Dinesh D’Souza is a prominent Indian-American political commentator, author, filmmaker, and speaker.
After graduating from Dartmouth, he worked in the Reagan administration and wrote an excellent book about the dangers of political correctness on both liberal and conservative college campuses. Since then, his career has dipped through many highs and lows, including a guilty plea for campaign-finance fraud, which you can learn about in my previous D’Souza article.
On Monday, September 18, 2017, Mr. D’Souza spoke at Liberty University’s Convocation during our first Constitution Week. Constitution Week is a celebration of the wonderful freedoms our country enjoys, and as Mr. D’Souza is a proud Conservative politician, it makes sense that he was invited to open this week. I wish I could tell you that we had a wonderful Convocation filled with positive patriotism that inspired us to all be better Americans.
Instead, we were told that fascism is not the definition we have always known it to be because the Democrats changed it after the Nazis fell and fascism became synonymous with evil.
During World War Two, Mussolini supposedly defined fascism as a form of government where everything was part of the state and nothing mattered outside of the state. Individuals had little to no rights.
Now, D’Souza explained to us, the Democrats liken fascism to nationalism, which is why they are so set against Trump and his hope to “make American great again.” D’Souza claims that Democrats were once fascists before World War II because of their support of a centralized government and that they had no qualms with the name until after the Nazi’s evils were exposed.
Now fearful that they would be seen as a similar party of hatred, they used their considerable influence in the worlds of academia and entertainment to make that nationalist link.
The problem with D’Souza’s claim that the Democrats changed the definition is that the original Mussolini definition given to us by D’Souza is, basically, crazy nationalism. Believing that nothing matters outside of one’s country is a horrible form of nationalism on steroids. Maybe the Democrats added the word nationalism, but I do not believe they changed the definition.
That is why the Democrats have a right to be worried about nationalism. If President Trump puts American first to the point that we no longer care about our allies or the millions of people who are oppressed worldwide, then our great country would be at least halfway to a fascist regime. However, true nationalism should not scare either party.
We should all be proud of America and the many freedoms it stands for. Our government’s goal should be that we all prosper and that prosperity should make its way into our international alliances, laws, and more. D’Souza gave excellent examples of good nationalists: Lincoln, Churchill, and Gandhi.
Today’s Planned Parenthood actually has to denounce several of Sanger’s original beliefs and I find it extremely curious that almost 80% of Planned Parenthood’s are located near minority neighborhoods. D’Souza might be correct in his ascertain that Sanger was racist, but she definitely did not inspire the Nazis.
She started Planned Parenthood in 1916but Germany did not come out of World War One until 1919 with the Treaty of Versailles. Even if they had spies in America, I highly doubt that they were focusing on one woman in New York while they were losing a world war.
Hitler was not named Chancellor until 1933and while this could have left seventeen years for Hitler’s people to be inspired by Sanger, his beliefs in the Aryan race were dictated while he was imprisoned from 1923-1924. Although that is still seven years after Planned Parenthood’s creation and left time for inspiration, there is also the simple fact that Hitler did not like Sanger and upon rising to power publicly burned her books.
D’Souza discussed many more points of fascism and made even more claims, mentioning that historically, the Republicans and Democrats never actually switched parties or ideologies. However, during the Civil War, the Democrats were actually the confederates and the Republicans were abolitionists.
Several notable historical moments following the Civil War, such as the flooding of the Mississippi River and the New Deal, began to show a gradual shift in ideology. If we look at modern racial issues, such as #TakeAKnee, you will find that kneeling during the national anthem is supported mostly by Democrats.
Stevie Wonder, for example, supported both former President Barak Obama and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and chose to “take a knee for America” during his concert in New York. Meanwhile, it’s been quite obvious that President Trump, a Republican, disapproves of kneeling during the national anthem.
As a Republican, I want to make it abundantly clear that everyone has the right to kneel during the national anthem. I understand why so many people are using an obvious, polarizing action to make an important point about the words of our president, police brutality, and more.
However, the personal belief I hold that I believe most Republicans agree with is that the national anthem should be stood for out of respect for the countless men and women who have fought and died for this country.
America is not perfect, we know this, but there are other ways of making your point that does not involve the flag or the national anthem. If you feel that this is the best way to make your statement, though, then you may continue. That is what America is all about.
D’Souza did make a comment about people not standing for the flag/national anthem and how this was disrespectful and more Liberty students did a cheer. We are a predominately conservative university and although I believe that those who kneel during the anthem do not mean to disrespect it, merely want it changed for the better, many of my peers believe kneeling is disrespectful. Many of my peers actually agree with D’Souza on many issues.
I found myself agreeing with D’Souza during his conclusion. He told us that “knowledge is a very powerful thing. The only way to fight big lies is with big truths.”
As a Christian, I believe that the Gospel and truth of Jesus trump any lie this world can tell. If we truly want America to be great, which I believe is the goal of both Republicans and Democrats, then Christians must proclaim the truth. There is a truth that is unpopular, such as sin, but there is a truth that is beautiful, and that is the love of God.
Ironically, D’Souza also encouraged students to be open-minded. Listening to him bash the left, I don’t know if he entirely understands what being open-minded means, but the sentiment is appreciated. Christians must be open-minded if we want to positively affect this world. Politicians must be open-minded if they want to positively affect this nation.
People must be open-minded if they want to be the best that they can be. Even if that open-mindedness does not change your mind, being willing to listen to and learn from people who are different than you is crucial to being a citizen of this country and of this world. I am grateful Mr. D’Souza mentioned such an important belief, even if I see little evidence of it in his own life.
Regardless of whether or not I agree with Dinesh D’Souza, it is important to have him in Convocation, just as it was important to hear from Gary Johnson during Convocation last year. We can learn from people whether we agree with their opinions or not.
However, I still do not believe D’Souza’s character garners a Convocation invitation. He has written books and produced documentaries, but he has not lived a lifestyle of good character. If he was willing to speak openly about his past mistakes, I would be willing to welcome him, but he instead he spends his time making Hillary Clinton jokes even though the election is long over.
For those who might argue that the characters and beliefs of Gary Johnson disqualify him from Convocation, I would like to point out that Gary Johnson does not claim to be a Christian. D’Souza wrote an entire book called What’s So Great About Christianity and although that is not a formal statement of faith, it identifies him with Christianity.
If he wants to so closely identify himself with our beliefs, if he is willing to write a book about it, why does he not live by it? Is Christianity a label to make money and important friends for him? The very fact that I have to ask these questions should have disqualified him from a Convocation invitation. It is important to listen to his views, but that does not mean he lives a life worthy of a Convocation invitation.
Although we all mess up and I do extend the grace and mercy of Christ to Mr. D’Souza at all times, I do believe there is a reason someone is given the Convocation spotlight. It is not only because it is important to listen to their views, it is also based on how they live their lives.
Thank you for giving us the opportunity to learn so much and practice our fact-checking, Mr. D’Souza. Thank you for encouraging us to live truly and to be open-minded. Please apply these principles to your own life before you come back to Convocation.