Dinesh D’Souza has done it again. Hillary’s America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party has already become the highest-grossing documentary of 2016 and hit number ten among political documentaries overall.
The film’s powerful message may have spurred on its box office success. D’Souza delves into the history of the Democratic Party, revealing its connections with the Trail of Tears, the Klu Klux Klan, and the eugenics movement. His film declares that the Democratic Party is like a big gang, organized on a con to steal America.
These are very controversial claims, but D’Souza backs them up well. History has indeed been far from kind to the issues for which the Democratic Party once stood: Indian removal, the expansion of slavery, and segregation.
But we’ve all heard the story — there was a big switch, and the racists southerners abandoned the Democratic Party to become Republicans. D’Souza film attacks this view, arguing that as the South became less racist it became more Republican.
In order to prove that “the big switch is a big lie,” the movie presents all the Democrat leaders and elected officials during the proposed transition, changing their color from blue to red during the switch. Less than one percent actually changed parties!
The movie also mentions eugenics and forced sterilization, Margaret Sanger’s speech before the KKK, and the social engineering of the Progressive movement. It hits on the first film screened at the White House — the racist The Birth of a Nation showed to Woodrow Wilson — and argues that the first Democratic efforts for gun control had a racist motive.
The central message? Hillary Clinton’s shady deals — from Whitewater to the Clinton Foundation to Emailgate — fit in a long history of Democrats trying to con the American people. Bolstered by Saul Alinsky’s tactics, Hillary has been able to apply mob techniques to power on a grand scale.
Which of Hillary’s nefarious doings did D’Souza focus on? Ever heard of “Uranium One?”
D’Souza sat down with Peter Schweizer, author of Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich. Schweizer told the filmmaker that the Clintons have taken “gangsterism … to a global level.”
Schweizer recounted the infamous Uranium One deal, reported by the New York Times last year.
Briefly, it began when Frank Giustra, a billionaire Canadian investor, wanted to buy uranium in Kazakhstan. Giustra made sizeable contributions to the Clinton Foundation, and Bill Clinton greased the skids by giving a glowing speech about the country’s nefarious leader.
Then when the Russian government wanted to buy the company, eight Uranium One investors wrote checks to the Clinton Foundation, and the secretary of State just happened to agree to the purchase.
The Clintons also raised hundreds of millions of dollars through their foundation, promising to rebuild Haiti after a devastating earthquake. That money did not go to help the citizens of Haiti or into the rebuilding efforts. A small fraction of it went to built a textile factory, away from the affected area and owned by Clinton Foundation donors.
The film’s strongest condemnation falls upon the issue of Bill Clinton’s profligacy with women, however. D’Souza argues that “Bill is in a long tradition of Democratic presidents” sleeping with younger women, which ties back to Andrew Jackson sleeping with female slaves.
Hillary, who infamously covered up for Bill’s indiscretions by attacking the character of women who accused him of assaulting them, is a dangerous hypocrite. She now proclaims that every victim of sexual assault “should be listened to.” D’Souza attacked her hypocrisy, saying “Hillary Clinton is the war on women.”
D’Souza came across this idea while serving time in jail for a minor campaign finance infraction. He argues that his crime would not have received such a sentence had he not published a documentary against President Obama in 2012. To hear him tell it, he was merely the most recent victim in the Democrats’ abuse of power.
“First in the periods of slavery and segregation the Democrats took everything from some, then Progressivism took something from everyone,” D’Souza declared. “If Hillary Clinton wins, they will take everything from everyone.”
Next Page: So what worked and what didn’t?
Hillary’s America tells an effective story, and this helps explain its strong box office debut. According to Rotten Tomatoes, 82 percent of audience members liked it.
But critics so far have panned the film. It has a pitiful 5 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, even worse than the 25 percent given to D’Souza’s last film, 2016: Obama’s America.
Nevertheless, that earlier film killed it at the box office, earning $33.4 million and becoming the number two political documentary of all time in the U.S., only behind Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11, which took in $119.2 million domestically.
His second film, America: Imagine the World Without Her, only got an 8 percent, and $14.4 million in the United States.
All of D’Souza’s films seem somewhat like propaganda, with “2016” the least propagandistic. All follow a strong theme of discovery and investigation: Who is Obama, really? What is America, really? What is the Democratic Party? But all end with a heavy-handed political message.
I find myself almost entirely in agreement with D’Souza’s arguments, and appreciating his willingness and ability to tell such stories. But his endings often prove vexing. “Hillary’s America” ends with the most egregious example.
After over an hour of attacking the Democratic Party, the film turns to a patriotic montage with the National Anthem — a particularly jarring reversal. But the worst part comes after the credits.
The film shows D’Souza teaching immigrants English as a second language as a form of community service. After the credits, D’Souza makes a stunning claim to these would-be Americans. “So how will you know you’ve become an American? When you become a Republican.”
As a lifelong Republican, proud to belong to the party of Lincoln, women’s suffrage, Calvin Coolidge, and Ronald Reagan, I was offended.
Yes, the Democrats may have a sordid history, and their presidential nominee has a rather sordid present. After all, we just learned that the DNC actively promoted Clinton against Bernie Sanders. But that doesn’t mean Democrats (or independents, Libertarians, or members of other parties) are somehow un-American.
The Republican Party may have the best vision of America, the one that is truest to the Founders’ vision. (Although with Trump as its standard bearer, this argument is becoming somewhat tenuous.) Even so, refusing to join that party does not make you less American, and it is disturbing to see D’Souza seem to say so.
Hillary’s America is a strong film that portrays important truths about the history of Hillary Clinton and of the Democratic Party. It will continue to do well and for good reasons. But the movie will also deserve some of the criticism thrown against it.
Watch the trailer on the next page!