Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Linking the politcal Left with fascism

Dinesh D'Souza is a prominent American conservative filmmaker and author. Born in Bombay he’s about as patriotic an American as you’ll find, a truism for many immigrants. Through numerous books and now five films D’Souza has combined his patriotism with a critique of liberal society and the Democratic Party. This continues with Death of a Nation: Can We Save America a Second Time? now screening at numerous Detroit-area megaplexes. The film has attracted little mainstream media coverage unlike, say, D’Souza’s counterpart on the Left, Michael Moore’s movies. Nevertheless, his films have had wide though predictably partisan audiences, as will likely be the case here. For beginners, D’Souza’s treatise can be startling if not shocking. Death of a Nation takes its title from D. W. Griffiths’ The Birth of a Nation (1915), which many considered incendiary for how it portrayed the Ku Klux Klan. D’Souza recounts how then Democrat president Woodrow Wilson showed the film in the White House and how the Democrats were instrumental in reviving the racist Klan. From there, the film argues through chronology how the Democratic Left has aligned with the forces of racism and fascism, traits typically associated with the Right. Abraham Lincoln, after all, was a Republican. The party of George Wallace was the Democrats.  Robert Byrd, the longest serving senator in US history, was also a Democrat and one-time Klan organizer. The film shows the relationship between the Klan’s targeting African Americans and the Nazis targeting Jews, the former influencing the latter. “Which is the party that invented white supremacy?” the documentary asks. “Which is the party that praised fascist dictators and shaped their genocidal policies and was in turn praised by them?” Structurally, the film is broken into interviews and historical re-enactments, including some well-dramatized re-creations of the rise of Hitler, done by a Czech crew. Finally, D’Souza denounces what he calls modern day fascists such as Antifa, which attacks groups it doesn’t want to speak, comparing them to Mussolini’s Black Shirts and the Nazis’ Brown Shirts. While the doc's narrative is engrossing if infuriating, technically the flow at times seems cumbersome. And some might conclude the overall message is simply agit-prop. But that, as they say, may depend on your political perspective

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