Movie Review: Death of a Nation

 

Death of a Nation movie poster
Death of a Nation, 2018, D’Souza Media

The new movie Death of a Nation, by Dinesh D’Souza, is now out in theaters. Its main premise is that Donald Trump finds himself governing over an extremely divided nation, much as Abraham Lincoln did just before and during the Civil War. Like in his previous movies, the protagonists are the Republicans and conservatives. The antagonists are the Democrats and members of the far-left. The movie asks the question: Can the republic be saved from tearing itself apart yet again? In Lincoln’s America, the dividing line was over slavery, an institution supported, D’Souza points out, by Democrats in the north and the south. In Trump’s America, the dividing line is now between two competing visions for America, one an America true to its founding principles of freedom, limited government, and free market capitalism, and another one requiring a fundamental change away from those principles that would have America less free, with more dependence upon government, one headed toward socialism.

Dsouza
Dinesh D’Souza

Death of a Nation attributes the division faced by President Trump in part to a deliberate attempt by some in academia and the media to hide the left-wing, socialist roots of fascism, and the Democrat Party’s historical association with slavery and other forms of racism. D’Souza sets out to correct this by showing the history of the Fascist and NAZI parties and their ties to Marxism. He also debunks the notion of racism being a Republican problem by showing the historic ties of slavery and Jim Crow laws to the Democrat Party.

It had some shortcomings, the musical pieces were nice but superfluous. The movie’s title “Death of a Nation” never really gets satisfactorily explained along the way, though it’s clearly a reference to the D.W. Griffith movie “The Birth of a Nation” which was the first movie ever screened at the White House. While it does not spend a lot of time on comparing Trump’s situation to Lincoln’s, D’Souza achieves his other main goal of countering the progressive narrative that Republicans, especially Trump supporters are fascists and racists exceedingly well. Some critics say the movie rewrites history; no, it corrects the fallacious version that’s been pushed by leftists in academia for decades. Casual accusations of racism and fascism by the Left levied at conservatives will never again go unchallenged. Thanks to D’Souza, the spell is broken.

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Socialism in America: Just a President Away

Socialism: “a way of organizing a society in which major industries are owned and controlled by the government rather than by individual people and companies”

-Merriam Webster Dictionary. 

Statist ControlBernie Sanders warns us up front, he calls himself a Democratic Socialist.  Hillary, not so much– she keeps her socialist leanings better hidden.  First things first, show me a Democratic Socialist and I’ll show you a socialist. And now that’s out of the way…

If Sanders were to become president, he would try to make America into a European-style socialist republic.  Could he really do it?  The answer unfortunately, is yes.  As a matter of fact, we’re already well on the way.  The fact is, most of the infrastructure needed to make the U.S. a socialist state is already in place and operational.  The rest would quickly be put in place.  What would it take?  Here then are the key components required to create to a Democratic Socialist Republic of America:

  • A compliant Supreme Court. Check– a Supreme Court that can rationalize forcing citizens to engage in commerce (Obamacare) can rationalize the legality of just about any socialist “reform”.  This has occurred with a strict Constitutionalist, Antonin Scalia, on the court.  Imagine what would be possible with three to four more liberal justices to legislate from the bench.
  • An Executive Branch virtually unchecked by Congress or the courts. Democrats have convinced Congressional Republicans deathly afraid of being blamed for a government shutdown not to use their power of the purse to defund several of the President’s unconstitutional executive orders.  The Supreme Court as already mentioned, would not much stand in the way of anything a President Sanders or President Clinton would want to do.
  • A huge regulatory state. This most critical piece necessary for creating and maintaining a socialist state already to a large extent exists.  When we picture a socialist country, we think of the hammer and sickle chiseled into the façade of every industrial headquarters.  A socialist America probably won’t have or require that.  All the buildings that need them already have an official state seal on them, and most of them are in Washington D.C.  The EPA, IRS, FDA and scores of other regulatory agencies already weld extraordinary power.  Through these agencies, the federal government can and would control in great detail all of this country’s major industries.  With that much control, the government would not actually need to own these industries for us to be effectively socialist.
  • Big national law enforcement. This already exists in the form of the FBI, the ATF, and various other agencies.  Of course, many of these agencies are required to enforce the law, socialist state or not.  They do a pretty good job keeping us safe in an ever more dangerous world.  Not needed in a free state, but helpful in a socialist one would be armed law enforcement wings of departments tasked not with fighting violent crime, but the restriction of commerce and business, agencies such as the FDA, Department of the Interior, as well as other departments not very likely at all to encounter armed opposition.

We consider ourselves to be free citizens of a capitalist country operating in a free-market economy.  How close we are to not being that much longer, to the extent we even still are, is enough to give one pause.  Most of the components of a socialist America are already in place.  Most of the rest can quickly be put in place.  Really the only thing standing in the way of American becoming a European-style socialist republic is an election later this year.

Societal Socialism

SocialismSocialism is known mainly as an economic phenomenon, one that seeks to prevent the accumulation of wealth in favor of a needs-based economy.  In its extreme, it not just an economic system, but one that seeks to control every aspect of a person’s existence. Society and life in general to the socialist is a zero-sum game—for every winner there must be a loser.  Theirs is a mistaken notion and therefore they present a mistaken solution:  Eliminate losers by eliminating winners; everyone gets a trophy because everyone needs to feel like a winner, even if they aren’t.  Awards and honors are given out without any attempt to tying these to actual accomplishments.  Feeling good has become more important to the societal socialists than actually being good.

Think of the classic 20th century American immigrant story; a young couple comes here from a foreign land not knowing the language with only the clothes on their backs.  The husband gets a job doing whatever he can to earn money.  The wife raises the kids and runs the household. The couple scrimps, saves and sacrifices so that their kids can get an education.  They live only the lifestyle they can afford through honest, often hard work.  They followed the rules and over time, earned the right to become citizens.

Now fast forward to today, or the near future that the Socialists have in mind for us.  You don’t have to save—the rich will provide the funds to send your kids as well as their own to college.  And healthcare?  Why, ask those on the Left, should there be any correlation between who receives it, their needs, and who pays for it? It’s not even good socialism, as it’s not given according to the person’s need, but the insurance company’s.  The Left recognizes the need to compensate the providers for the inherent inequities in their scheme, but somehow, no one else.  As for citizenship…  It is to become a gift to be bestowed upon those assumed likely to show fealty to the socialist cause, rather than a precious status to be coveted and earned.

Slowly but surely we are being taught the fallacy that what you have in life need not have any relationship to what you are prepared to do to obtain it.  We are slowly but surely being homogenized, we are being sold that sameness is a virtue, and any attempt to improve your lot beyond that of your neighbor is a vice.  Even if you work harder or smarter, or are just luckier than those around you, having more to show for it than them is distasteful and thus should be avoided. If you are better-off than someone, then someone somewhere must have less in the zero-sum, equality of outcome world view of the Left.  They know that this mentality of societal socialism makes the economic kind more acceptable.

Societal and economic socialists both believe that by making it harder for those with an advantage in skill, strategy, resources, etc. to win they are “leveling the playing field.” Individuals with the hearts and minds of winners tend to figure out new ways and new strategies for overcoming the obstacles placed in their way.   Eventually they though innovation and sheer determination find a way to succeed in the new landscape.  The socialist then has to change the rules, but the innovators and the clever find ways to work around the rules, or better yet, make the rules their friend. At that point in order to preserve their “no one loses if no one wins” world, they must destroy the winners.  What cannot be taken by other means is then taken by force.  Such is always the way ultimately with socialism.

The same socialist that denies the individual the right to fail, that bestows the illusion of success where not earned, also seeks to give out money that has not been earned.  They seek to give education, healthcare, even citizenship in some cases, to those who have done little or nothing to obtain these things for themselves. All they ask for in return from those beholden to them is their vote.

The Fall of Greece and Why it Matters Here.

Greek EuroThe rest of the world watches as Greece’s economy nears bankruptcy.  If the Greek economy flatlines, very few will mourn but many could pay the price.  The ripple effects will reach even the shores of America.  The Greeks have been living beyond their means for years; austerity is a bad word in that country.  While most of Europe has generous pension, health, and work benefits compared to the U.S., Greece has found it hard to keep up with the Joneses. Their economy is not the powerhouse of Germany, France, or even Italy.  They misrepresented their economic state to get into the Euro club and now their “fake it ’till you make it”  gambit has backfired on them.

Stock markets around the world, including Wall Street have reacted negatively to the situation in Greece.  The stock market likes stability, and Greece is less than stable at the moment.  Other counties in the eurozone such as Spain, Portugal, and Ireland are not far behind. If those countries get the feeling that no one gets kicked out of the club, no matter how bad they behave, they might lose their fear of the creditor countries such as Germany and France and continue to live beyond their means at the rest of the eurozone’s expense.

Perhaps the only thing worse than an unstable Greece staying in the eurozone, may be its departure.  If Greece attempts to make a go of it alone, they will pay off their debts with nearly worthless paper.  Again,the danger is that other countries might follow suit.  The stock market would not like that either, not knowing what the money of foreign trading partners will be worth from day-to-day.

The Greek debt crisis matters in America in an other way– politics.  The U.S. has a heavy debt load itself, and there is no option of leaving the “dollarzone”, only inflation.  That does not seem to matter to one man and his many followers, Bernie Sanders. Bernie Sanders (D) Vermont, happens to be a presidential candidate and happens to have a sizeable following of disaffected Democrats. As a self-described Democratic Socialist, one can assume that he would introduce many of the social welfare programs that are about to bankrupt Greece.  His many supporters, all to the Left of Hillary Clinton, fail to see any connection between lavish social programs and a country going bankrupt.  They think that soaking the rich will support whatever entitlement is waved in front of them, be it longer maternity leave, universal healthcare, gold-plated retirements, etc. The Greeks, no doubt believed that too.  The problem they fail to see with Socialism, is as Margaret Thatcher put it:  “…you eventually run out of other people’s money.”  They have only to turn on the evening news to see where that path leads, but they don’t.  They don’t or they remain in denial that what’s happening to Greece can happen here.  They fail to learn from an other country’s mistakes, and that could prove costly for the rest of us.