We here at The Daily Banter have been less than kind to Dinesh D’Souza. (Some of our greatest hits can be seen here, here, here, and here.) So you can imagine our surprise when his people reached out to us and asked if we’d like to screen his new film, America.
Well, we love America, so with a title like that we were sold. In fact, the movie's name is a stroke of genius because critics who loathe the film can accurately be accused of "hating America." And nobody wants to get stuck with that, though we just might be after this review is over.
Technically a documentary, America tries to be a history lesson and a political hit piece in one film. The first part is spent clumsily defending the United States against charges that America has engaged in thievery by stealing: land from Native Americans; land from Mexico; labor from black people via slavery; resources via imperialism; and the American dream via wealth inequality.
These charges, says D'Souza as narrator of the film, shame America. Not only that, "The shaming of America is not accidental; it's part of a strategy."
If that sounds paranoid, it's only the beginning.
This shaming, says D'Souza, was assisted immensely by the "most influential historian of the last 50 years." That would be World War II bombardier Howard Zinn, whose magnum opus, A People's History of the United States, represents how the left and its allies in Hollywood view America, as evidenced by the shout-outs it received in Good Will Hunting and The Sopranos.
From there the film pivots and tells the story of liberal supervillain and erstwhile Glenn Beck target, Saul Alinsky -- the mid 20th century activist and (gasp!) community organizer. In addition to advocating for poor people and civil rights, Alinsky also spent time with Al Capone lieutenant Frank Nitti to study the inner workings of the mob. From there, Alinsky created coalitions of community organizations across the U.S., and wrote Rules for Radicals, which D'Souza describes as an instruction manual for "shakedown artists."
According to the film, "Alinsky’s most famous disciple lives at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue," who, though he never met Alinsky, has adopted the organizer's penchant for polarization, demonization, and deception. D'Souza says, "Clearly, Obama has mastered the Alinsky tactic of deception."
But it turns out Obama isn't the only famous Democrat who's an Alinsky disciple:
This is how America portrays the first of multiple meetings between Hillary Clinton and Alinsky: in a dimly lit room in the 1960s, as scary music plays in the background. Clinton would go on to write her senior thesis at Wellesley College on Alinsky's organizational tactics.
At this point, the movie ceases to be a documentary about American history from a conservative point of view, and becomes a political hit piece.
Stanley Kurtz of the National Review is then brought on to elaborate on Clinton's ties to Alinsky and Obama, telling the audience that ideologically, Hillary is closer to Obama than Bill.
And speaking of scary, the aforementioned scary music is also playing when the camera pans across the type of chart you'd see police pouring over in a mob movie as they try to connect all the players in a crime syndicate:
The idea behind this chart, which by the way features everyone from Alinsky to Zinn to Valerie Jarrett to MSNBC's Touré, is to show the "strategy" D'Souza mentioned earlier in the film is all part of a well-organized Chicago-style political machine/mafia outfit of radicals working together to undermine America.
By the way, here's the bottom of the chart, complete with demonic-looking photo.
Oh no, they got Bobby Kennedy, too!
We spoke to America director John Sullivan, who claimed liberals today are distorting the story of the country. "We have a strong movement from the Left that teaches America is always the bad guy," he said. And by "the Left" he means "progressives, academia, and the Democratic Party," which he says, is far more radical than the Democrats of yore. Sullivan even asserted that Obama is more liberal than President Franklin Roosevelt was.
Asked if he thinks Hillary Clinton is more radical than Obama, Sullivan reiterated a sentiment espoused in the movie. "I wouldn't say she's more radical than Obama," but, he continued, "She's closer to Barack than Bill."
That will probably be a recurring theme as 2016 approaches. Coming from a movie that features interviews with possible presidential hopefuls Ted Cruz and Rand Paul, this is not accidental; it's part of a strategy. It's because Bill Clinton is remembered fondly even in this hyperpartisan era, and he has a favorable rating of 64%, while Hillary clocks in at 54%. Meanwhile, only 41% approve of the way Obama is handling his job, so conservatives are trying to tie Hillary to Obama, not Bill.
Surprisingly, the film actually addresses D'Souza's recent brush with the law over campaign finance violations, for which he pleaded guilty in May. Regarding its inclusion, Sullivan told us, "There was a very big discussion about this," but it was decided the issue was too glaring to ignore. In the film, D'Souza is in a cell-like room (shown above), as a voice-over of him says this:
"I made a mistake and I’m not above the law. No one is. But we don’t want to live in a society where Lady Justice has one eye open and winks at her friends and casts the evil eye at her adversaries. Where will they stop? At the point where we stop them. We won’t let them shame us. We won’t let them intimidate us. We’re going to start telling the true story of America."
And so in one fell swoop, D'Souza admits to messing up as he mounts the stake and morphs into Joan of Arc -- selective prosecution martyr.
If you're a conservative, which you're probably not because you're reading The Daily Banter, you absolutely should watch this movie. This is GOPorn at its absolute best. If you're a liberal, you'll obviously hate this film.
But if you do see it, you'll get some helpful tips on how to better ruin America.