The week of July Fourth seems an odd time to release a film that questions the patriotism of the president of the United States, but that is precisely what right-wing idol Dinesh D’Souza sets out to do in his new film America: Imagine the World Without Her.
I wouldn’t ordinarily dignify such nonsense with a column, but America the movie exemplifies everything that’s wrong about the American political conversation these days, rich with examples from both left and right.
You get to meet a Sioux activist who wants to blow up Mount Rushmore, and a Chicano activist who talks about the golden morning when the United States will no longer exist. A former professor says that under certain unspecified conditions it might be just fine to drop a nuclear bomb on the United States.
The evil empire? “You’re sitting in it,” says the professor.
D’Souza lays out all of the worst charges against America, from slavery to the genocidal confiscation of Indian lands, from the way the American brand of predatory colonialism has stolen the world’s resources to the way American-style free-market capitalism robs from the poor and gives to the rich.
He then knocks down these charges one by one, with arguments almost as foul as the real and alleged crimes.