This article was first published at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, July 23, 2014:
After viewing the movie and reading the book entitled America: Imagine a World without Her, one is inclined to suggest a new title. For starters, D’Souza, the author and producer of his first film 2016: Obama’s America, never explains what the world would look like without America’s presence. That is left up to the reader and viewer. He starts off badly, as well, naming his first chapter Suicide of Nation. This presumes that American citizens are doing themselves in deliberately, with malice aforethought.
But, as D’Souza shortly points out, that is hardly the case. There are evil forces afoot attempting to end the American experiment with liberty and replace it with another socialist hell on earth like those littering the pages of history over eons.
He is determined to expose them:
I intend to turn the progressive critique on its head. [Progressives] are not on the side of the ordinary citizen, because their policies lead to stagnation, impoverishment, indebtedness, and decline – all in evidence today.
It is progressives who rely on government seizure and bureaucratic conquest to achieve their goals and increase their power….
I intend to blow the whistle on these people, starting with Obama and continuing with Hillary Clinton and the whole progressive menagerie.
There are some problems with his theme, however, which get in the way of what is otherwise a useful book for those in the freedom fight, as well as for those just becoming aware that there is such a fight going on. The first is that D’Souza has bought the argument that the Progressives want to punish America for her centuries-long sins of theft. First there was the stealing of the land from the Indians. Then there was the Mexican-American War, where the US stole Mexican land illegally. Then there’s slavery: the stealing of labor from captives. It’s the propagation of the myth heard recently from the White House: “you didn’t build it (so it isn’t yours).”
D’Souza fails to mention the real purpose behind efforts to level America: so that it may be comfortably merged with others less fortunate in the New World Order. Missing from his book and movie is any mention of those purposes spelled out decades ago by the Ford Foundation. Missing from an otherwise excellent and useful index is any mention of the Ford, Carnegie, or Rockefeller Foundations. Or, for that matter, New World Order.
D’Souza attacks and responds to each of these myths with varying degrees of success. First, the Indians:
The Indians have gotten a bad deal. At the same time, we should be clear about what the alternatives are…. You say, “Give us back the Black Hills,” You point out that there is uranium and other minerals in those hills, and now that land is worth a fortune. Once again, no Indian tribe knew how to mine uranium and no Indian tribe knew what to do with uranium if they had it.
Other Americans have added value to the Black Hills by figuring out how to tap its resources, and now the Indians want the land back so they can take advantage of what others have figured out how to do.
Then there are the Mexicans:
After the [Mexican-American War ended in 1848], the United States immediately recognized as valid the property rights of Mexicans who were now part of U.S. territory. The change was not in any individual’s land ownership but in the fact that people who were once Mexicans now became Americans….
While progressives deplore American aggression … what we do know is that the vast majority of Mexicans who ended up on the American side of the border, following the Mexican War, never attempted to return to Mexico. And neither have their descendants.
This is weak. A better explanation comes from historians using original documentation: America won the war and essentially owned all of Mexico all the way down to Vera Cruz. America then did a very un-colonial thing: it gave back half of the country to the Mexican government, paid it $15 million for the privilege, and assumed another $3 million in Mexican government debts owed to American citizens.
And then there’s slavery:
Did America owe something to the slaves whose labor had been stolen? … that debt … is best discharged through memory, because the slaves are dead and their descendants are better off as a consequence of their ancestors being hauled from Africa to America.
He enlists the help of Muhammad Ali to make his point. Following one of his most famous fights in the 1970s held in Zaire, Ali was asked: “Champ, what did you think of Africa?” Said Ali: “Thank God my granddaddy got on that boat!”
To make his point D’Souza also enlists the help of Alexis De Tocqueville, who saw with his own eyes the American experiment and reported on it. He saw that citizens treated each other as equals. He saw them working together voluntarily to complete a task. He didn’t see them running to the government for assistance. All they wanted, he wrote, was the chance to write their own ticket to their futures.
De Tocqueville also made a vital point that is often missing these days: the importance of a vital Christian faith that informs, directs, and supports the political institutions built into the Constitution.
There were nuggets of truth that expose the Progressives’ lies and make the case for the American dream. For example, D’Souza presents Sarah Breedlove, otherwise known as Madam D. J. Walker, the first woman millionaire in the country. She also happened to be black. Emancipated following the Civil War she started building her company, Madam C. J. Walker Manufacturing Company, by selling hair and skin products to black ladies, and then inviting them into her company to do the same. D’Souza does something remarkable here in his film: he presents an actress playing the part of Breedlove holding an Amway meeting! In period costumes, she is encouraging the ladies present to seize the opportunity before them and make their own way. She challenges them, just as similar entrepreneurs do today, to work hard and prosper. That’s the American promise: anyone in America who is willing to work hard can start at the bottom rung of the ladder and, with some breaks, work their way as far to the top as they want.
D’Souza spent the last third of the 103-minute film exposing the Progressives behind the scenes from whom the present actors on the stage are taking their cues: Howard Zinn, the hard-core communist who wrote A Peoples’ History of the United States, which is now required reading in colleges all across the land, and Saul Alinsky, the author of Rules for Radicals, the operating manual for infiltrating power centers.
Zinn put it well when he explained his purpose in writing his book (which, by the way, has sold more than two millions copies!):
[This is] not a revolution in the classical sense of a seizure of power, but rather from people beginning to take power from within the institutions.
He saved his best shots for Alinsky, exposing his devotion to the Evil One by dedicating his book to him:
Lest we forget at least an over-the-shoulder acknowledgment to the very first radical: from all our legends, mythology, and history (and who is to know where mythology leaves off and history begins – or which is which), the first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom – Lucifer.
Second was his revelation that Alinsky’s mentor in his youth was Al Capone’s “enforcer,” one Frank Nitti. He did the wet work in enforcing Capone’s empire and then served as front man for the Chicago mob (the “Chicago Outfit”) after Capone went to jail. Nitti taught Alinsky how successful he was in extortion, racketeering, and blackmail. Alinsky took those rules to heart and had them reprinted in his radical manifesto.
D’Souza didn’t shy away from pointing out that Obama, a student of Alinsky’s, who was a student of Nitti’s, is part of the “progressive menagerie” whose members are dedicated disciples of the Evil One. In the movie, D’Souza makes the case most convincingly, using flow charts of power from one to another to another. Unfortunately those flow charts are missing from the book, but his point is made. The real driver of the Progressive bus is none other than the Great Deceiver himself.
There must be a warning label on the outside of this package: “not for the faint of heart or the naïve.” What D’Souza has done in his continuing conversation to the American people about what is being done to them by the Progressives is point out the flaws in their arguments, providing answers to them, while reminding them that truth will out. As William Cullen Bryant wrote in his epic poem The Battle Field:
Truth, crushed to earth, shall rise again; The eternal years of God are hers; But Error, wounded, writhes in pain, And dies among his worshippers.
Yea, though thou lie upon the dust, When they who helped thee flee in fear, Die full of hope and manly trust, Like those who fell in battle here.
Another hand thy sword shall wield, Another hand the standard wave, Till from the trumpet’s mouth is pealed The blast of triumph o’er thy grave.
D’Souza has done a good work here not only in answering the lies but in exposing the liars as well.
Political Film Review – “America: Imagine a World Without Her” is palatable for conservatives
John Fund at National Review: D’Souza’s America
Human Events Book review: “America: Imagine a World Without Her” by Dinesh D’Souza
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Howard_Zinn Bio of Howard Zinn
Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States
Bryant’s The Battle Field