A still shot from one of the many pointless reenactment scenes in this soporific film.
Earlier today, since the World Cup is on a two-day break, I went to see Dinesh D’Souza’s new movie that has been relentlessly raved about by so many in the mainstream conservative media. This film by D’Souza is unmistakably one of the worst documentaries I have seen in many years—and I watch a lot of documentaries. It was dreadful.
D’Souza’s movie starts out by making you believe that he is about to deliver a monumental counterfactual history movie. From the onset, one would think that D’Souza was going to deliver a Niall Ferguson-esque look at the history of the world without America. The thesis of the documentary is supposed to be “What if America didn’t exist?” The movie did not answer this question. The movie essentially tries to answer “leftist” (read: historically accurate) claims such as: the enslavement of Africans existed and their stolen labor built the American empire, the extermination of Native Americans actually occurred, and California and Texas once belonged to Mexico. These are not controversial or disputed historical facts. Perhaps D’Souza’s documentary would be more appropriately titled Trying to Dispute Historical Facts.
D’Souza fulminates against Howard Zinn’s infamous historical work A People’s History of the United States. He points out there are many inaccuracies in the book (without ever telling us what any of those inaccuracies are). However, regardless of whatever anyone thinks about Zinn’s left-wing politics or his books, his work is inestimably better than the “scholarship” that led to this shambolic movie. America: Imagine the World Without Her packs the intellectual heft of an average troll video on YouTube. Unlike D’Souza who just tells you to hate books while using ad hominem attacks against their authors, I will tell you why D’Souza’s movie is nonsense.
D’Souza starts by pointing out the arguments that leftists make about America. He then says he is going to refute them. The problem is that he never does. His idea of refuting historical facts is by providing alternative facts that have little to no bearing on the facts that he is trying to refute. For example, to “refute” the claim that Native Americans were systematically destroyed by Christopher Columbus, he points out that Christopher Columbus predates America and was not American, ergo there is no way any of his actions can be an indictment against America. What D’Souza craftily omits to deceive his credulous audience is that Christopher Columbus is a national hero in America today. We are indoctrinated into believing the risible and fictitious history of Columbus being a great explorer who “discovered” the “New World” (despite the “New World” already having inhabitants). We still have a day devoted to Christopher Columbus. Trying to distance Christopher Columbus from America should also mean the jettisoning of Columbus Day. I doubt D’Souza would think that is a good idea, but he blithely dismisses Columbus as someone who predates America, while ignoring the unmerited god-like worship he receives in American society today. This nonsense from D’Souza is not scholarship or logical argumentation that can appeal to anybody with a triple-digit IQ. This is casuistic jingoism that appeals to unlettered rubes.
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