In “America: Imagine a World Without Her,” Dinesh D’Souza creates not so much a celebration of the country he choose to become a citizen of when he immigrated from India so many decades ago, than a brief in her defense against people who wish her destruction. It is a powerful movie, mainly because the critics of America are allowed their say. But then D’Souza destroys their arguments.
The indictments against America are very searing. From slavery to the Indian wars to the so-called evils of capitalism, America’s enemies have brought some serious charges against the country born in revolution and still wracked by political conflict. D’Souza refutes the charges one after the other, bringing to bear historical facts and reasoned argument.
Then D’Souza goes on the attack, suggesting that there is a decades long campaign to unmake America and remake it as a socialist state. The idea is that in order to unmake America, its people must be made to be ashamed of her. Then the country can be recreated in the image her critics desire.
The members of this vast left wing conspiracy, as it might be called, are both obscure and famous. It includes political activist and Svengali to the left Saul Alinsky as well as pseudo historian Howard Zinn, whose pernicious book, “A People’s History of the United States,” is unaccountably required reading in many high schools and universities. It also includes the current president of the United States and a woman who desperately wants to succeed him.
The movie relies heavily on reenactments. One of the most searing depicts how a fresh faced, middle class “Goldwater girl” named Hillary Rodham was seduced to the dark side by Alinsky. It is a part of the history of the woman who calls herself Hillary Clinton has left out of the recent and ill-favored book tour.
There is not to say that all is grimness. Alexis de Tocqueville, the French aristocrat whose “De la démocratie en Amérique” is a classic examination of early America, makes more than one appearance. De Tocqueville, one of D’Souza’s witnesses for the defense, finds himself, perfumed and silken, in a rough, frontier American tavern. He charms the other guests by giving up, just a little, his effete, French table manners and digs in like a normal person.
“America: Imagine a World Without Her” is by turns hard to watch, powerful, thought provoking, funny, and enlightening. It is one of those rare movies that should be seen by everyone. It is highly recommended.