Hillary’s America 2016 by Dinesh D’Souza
In Hillary’s America, D’Souza ‘serves it cold’, taking revenge on Hillary, Hillary’s mentors and acolytes, and the Democratic Party for his 2014 conviction for violating campaign finance rules. Putting aside the ludicrous nature of the conviction, which, if it were to occur today, may not even be illegal due to recent Supreme Court decisions, and putting aside Hillary’s own multiple legal transgressions, which, if the Supreme Court were to remain true to their oaths and actually uphold the Constitution instead of shredding it, would likely have landed Hillary behind bars years ago, there remains a flaw in D’Souza’s otherwise ‘A-picture’ analysis.
D’Souza begins by accurately illustrating the Democratic Party’s long love affair with racism. He authentically traces the Party’s origins in preserving the “peculiar institution” of black slavery, showing how Democrat President Andrew Jackson created the system of political parties in America, and who was chiefly responsible for the expulsion of the Cherokees from the South in the “Trail of Tears”, and who himself was a brutal slave-owner. Moreover, how the Republican Party for 170 years was the party of black liberation while the Democrats remained devoted to maintaining slavery and segregation. Pointing out the prevalence of Klansmen in the Democratic Party leadership right into the 1970s, D’Souza shows how it was the Republican Party that pushed for the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Amendments (outlawing slavery and promoting equal protection respectively) while the Democratic Party consistently opposed these measures.
Describing the significant role of Democrat President Woodrow Wilson in enforcing racial segregation in the federal government, and Wilson’s happy endorsement of the notorious silent movie Birth of a Nation, D’Souza moves to Margaret Sanger, explaining how Sanger’s founding of Planned Parenthood was a deliberate effort to promote abortion among American blacks as part of the Progressive Movement’s program of racial eugenics. From here, as D’Souza explains, FDR in essence purchased the black vote in the 1930s, making for the strangest of political bedfellows alongside the corps of pro-lynching segregationists who formed the core of the Democratic Party under FDR, and D’Souza contrasts this with the splitting of the White South away from the Democratic Party in the 1970s, the latter following the Civil Rights Acts of the Johnson era, which, as D’Souza again correctly points out, received more congressional votes from Republicans than from Democrats.
Next, D’Souza moves to Hillary’s mentor Saul Alintsky (d. 1972) and illustrates how the modern Democratic Party remains wedded to racialism and racial politics stemming from the Progressive Era and how Hillary learned racial politics from the Machiavellian Alintsky. Old wine in new bottles, asserts D’Souza, describing this switch as corrupt Tammany Hall City Bosses switching scams on an unsuspecting public by merely renaming their customary electoral bribery as “Community Organizing”, in line with Alintsky’s manipulative tactics.
But here is the issue with the movie: while all true, it is also irrelevant. Not in the sense that Affirmative Action may be owed to blacks by both Democrats and by the country as a whole—as Democrats would have it—but in the sense that the Demoratic Party’s long love affair with racism is ancient history and of profoundly little consequence to today’s America. D’Souza’s movie and the Democrats are two sides of the same coin: the Democrats embrace racial politics calling it overdue reparations for Whites’ Original Sin—D’Souza labels racism the Democratic Party’s problem alone in which Republicans have no part. Both, however, are caught in the same existential trap. In fact, by dwelling so long in the Democrats’ sordid past, D’Souza allows himself to be captured equally by their discourse.
The fact is that the modern political struggle is not about history at all, even if one could formulate a version of history that more than two people could agree on. In line with the principle that in any war Truth is the First Casualty, after political discourse has degenerated into fundamental cultural conflict, as has occurred in the US, one is likely to find that the combatants cannot agree on facts, much less interpretation of facts. The modern political struggle is not about interpretation of facts, but about the facts themselves, which is just another way of saying that it’s about irreducible social values that are in conflict.
In short, the US is facing its own internal clash of civilizations. Republicans value borders, language, religion and culture. Democrats value biological identity. Republicans what one can become. Democrats what group one belongs to permanently by birth. Republicans value individuals. Democrats value group membership with all that that implies including group privilege and group liability. The conflict is over values, perception and irreconcilable definitions of civilization, not how many slaves Washington or Jackson may have owned, or who mapped the Trail of Tears.
D’Souza compounds his error by accepting the Democrats’ simplistic, even simple-minded, failure to define the terms ‘black’ and ‘racist’. Thus he again allows the Democrats to frame the debate, putting him at a disadvantage. The meaning of ‘Black’ in modern discourse is not at all obvious, despite the short definitions available to semi-literates who resort to internet dictionaries. Substituting synonyms demonstrates this clearly. ‘Indigo’, ‘Stygian’, ‘sable’, or ‘inky’ do not convey any of the meaning of ‘Black’, being devoid of the unspoken connotations of this loaded term. ‘Black’ is popular because it suggests a merely skin-deep trait that is (or should be) otherwise irrelevant. But if that is all the term meant, no one would be changing the names of streets to Black eponymous heroes like MLK, or removing Confederate symbols from capitol buildings.
No, ‘Black’ means far more than superficial skin color—in modern discourse it means a Nationalist whose primary loyalty is to an ethnicized political entity (real or imagined) that does not conform to the prevailing American Nationalist values of borders, language, religion and culture. IOW, just as ‘African-American’ has almost nothing to do with Africa, ‘Black’ has little to do with skin color but is short-hand for ‘Black Nationalist in opposition to American Nationalist’. And therefore goes much deeper than skin color or continental origin. Democrats embrace this alternate Nationality with both hands, queueing it with a series of similar oppositional Nationalities. Republicans view Black Nationalism as treachery, which it is if one’s agenda is to maintain America’s borders, the English language, Christian religion and traditional European-American culture including its chief political expression: the Constitution.
Similarly, ‘racist’ is not about the supremacy of ‘the white race’ over others, which depends on ordinal notions of cleanly delineated ‘races’ developed in the 19th century, notions long outmoded. But rather ‘racist’ refers to anyone who disbelieves in the essential interchangeability of all persons and all groups of persons throughout the world without regard to borders, language, religion or culture, and that traditional notions of speech and assembly and other rights secured by a written constitution should be denied to Dissenters—these are the fundamental articles of faith of the modern Left (at least as they themselves express it). Thus, ‘racist’ today means ‘heretic’ in the face of this procrustean vision, no more and no less, with no right to speak, publish, assemble, or vote under a radically re-interpreted “living” Constitution which for 240 years was understood, on the contrary, to protect such rights.
Engaging in debates over historical facts within the context of 19th century definitions of race, as D’Souza has done, is not merely useless, but an abject surrender to the Democrats’ narrative that borders should not exist, that language is merely prejudice awaiting deconstruction, that religion can never be any more than individualized private conscience as changeable as a suit of clothes, and that the only true culture is ‘human’ culture, as if any species-wide ‘human’ culture has ever existed beyond making bows and arrows, instead of what we actually find in history: specific incarnations in national, ethnic, linguistic or religious collectives each with their own irreducible values and unique outlooks and histories, with some of these collectives devoted to the extinction of all the others.
Failing to clarify these fundamental distinctions between Democrats and Republicans, D’Souza goes so far as to state that one “cannot become a Mexican” and “cannot become an [Asian] Indian”, but that anyone anywhere can become an American because the U.S. “was founded on an ideology”. This is wrong. America was not founded on an ideology but existed for almost two centuries before the US came into being, and would have no ideology today if not for the fact that the elites of both the Democratic and Republican Parties have become internationalized elites justifying their globalism and unrestricted immigration with the simple-minded phrase: ‘We are a nation of immigrants, after all’. On the contrary, America, is no more a nation of immigrants than any other nation—or rather, all nations are nations of immigrants, depending only on one’s time-line, so the phrase ‘We are a nation of immigrants’ has no more significance than ‘The sky is blue’ or ‘McDonald’s sells hamburgers’ and is just as irrelevant, because all Americans born here are native to this country and have no obligation whatsoever to permit any future immigration at all.
Like every other country in the history of the world, America was founded on borders, language, religion and culture and has every right to defend those elements as much as every other country or people defend theirs, without regard for elitist ideological notions of unrestricted immigration and the alleged interchangeability of foreign cultures and religions with American culture and religion. This is the second cardinal sin of Conservatives like D’Souza, who again allows the Democrats to frame the terms of the debate, this time not in accepting loaded terms at their face value, which is the first cardinal sin, but in Cloud-Nine Libertarian ideology, which in theory accepts national borders but in practice makes sure there are no walls to make them real. Republican elites want to retain the Statue of Liberty. Democrats want to erect one in every City and Port in America, making each a Sanctuary. American Nationalists want to blow up the Statue of Liberty and sow salt in its ruins before America’s borders and culture are obliterated to be replaced by globalized identities permanently locked in intractable internecine conflict.
Admittedly it would be more difficult to make a movie about abstractions. Just as it is easier for the public to focus on personalities like Hillary or Trump. But that is the nature of cinema. Movies are an inherently inferior form of communication, though they are also the quickest and least difficult way to get one’s message across to an increasingly video-obsessed and book-shunning public. If you want to learn the sordid history of the Democratic Party, Hillary’s America is definitely worth seeing, and may be very educational for those who paid little attention in high school history class. But if you already know your history and want to learn what the modern political debate in the US is actually about, I recommend some of the other books reviewed here on SiriusReviews.com, including, inter alia, Buchanan’s ‘Suicide of a Superpower’, Allan Bloom’s ‘Closing of the American Mind’, and Charles Murray’s ‘The Bell Curve’. —Glenn Lazar Roberts for SiriusReviews.com
Hillary's America 2016 by Dinesh D'Souza,