What is America? What role has she played in history? Has she been a force for more good than for evil or a force for more evil than for good? This well-produced documentary-drama featuring politico Dinesh D’Souza attempts to answer this question by using the anti-American left as its foil. Interviews and various footage are interspersed with historical reenactments of scenes from the lives of George Washington, Frederick Douglas, Abraham Lincoln, and even Hillary Clinton.
The film interviews thinkers on the left and the right and responds to five charges made against America, which include that America is based on theft, that it is imperialist, and that capitalism steals from the poor. It was heartening to find that it takes particular aim at Howard Zinn’s a-historical machinations in A People’s History of the United States, a book that is sadly assigned in high school history classes in America.
While the film is pro-American, it is not nationalistic or jingoistic. It rather tries to correct pervasive misunderstandings and outright lies. In this, it does well, but the fuller case made in the book of the same name should be consulted. (I have not yet received the book from Amazon.) It is particularly insightful in charting a key ideological influence on Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. That man is Sal Alinksy, who wrote Rules for Radicals.
Whatever your political persuasion or knowledge of American history, “America…” is worth seeing and discussing, as I was privileged to do with two of the smartest young people I know. I will not likely see America’s return to the liberty and opportunity of its founding heritage. But perhaps Joey and Sarah will.