In a world full of partisan politics, one man seeks to be quite possibly the biggest hack of them all. His name is Dinesh D'Souza.
Let me start off by saying everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and that's one aspect of freedom that makes America great. I used to be a conservative a long time ago but became a progressive during the 2016 election. I've been exposed to ideas from each side and have come to very much believe in progressive causes.
While we certainly can have our own opinions on politics — I really do love a political discussion with someone who thinks differently than I — you cross a line when you intentionally mislead the public with broad, ignorant assertions, faulty arguments, and hate-filled rhetoric.
This is where D'Souza comes in.
If you haven't heard of him (consider yourself lucky), D'Souza is a felon who was pardoned by Donald Trump. He also happens to be a right-wing commentator who speaks mostly about conservative views on college campuses, as well as attempting to point out what everyone who ever cracked open a history book already knew: that the KKK comprised members of the Democratic Party of the late 1800s and early 1900s.
Obviously, D'Souza refuses to acknowledge that the views of both parties have transitioned to complete opposite sides of the political spectrum, but that's a whole other debate. He has quite the history of blatantly misinforming people through unsupported arguments and hasty generalizations.
"Historian" Dinesh D'Souza continued this pattern of lies in his newest documentary, "Death of a Nation," which compares the presidency of Abraham Lincoln to Donald Trump, claiming that the point of their presidency is the same: to save America from the Democratic party.
If you'd like a brief glimpse into the quality of this film, let's ask Peter Sobczynski, the writer for rogerebert.com.
"In concluding my review of "Hillary's America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party" (2016), the previous film from conservative pundit-turned-conspiracy theorist/hack filmmaker Dinesh D'Souza, I offered the mild critique that "it may well be the single dumbest documentary that I have ever seen in my life." Good thing that I added that qualifier "may well be" because with his latest effort, "Death of a Nation," he has managed to outdo his earlier works."
You can read Peter's full review here.
In an effort to expose the blatant lies from D'Souza's propaganda piece, I've made a 14 point list of aspects that I consider to either be untruthful, deplorable, shocking or arguing a false premise:
1. This film is distributed by Quality Flix which, after some research, is a subsidiary of PureFlix, the studio that gave us "God's Not Dead" and "Unplanned." I'm absolutely astounded by this and at the same time completely understand it.
2. I swear this film was edited by an 8-year-old on an iPhone. I've never seen such incompetence in the editing of a simple interview sequence where it feels D'Souza isn't even in the same room as the interviewee. Not to mention each interview sequence is quite obviously scripted.
3. D'Souza likens the Nazi manifesto to the ideals of Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. Yes, Bernie Sanders, who is Jewish.
4. The film is almost completely uninteresting and insanely boring. I'm telling you, I'm not sure how anyone could have ever sat through the 108-minute runtime in theaters without a phone or TV going on in the background. Holy moly.
5. D'Souza recycled footage from his old documentaries as much as the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers reused stock footage. A good 20% of this film comes completely from past documentaries made by him.
6. D'Souza loves to mention that the early KKK had strong ties to the Democratic Party like it's breaking news (it isn't to anyone who has taken a single history class), but fails to mention that David Duke ran for public office as a Republican, endorsed Donald Trump and is quoted in saying Trump would "take our country back."
7. The last 20 minutes of the film are absolutely unbearable, featuring really weird re-enactments of various historical events, and then the montage of America which was incredibly cringe-worthy.
8. White nationalist Richard Spencer is apparently a progressive liberal. Who knew?
9. D'Souza paints Trump as a "patriot who cherishes the American founders," aka, the same American founders who were pro-slavery, and Thomas Jefferson who believed the government was much too small to be considerate of women.
10. Of course, during another really cringy musical number about how a person will always remain faithful to America, a white woman with a diamond tennis bracelet is standing front and center.
11. I always find it interesting that D'Souza points out what the Democratic Party stood for in 1960, but obviously doesn't believe Party ideology can change in 60 years.
12. D'Souza claims right-wing champions such as Reagan are all about freedom in a social sense. However, Reagan was very politically anti-gay which is one of the most authoritarian positions one can have. A government that decides who can marry who doesn't sound very freedom-oriented to me.
13. It would take much too long to explain why D'Souza is factually uninformed about Southern Strategy, but there's a really good thread by actual historian Kevin Kruse on Twitter that sums it up nicely.
14. Dinesh D'Souza is a now-pardoned felon who cheated on his wife. Not a fan of movies made single-handedly by those types of people.
Bottom line, attempting to indoctrinate people with false, unfounded beliefs is hurtful to democracy. I'm sure that D'Souza subscribes to the theory that "the best kind of information is misinformation" in that it can be the most hurtful to character and reputation of any entity. This is why people like him need to stop. Let's not encourage lying, let's band together and discourage it.