Monday, July 14, 2014

America--Worth Seeing, Worth Saving

Read the book, watch the movie.
This past weekend we finally got to see Dinesh D’Souza’s movie America—Imagine a World without Her. For someone who loves America, it was beautiful. For someone who hates America, they probably didn’t go, but they need to.

It’s always been puzzling to me that people hate America and list all these evils we’ve done, some of which I have personal memory to disregard, but some are supposedly the history that was glossed over in my education.
The first two thirds of the movie specifically deal with these accusations, or indictments, against America. I don’t know how D’Souza accomplished it, but he spends a lot of time with spokespeople for the various indictments, to give them latitude to express their point of view, without comment or debate, just building their case. It’s kind of painful, because, sitting there, you get the urge to defend. Only knowing who did the movie gives you the patience to sit through this painful part.
Visually, with each of the indictments, he takes a symbol of America and dissolves it—literally uses CGI to turn the symbol into tiny particles that fall to smithereens. He does this with Mount Rushmore, the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument, the Statue of Liberty. I’m probably missing some.
Then he takes the indictments, point by point, and gives a different side. He doesn’t erase the accusations, but he does give perspective that changes the sense of anger and shame to something much closer to “way to go, America!”
It was dark in the theater, so I couldn’t take notes. I had bought the book the day before (at Sam’s Club, as a statement against Costco, which had temporarily taken the books off their shelves for obviously political reasons, until the backlash shamed them into reordering the books—but in fairness, I have a Sam’s membership because it is nearby, and don’t have a Costco membership, because it’s a half hour drive). I had hoped, for the sake of this post, that the book would be arranged in the same way as the movie. I haven’t read it yet, but a cursory glance doesn’t give me that straightforward list of indictments. So I’ve probably missed something (I think there were five or six), and won’t say them as well as the movie does:
·         America stole the land from Native Americans.
·         America stole half of Mexico.
·         America earned its wealth on the backs of slaves.
·         America has been imperialistic throughout the world.
·         Capitalism steals from the poor.
D’Souza is surprisingly calm throughout the assault of indictments. I guess that’s how he persuaded the haters to participate in his movie. But they must have known he would go on to give the other side. Which he does quite beautifully.

He identifies much of these indictments coming from a “history” book written by Howard Zinn, A People’s History of the United States. Early in the book D’Souza says,
This is probably the most influential history book of the past half century. Zinn makes no effort to conceal his perspective. “I prefer to try to tell the story of the discovery of America from the viewpoint of the Arawaks, of the Constitution from the standpoint of the slaves, of Andrew Jackson as seen by the Cherokees, of the Civil War as seen by the New York Irish, of the Mexican war as seen by the deserting soldiers of Scott’s army, of the rise of industrialism as seen by the young women in the Lowell textile mills, of the Spanish-American war as seen by the Cubans, the conquest of the Philippines as seen by black soldiers on Luzon, the Gilded Age as seen by southern farmers, the First World War as seen by socialists, the Second World War as seen by pacifists, the New Deal as seen by blacks in Harlem, the postwar American empire as seen by peons in Latin America.”
Zinn is not afraid to give a one-sided picture. He does not believe there is such a thing as objective history; therefore, he wants to present his side. And what is his side? Zinn believes in global economic equality, looking forward, as he puts it, to “a time when national boundaries are erased, when the riches of the world are used for everyone.” (pp. 13-14).
Zinn wants worldwide socialism, with America totally out of the picture. He wrote a “history” book as a persuasive tool toward that end. Zinn’s book is widely used in high schools and colleges—as a text, not as supplemental reading of a different point of view. But he isn’t a history scholar; he is a man with an anti-American agenda, and he cherry-picks details to form propaganda that will serve his ends. In the movie, D’Souza interviews a historian, whose name unfortunately I don’ remember (and haven’t uncovered yet in the book), who verifies that Zinn is not a historian; Zinn is content with distorting facts and context, and even putting forth verifiable untruths as “facts.” Zinn is nothing more than a public opinion manipulator--unfortunately a successful one.
An obvious point here is, if young people are being taught Zinn’s America-is-guilty-of-great-evil theme, they’re being duped. And the lies need to be laid bare, so we can see America clearly. [May I add here—this is yet another reason to homeschool.]
The most beautiful part of the movie came at the conclusion of the defense against the indictments. D’Souza debunks them point by point, with evidence. And then, with that done, he “rebuilds” the symbols. From disintegration, Mount Rushmore re-solidifies into reality, as do the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, Statue of Liberty and the rest. And we are so relieved to see them as they are again.
Mr. Spherical Model suggests the movie, up to this point, could easily be shown in schools, as a nonpolitical educational movie. I even thought for a moment, while viewing the movie, that this was the end. It would have been satisfying with just that much.
But then I remembered that the previews had suggested the movie would talk about, “Obama didn’t create this movement; the movement created him.” So there had to be more.
The remaining third of the movie answers the question, Why do people choose to hate America? A stunning point in the movie comes during D’Souza’s interview with America hating professor Ward Churchill. D’Souza asks him, if America is indeed as guilty of the evils he claims, would it be “just” to destroy America with a nuclear bomb. Churchill seems to be thinking through the full line of his reasoning, and then concludes the answer is yes. He believes America—even while he lives in it—should commit suicide.
The movie covers the plotting of Saul Alinsky, with his Rules for Radicals, including its dedication to Lucifer. A young Hillary Rodham Clinton was introduced to Alinsky and given his book as a gift. Her later contribution was to take his ideas, which worked first to manipulate public opinion through community organizing, and push them through politics, which she saw as a quicker means to the socialist end. A young Obama was attracted to these radical socialist ideas, sought them out, and then went to serve the cause in the central headquarters for idea manipulation through community organizing: Chicago.
One of the interviewees is Stanley Kurtz, who wrote Radical in Chief, about Obama and his connections to a long, interconnected list of these extremists. I wrote about the book, during the first month of this blog, back in 2011 (Part I, Part II, and Part III). I knew enough of the details in 2008 to know who Obama was. The information is there, for anyone with eyes open and willing to see. But for those who have kept themselves unaware, this portion of the movie is a pretty clear indictment, especially following the first two-thirds of the movie.
It was kind of painful, however, to go on from the “We have reason to love America” conclusion, and wade right into “We’re surrounded by elected officials, media, and other powerful elites that are trying to destroy the America we love.”
But we have to see the truth of where we are, diagnose it, see it clearly—so we can take action to restore America after the decay.
God bless America! I pray that we can restore her.
Here’s one of the movie trailers:


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