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WHO SHOULD WATCH “AMERICA,” THE MOVIE?

Posted by Tim Bryce on August 20, 2014

BRYCE ON POLITICS

– Certainly not just conservatives.

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

I recently attended a viewing of the movie “America,” featuring Dinesh D’Souza who co-produced “2016: Obama’s America,” a film describing the president’s way of thinking by examining his personal background and the people he met and worked with along the way. The controversial film was released in 2012 just prior to the presidential election. D’Souza is an Indian-born American who has become a political commentator, filmmaker, and author. He also served a stint as an adviser in the Reagan White House. Needless to say, he is a well known promoter of conservative principles and causes.

In his latest offering, D’Souza hypothesizes what would have happened if George Washington had been killed in battle, and the Colonies had lost the Revolutionary War. He doesn’t actually answer this question directly as the British would have surely reenforced their control over the country and cultivated its resources. Instead, he uses this as a clever way of asking a rhetorical question, “What if America didn’t exist?”

To answer this, D’Souza begins with opposing interpretations of America, one based on traditional history and another based on a counter cultural view that is gaining popularity in academia and being taught to our youth. This interpretation is primarily based on Howard Zinn’s book, “A People’s History of the United States,” which is used in college to portray an opposing view of America. Zinn, who passed away in 2010, was a political science professor at Boston University and social activist. In his book, Zinn portrays American history through the eyes of common people, such as the native American tribes, African slaves, and the Mexicans of the Southwest.

According to D’Souza, Zinn’s interpretation of America is one of “theft” by the conquering Europeans; theft of land, resources, labor, and more. This is a radically opposing interpretation of history as has been traditionally taught in school. To support Zinn’s thesis, D’Souza interviews a variety of critics of American exceptionalism who explain their views of why the country is socially and morally corrupt.

After allowing the critics to specify their “indictments” against America, D’Souza patiently answers each criticism and presents an opposing viewpoint. Whereas the anti-Americans cite historical incidents in their arguments, D’Souza does likewise by using such examples as the rapport between Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, Madam C.J. Walker, the first female self-made millionaire in America, and Alexis de Tocqueville, the noted French author of “Democracy in America,” an illuminating analysis of America based on his travels in 1831-1832.

D’Souza concludes the America portrayed by Zinn and others is aimed at undermining the spirit of the country and create a sense of shame. Not just shame of historical events, but also by the fact the country was founded on Christian principles. In contrast, D’Souza argues Americans actually have nothing to be ashamed of, least of all Christianity. He contends the founding fathers designed America to “enable” its citizens with an entrepreneurial spirit thereby encouraging them to boldly go where no one has gone before.

The movie argues this “shame” concept is part of a long range interconnected plot to cast doubt, destroy harmony and promote social upheaval, thereby undermining the American culture which would inevitably lead to radical reforms. To this end, D’Souza describes the teachings of social radical Saul Alinsky and his more notable students, including Hillary Clinton and President Obama.

The intent of the movie is to stimulate discussion as to which interpretation America should embrace. From this perspective, the movie is suited for anyone interested in political theory and American history. Conservatives will enjoy it, and Liberals will undoubtedly criticize it, but it is still worth a watch for them to consider the two distinctly separate viewpoints. From my perspective, it should be required viewing for high school and college students.

More than anything, the “America” movie is a remarkable story of subliminal brainwashing in our country. This is but one, very important, story of the distortion of the American dream, all of which is aimed at social engineering and dismantling the country. Other notions include the sense of “entitlement” and class division though the “have’s” and “have not’s.”

Not everyone is fooled though. Towards the end of the movie, D’Souza inserts a video clip from a speech made by Irish musician Bono at Georgetown University in 2012 where he concludes, “Anyway, it’s not a right-left issue, it’s a right-wrong issue, and America has constantly been on the side of what’s right. Because, when it comes down to it, this is about keeping faith with the idea of America. Because America is an idea, isn’t it?… That’s how we see you around the world, as one of the greatest ideas in human history… The idea, the American idea, is an idea. The idea is that you and me are created equal… This country was the first to claw its way out of darkness and put that on paper. And God love you for it.”

D’Souza asks the viewers of the movie to do nothing more than consider both sides of an argument, not just one, and beware of charlatans who are more interested in the demise of the United States as opposed to promoting its virtues.

Nobody believes our country is perfect, least of all me, but the D’Souza movie asks should we give up in shame, and relinquish our leadership role in the world community, or should we proudly strive to improve ourselves? I am reminded of an old Bryce’s Law, “Systems are built by evolution, not revolution.” Nobody has built the perfect system the first time, and nobody ever will. We can either quit and start all over again or strive for perfection. As for me, I vote for the latter, not the former.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:
timbryce.com

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Copyright © 2014 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  LIGHT-YEARS AHEAD – Using a “Common Core” analogy to explain why our “PRIDE” Methodology is still far ahead.

LAST TIME:  OUR LAME DUCK PRESIDENT  – The sad thing is, he doesn’t realize he has already become one.

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8 Responses to “WHO SHOULD WATCH “AMERICA,” THE MOVIE?”

  1. Carol said

    This is a very thoughtful piece Tim – you do a great job of calmly making your points. I on the other hand would say we have gone down this “shame” road – thanks in large part to our shameful president, and I’m not sure we’re going to recover from it. We have become a society of entitlement now and what’s yours should be mine mentality and while I’m not usually a pessimist, I think without a miracle – this country is way too far gone.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I would strong suggest to our younger generations that they get a traditional perspective on American history before grabbing on to the “shaming of America” angle. Young minds are quite easy to shape when they have no basis of logic established. When we eliminate the George Washingtons, Abraham Lincolns, Henry Fords and others from our history, it is difficult to imagine that America would have evolved into a truly great nation in the world. On the other hand, given some of the lame-brains this country has endured over time, I must conclude that there is a particular toughness in a people who love life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Those are the promises by which our forefathers built success upon success and they are still the driving force behind this nation today–the spirit of the common man and woman. If we allow those who desire it to kill those inspirations, we will go the way of many other forgotten nations of our history. This is truly a struggle for the minds and hearts of Americans. Hats off to Mr. D’Souza and some nice work on your part as well. ~ WB

    Like

  3. Tim Bryce said

    A W.S. of Boston, Massachusetts wrote…

    “It doesn’t matter who watches the movie because the Truth never makes sense to most.
    Everyone will watch Schindlers List and afterwards state that this should never happen again. Then comes Clintons Rwanda, Somalia, Kosovo, Hertzegovina, Bosnia, The Balkins, the Bombing of a Chinese Embassy by US planes. The US Bombs a pharmaceutical manufacturer in Afghanistan by two Mis-Guided Missles and the Chechen Genocide, everyone forgets, thanks to Clinton. Now we have ISIS, Syria, Libya, The New and improved 2014, Obama- Iraqi War. Not to mention Palestinians raining missiles onto Israel, which started the new and Improved 2014, Obama peace process.

    As Schindlers List teaches to the World ? “Les We Forget”, Seriously, Really ?”

    Like

  4. Tim Bryce said

    A J.P. of New York City wrote…

    “Vote the America Haters out of office this November, please. Then we do a followup in 2016 and every election afterwards. That is, if we want to keep America the Beautiful, beautiful.”

    Like

  5. Mike S. said

    I agree with the thought of voting the do nothing or wrong doers out but how do you convience the people who have the head buried in the sand and some only come up for food stamps or welfare checks?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. […] WHO SHOULD WATCH “AMERICA,” THE MOVIE? […]

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