slave experienced far less than what their human potential merited.  Since both elements in this relationship of coercion and lack of freedom endured in the South, the South suffered from a retardation of growth from a purely economic point of view.  And that’s not to mention the human tragedy in all of this!  But that is part of the human tragedy in all of this, isn’t it? – the inability to keep the product of your own labor and the inhibitor of dependence and utter reliance upon another.  The master could not “get ahead in life” because of the slaves.  Only when he could gain his own freedom, could they have gotten theirs.

The humanitarian and benevolence endeavors by faith communities impressed this young philosopher, because the civil government was not into the charity business back then.  But charity was enduring!  Even today, the “secular left” is out-given by fourfold by their political counterparts.  Not that one is tallying numbers here, but since the Left keeps bringing up how hateful and disinterested Americans are without the constant help of the government, we have to step back and say to ourselves, “But I’m seeing a different story here.”  How hateful and disinterested is it to wish a little more hard-earned money to stay in the pocketbooks of Americans, like Ronald Reagan once said?  That’s not selfishness; that’s humanitarianism!  That is prosperity!  You cannot talk about poverty without also talking about its antidote – the lifting up of the individual out of his or her economic plight, the elevation of an individual from one economic level of income to another.  Why. Is. This. Wrong?

America did something different with slavery.  There were advocates seeking to abolish it before the nation’s inception, but the Founding Documents are what enable Frederick Douglas, Abraham Lincoln and others to bring it to a close forever.  Slavery actually persists to this day in some places around the world.  But what is uniquely American is that we chose to fight a great war to seek its once and final destruction.

Have you ever been taught that the U.S. was the only country with slavery?

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Illegal Immigration on the Rise (On Richard Lamm)

Well, this nation is facing a very real and present refugee crisis on the Mexican border, beginning, it seems, from two years ago (illegals are saying they have arrived here for “amnistia).  But before we say, “Well, they’re here; it is compassionate to let this situation continue, to keep them from assimilating into our national culture and adopting our national heritage,” let’s build our arguments upon facts and reason.

In fact, Governor Richard Lamm makes this same claim in his now-famous speech from a Federation for American Immigration Reform conference one decade ago.  What is surprising is that he is a big-D Democrat, but he speaks up for America and stands upon history while doing so (something not-so typical with the Left these days).  The truthfulness rings loud and clear. Below is the audio and transcript:

shout_dark

Click on this “public service” announcement for audio.

“I Have a Plan to Destroy America”
by Richard D. Lamm

I have a secret plan to destroy America. If you believe, as many do, that America is too smug, too white bread, too self-satisfied, too rich, let’s destroy America. It is not that hard to do. History shows that nations are more fragile than their citizens think. No nation in history has survived the ravages of time. Arnold Toynbee observed that all great civilizations rise and they all fall, and that “an autopsy of history would show that all great nations commit suicide.” Here is my plan:

1. We must first make America a bilingual-bicultural country. History shows, in my opinion, that no nation can survive the tension, conflict and antagonism of two competing languages and cultures. It is a blessing for an individual to be bilingual; it is a curse for a society to be bilingual. One scholar, Seymour Martin Lipset, put it this way: “The histories of bilingual and bicultural societies that do not assimilate are histories of turmoil, tension and tragedy. Canada, Belgium, Malaysia, Lebanon all face crises of national existence in which minorities press for autonomy, if not independence. Pakistan and Cyprus have divided. Nigeria suppressed an ethnic rebellion. France faces difficulties with its Basques, Bretons and Corsicans.”

2. I would then invent “multiculturalism” and encourage immigrants to maintain their own culture. I would make it an article of belief that all cultures are equal: that there are no cultural differences that are important. I would declare it an article of faith that the black and Hispanic dropout rate is only due to prejudice and discrimination by the majority. Every other explanation is out-of-bounds.

3. We can make the United States a “Hispanic Quebec” without much effort. The key is to celebrate diversity rather than unity. As Benjamin Schwarz said in the Atlantic Monthly recently, “The apparent success of our own multiethnic and multicultural experiment might have been achieved, not by tolerance, but by hegemony. Without the dominance that once dictated ethnocentrically, and what it meant to be an American, we are left with only tolerance and pluralism to hold us together.” I would encourage all immigrants to keep their own language and culture. I would replace the melting pot metaphor with a salad bowl metaphor. It is important to insure that we have various cultural sub-groups living in America reinforcing their differences, rather than Americans emphasizing their similarities.

4. Having done all this, I would make our fastest-growing demographic group the least educated. I would add a second underclass, unassimilated, undereducated and antagonistic to our population. I would have this second underclass have a 50 percent dropout rate from school.

5. I would then get the big foundations and big business to give these efforts lots of money. I would invest in ethnic identity, and I would establish the cult of victimology. I would get all minorities to think their lack of success was all the fault of the majority. I would start a grievance industry blaming all minority failure on the majority population.

6. I would establish dual citizenship and promote divided loyalties. I would “celebrate diversity.” “Diversity” is a wonderfully seductive word. It stresses differences rather than commonalities. Diverse people worldwide are mostly engaged in hating each other–that is, when they are not killing each other. A “diverse,” peaceful or stable society is against most historical precedent. People undervalue the unity it takes to keep a nation together, and we can take advantage of this myopia.

Look at the ancient Greeks. Dorf’s “World History” tells us: “The Greeks believed that they belonged to the same race; they possessed a common language and literature; and they worshiped the same gods. All Greece took part in the Olympic Games in honor of Zeus, and all Greeks venerated the shrine of Apollo at Delphi. A common enemy, Persia, threatened their liberty. Yet, all of these bonds together were not strong enough to overcome two factors … (local patriotism and geographical conditions that nurtured political divisions …)” If we can put the emphasis on the “pluribus,” instead of the “unum,” we can balkanize America as surely as Kosovo.

7. Then I would place all these subjects off-limits–make it taboo to talk about. I would find a word similar to “heretic” in the 16th century that stopped discussion and paralyzed thinking. Words like “racist”, “xenophobe” halt argument and conversation. Having made America a bilingual-bicultural country, having established multiculturalism, having the large foundations fund the doctrine of “victimology,” I would next make it impossible to enforce our immigration laws. I would develop a mantra –”because immigration has been good for America, it must always be good.” I would make every individual immigrant sympatric and ignore the cumulative impact.

8. Lastly, I would censor Victor Davis Hanson’s book “Mexifornia” –this book is dangerous; it exposes my plan to destroy America. So please, please–if you feel that America deserves to be destroyed–please, please–don’t buy this book! This guy is on to my plan.

[emphasis added]

“The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum.” –Noam Chomsky, American linguist and U.S. media and foreign policy critic.

Are you noticing these traits today in the Leftists’ arguments regarding this issue?

– Ruminus