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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

WHO SHOULD WATCH "AMERICA," THE MOVIE?

BRYCE ON POLITICS

- Certainly not just conservatives.

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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!

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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.

  - The sad thing is, he doesn't realize he has already become one.

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