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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

America: Imagine the World Without Her

If you don't cry while watching "America: Imagine the World Without Her," I don't want to know you. "America: Imagine the World Without Her" is a slickly produced and entertaining documentary that attempts to fill a need in the US for a counter to hegemonic anti-American voices on the left in academia and media. It's a sober, responsible, and fact-based documentary, not at all sensationalistic or exaggerated. If anything, it is more low-key than it should be. It could have used more fireworks.

"America" features dramatic reenactments of historic personages and events. In this respect it is more like a feature film and less like a documentary. Much of the time you are not watching talking heads; you are watching fully costumed actors and fully realized sets. In the opening scenes, General George Washington is killed by the British. No, that never happened; that's the whole point. Imagine if the colonists lost the Revolutionary War. Other reenactments include the landing of Columbus' ships, life on a Southern planation, Lincoln's assassination, Madame CJ Walker giving a speech, and Hillary Clinton working in a soup kitchen.

D'Souza opens with interviews with prominent anti-American spokespeople, including Charmaine Whiteface who wishes America did not exist, Prof. Michael Eric Dyson, a race baiter, and Prof. Ward Churchill, who advanced his own career and enjoyed many privileges and perquisites by falsely claiming Native American ancestry. Churchill is especially grotesque, arguing that he would like to nuke America.

D'Souza includes clips of Howard Zinn, Bill Ayers and Elizabeth Warren, yet another professor who advanced her own career by falsely claiming Native American ancestry. The anti-American voices outline the indictment: American stole land from Native Americans, enslaved Africans, colonized the world, and destroys its own people with capitalism.

D'Souza then responds to these charges. He points out that conquest was not unique to the conquistadors, that disease, not genocide, killed most Native Americans, and that similar population crashes occurred in Europe when the plague entered Europe from Asia. Slavery was not unique to the US. The US is unique in fighting a war to end slavery. Capitalism uplifts more people than any other system, while communism causes famines and shortages.

D'Souza veers from his own main thrust when he devotes a lot of time to identifying Hillary Clinton as a disciple of Saul Alinsky. Alinsky didn't start anti-Americanism. His book "Rules for Radicals" is an excellent primer in non-violent change. Demonizing Saul Alinsky is a dead-end.

I wish "America" were on the curricula of every student in America. It's a stirring corrective to the anti-American venom students are typically force-fed. 

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