WASHINGTON – In an exclusive interview with PJM, conservative filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza said Democrats “conflate” illegal with legal immigration as a way to make President Trump look racist, arguing that Trump’s support for a border wall reflects a “frustration that you can’t have a country without a border.”
D’Souza explained that he blended Trump’s face with President Abraham Lincoln’s on the official poster for his new film, “Death of a Nation,” because they were both political “outsiders” who many Democrats refused to “accept” as president of the nation.
“Their situations are similar. In 1860, an outsider, a Republican, gets elected president in a very narrow race, which the Democrats were the favorites, and all hell breaks loose. The northern Democrats are angry and some of them are demanding Lincoln’s assassination, which of course happened later, and the southern Democrats are so unwilling to abide a Lincoln presidency that they are willing to break up the country. So it’s craziness. And here we are 150 years later, the same kind of craziness, a Republican, an outsider, Trump, gets elected unexpectedly,” D’Souza told PJM during an interview on Friday at the Young America’s Foundation national conference.
“The opposing party, the same party, the Democrats go nuts, refuse to accept the result of the election, are willing to do, by their own words, ‘by any means necessary,’ overturn the result of the election, so Trump is a fascist, Trump is a racist. These are the big themes we take on in this movie,” he added.
D’Souza said Trump is “drawing a line” between illegal and legal immigrants with his policy positions.
“In fact, I even hesitate to use the word illegal immigrant because illegals are not immigrants. Now, that’s not a racial line at all. Why? Because the vast majority of legal immigrants who come to America today are not white. They come from Asia, they come from Africa, they come from South America, so Trump is not drawing a racial line,” he said. “So the left is just malicious and wrong in accusing him of being a bigot. What the left does in order to try to make that case is to conflate and blend together the legal and illegal – ‘Trump’s a racist.’ No, he’s not.”
D’Souza said he personally opposes illegal immigration because it is “unfair” to legal immigrants who went through the expensive and time-consuming legal process.
“People like me had to go through the process. My wife is from Venezuela. We had to stand in line. We had to go through the immigration process. And I have lots of guys in India who would love to come to America, and they can’t swim across the Rio Grande or jump across a fence,” he said. “They’ve got to stand in line. So, the immigrant, the illegal, is cutting the line, is breaking the law. And the idea that a major political party has now become the champion of illegal immigration – this is a moral disgrace.”
D’Souza argued that the term “undocumented immigrant” is an “Orwellian phrase.”
“As if to say the immigrant is merely lacking a document – no, the immigrant isn’t lacking a document, the immigrant is actually breaking the law, so we’re talking about lawbreakers. We’re talking about people who are not respecting the process. We have a very generous immigration policy. We take in 1 million legal immigrants a year,” he said.
Trump has said he would be willing to shut down the government if Congress does not fully fund a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, perhaps before the midterm elections. D’Souza was asked if he agrees with that strategy.
“As a political tactic, I don’t know, but I will say is that essentially what I think Trump is reflecting is a certain frustration that you can’t have a country without a border and the same people who say, ‘oh, we don’t need borders. We don’t have to lock our doors.’ My question to those people is, do you lock your car? Do you lock your house? Yes. Why? Because you like the people who are in there and you want to protect them and you want to protect your stuff,” he said.
“Well, why don’t you think that way about America? We’re a country. We’re a community. We’re a moral community. We like to lock our doors. We like to watch our stuff. Now, we make provision for me to enter on our terms and there’s nothing racist about that,” he said.
Speaking about D’Souza’s new film, Donald Trump Jr. said this week that the DNC’s platform is “awfully similar” to the Nazi Party’s platform in the 1930s. D’Souza agreed with Trump, stressing that Nazis came to power long before the Holocaust.
“They campaigned. They had a platform. Their platform wasn’t the Holocaust. No. There were attacks on Jews in the platform, but the majority of the platform was you could call it a socialist welfare state platform. And that’s no surprise because this was the Nationalist Socialist German Workers’ Party, and what did they want?” he said. “State control of banks. State control of healthcare. State control of education. State control of religious liberty.”
“So when you read through the sort of economic and social agenda, you go, wow, a lot of that really does sound a little bit like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren – that’s not an accident. It’s right there in the platform,” he added.
D’Souza noted that Democrats often describe Trump’s reaction to the August 2017 Charlottesville protests as racist. After a counter-protester was killed and 19 others injured when a man demonstrating at the “Unite the Right” rally plowed his car into a crowd, the president said there were “very fine people on both sides” of the white nationalist event.
“The left tries to pin the racist tail on Trump by saying ‘look at Charlottesville.’ I think the bombshell revelation of our movie is we dig into Charlottesville and I show, and I show this in my book as well, all the leading white nationalists are left-wingers,” D’Souza said. “They have a deep history of left-wing agitation. Jason Kessler, who organized the Charlottesville rally, an Obama guy, an Occupy Wall Street guy. How can an Obama guy become a white supremacist? There’s something very fishy there and the press knew this, but they suppressed it.”
“In the movie, I interview this guy, Richard Spencer, a poster boy of white supremacy. He’s been portrayed consistently – he’s a right-wing white supremacist, Richard Spencer, but there’s nothing right-wing about him and I expose that about him in the movie from his own mouth. He’s a left-winger, in fact, some would say he’s a far-left-winger and this is deeply embarrassing to the left so they’re doing their best to, again, camouflage this fact because they want to pin the racist and fascist tail on the Republican elephant,” he added.
Experts have noted that the alt-right has been following the lead of Europe’s far-right by adopting some of the language of the left to recruit more members.
The Washington Post reported that Kessler voted for Obama in 2008 but later “became disenchanted with the administration and Democrats” and supported Trump. In the past, Kessler has also reportedly tweeted that “many alt-right followers used to be liberals.”
“Death of a Nation” can be seen in select theaters starting today.