Death of A Nation
(For Rightist Viewers:) ***
(For Leftist Viewers:) Negative 117 stars
This is a sad time for polite public discourse. But there is a happy silver lining: Fake News has been added to the national vocabulary.
No matter what side you’re on and what newspaper you are looking at, there’s a voice in the back of your head telling you that you’re reading some biased jerk’s opinion – not facts.
There isn’t just some Fake News, there is a ton. The primary narratives of politics are pathetically partisan.
If you listen to the Right, our former president was a peacenik communist who hated America, secretly prayed to Allah, and was super close to busting down your door to confiscate the guns. If you listen to the Left, our current president is warmonger white supremacist who willingly takes orders from Moscow and is super close to putting Muslims, gay people, and women who get abortions into government work camps.
Sadly, there are probably people reading this who believe that some lies in that above paragraph are true. Fortunately, there are also some who laughed at the absurd Fake News and know that their only chance of finding truth is with sober wisdom, not by parroting what they read in a newspaper.
The Establishment Media calls the concept of Fake News irresponsible and dangerous. That’s oddly defensive. As someone with a political column, I am grateful to know that reasonable readers don’t believe every word I say. I don’t believe every word I say. I’m a columnist, not a clergyman. I’m trying to be entertaining, not correct.
The most insidious form of Fake News is when the facts are true but the conclusion is false.
“Death of a Nation” is Fake News with a fun twist. Documentarian Dinesh D’Souza tells true stories of history and uses these facts to make illogical claims about present day Democrats.
First, D’Souza seeks to prove that Democrats are more racist than Republicans. I am not saying he is wrong (it is impossible to know such a thing), I’m saying that his argument is dumb.
D’Souza reminds us that the first great leader of the Democratic Party – Andrew Jackson – was a Native-killing monster and that President Woodrow Wilson extended Jim Crow in DC. Definitely true. But then he says that this proves that Democrats today are racist.
No, it doesn’t. Republican William McKinley resisted pressure from Bimetallists to back our currency with silver. But that obviously doesn’t prove that the current GOP is eagerly working to get us back on the Gold Standard.
Next, D’Souza seeks to prove that Democrats are more like Nazis than Republicans.
He shows that Antifa rioters closely resemble Hitler’s Brown Shirt thugs in their goals and tactics. And he highlights the bullet points of the National Socialist Party manifesto that are consistent with the current Democratic agenda (nationalized health care, free schooling through grad school, pointed criticism of big bankers).
Are these comparisons true? You know what, who cares? They don’t prove that Democrats are related to Nazis. And more importantly: it is unproductive, unsophisticated, and unkind to call fellow Americans Nazis just because you don’t like them.
The Ace in Hole for the GOP is that it doesn’t have hilariously hateful Hollywood hacks spouting hyperbolic half-truths on its behalf. There is no telling how many independent voters were turned off when Sarah Silverman went on Conan dressed like Hitler and Democrats didn’t roundly denounce her.
D’Souza concludes that all things good and free and patriotic are Republican and all things fascist, hateful, and dangerous to our country are Democratic.
Dinesh D’Souza movies are fun for Rightists, I get it. But we need to stop watching. “Death of a Nation” is intellectually vacant. It’s little more than 90 minutes of Fake News. D’Souza is the Sarah Silverman of the Right and he harms his cause far more than he helps.