I finally saw Dinesh D’Souza’s new film, America: Imagine the World Without Her, yesterday. I enjoyed it immensely. To the right it is an affirmation. It should be so to anyone that considers themselves to have a favorable view of the United States. Before I went I couldn’t help but read a few of the reviews out there. I know, I know, I shouldn’t have. I knew what I was going to read. But for some reason I was compelled to this time. Perhaps I was seeking some context. One thing is certain. I’m more convinced than ever that the left doesn’t just broadcast misinformation to influence people to believe what they want. They have a mental block that preemptively screens arguments, logic, and evidence counter to their beliefs. Like it never even happened.
First, I do have one comment on the film that I wouldn’t necessarily call a critique. It’s more of a misunderstanding going in caused in part by the premise of the movie, but also reinforced by the reviews I’d seen. I went in with the impression that the movie would use dramatic reenactments to revisit crucial moments in this last 200+ years sans the USA. Thusly the groundwork would be laid to bring the audience to the conclusion that the world is much better off with us around. The film opens as such with General Washington falling in battle. We’re then given a brief montage of various American icons being erased. However, it seems the “imagining of a world without her” is meant to be taken quite literally.
From this point on it seems most critics spent the remainder of the film screwing around on their phone, occasionally looking up to glance at the screen and jot down a note (see mental block assertion above). D’Souza is consistently panned, although the review in Variety is an exception. I swear the other people reviewing the film saw a different movie than I did (see it again). The common threads one sees in the reviews is that America is rife with straw-man arguments, omissions, and propaganda. Translation: This movie says something different than what I learned in school, and school only tells the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. But the gist of the movie is actually this: Here’s a list of assertions the left make about the truth of America, its founding, its history and its philosophy. I disagree and here’s why.
“America” is less successful as a debate, since it isn’t one. D’Souza controls the conversation, and thus goes unchallenged when he tries to make real-world points with make-believe scenarios.”
Mark Jenkins- Washington Post
Had I read that after seeing the movie and had been in the middle of drinking something, I would have involuntarily spit it out. Last thing’s first, save for the beginning with Washington as mentioned before, D’Souza didn’t play out a “what if” game. As to the unchallenged part, this has to be said first. No kidding. A man makes a documentary, which last I checked, is what people do when they want to argue a point of view via the film medium, and he controls the narrative? You don’t say. Interestingly enough, Dinesh is the narrator.
Someone on the left could make a snuff film about Sarah Palin, get it endorsed by NOW, have it subsidized by the taxpayers via the National Endowment for the Arts, and then feign dismay at the outcry that would ensue, decrying it as taking their “message” out of context. By contrast, a conservative filmmaker making, surprise, a conservative movie should have dedicated no less than 50% of his precious screen time to the opposing argument if he had really wanted to be taken seriously. If Mr. D’Souza had a shred of artistic and historical integrity, he would have instead made half a film in collaboration with Michael Moore who would’ve made the other half. The two would have then have been mashed together.
Never mind one of the primary points of the movie is that the opposing view has been well established in society. D’Souza spends several minutes on Howard Zinn’s book of American history, including pop culture references to it and a list of universities where it is required reading. Furthermore, he did provide screen time to people who disagree, including one Ward Churchill. A man I’m not sure I could stand to be in the same room with. He also doesn’t whitewash the darker sides of our history. Rather, he counters the left’s argument that we should dwell on them, feel guilty, and expand entitlements to make reparations. Lastly, he hammers home the point the left really doesn’t want heard. The dark things in our past are inherited from the old world. You will find them anywhere on the planet or in history. It is the brighter things, the good of America, that is unique.
This film is abrasive to the left because, like sand in their swimsuit–it chafes. They are comfortable with their view of the world and their understanding of history. Once upon a time things were pretty good, then one day a bunch of white people, and only white people, got an idea to get rich by devising methods to screw over every other color of people they could find. Historical addendum- Christopher Columbus was white. They operate comfortably from such a baseline and build their view from there. Dinesh’s America takes a glimpse at the cracks in that foundation. It is harder to continue on when you’re suddenly plagued by tidbits like whites being exploited for labor alongside African slaves. That the nation’s first self-made millionaire woman was black in a time before entitlements. That an escaped slave infamous for furthering the cause of emancipation declared the Constitution itself as his charter. That if Mexico had fought the same war with any nation other than the United States in the 1840’s, there wouldn’t a country called Mexico today.
I was a little worried writing this about how I might come across. Any doubts I had were dispelled by this childish review of the movie from someone apparently old enough to be a Korean War veteran.