5 Historical Omissions in Dinesh D'Souza's Film 'Hillary's America'

Dinesh D'Souza
Conservative author and filmmaker Dinesh D'Souza in a scene from the film "Hillary's America." |

In July movie audiences were treated to the latest documentary film by conservative author and social commentator Dinesh D'Souza.

Titled "Hillary's America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party," D'Souza used examples from American history to argue that the Democratic Party has been pervasively racist, corrupt, and sexist since its founding.

D'Souza's retelling of American history, sweeping as it is, omits various facts whose mention may have seriously complicated his central argument.

Below are five matters that D'Souza either ignored outright or did not properly flesh out when crafting his historical argument.

1. Republican Support for Eugenics

Margaret Sanger
Margaret Sanger addressing a Ku Klux Klan chapter in the movie "Hillary's America." |

In "Hillary's America," D'Souza devotes much time to Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood and champion of the racist ideology of eugenics.

D'Souza speaks much about how Democrats then and now hold a high opinion of Sanger. What D'Souza omits is that the eugenics theories Sanger promoted were also embraced by many Republicans.

Former President Teddy Roosevelt was one such proponent, stating in a 1913 letter that "society has no business to permit degenerates to reproduce their kind."

"Any group of farmers who permitted their best stock not to breed, and let all the increase come from the worst stock, would be treated as fit inmates for an asylum," continued Roosevelt.

"Yet we fail to understand that such conduct is rational compared to the conduct of a nation which permits unlimited breeding from the worst stocks, physically and morally ..."

"Hillary's America" describes the disturbing U.S. Supreme Court decision Buck v. Bell, in which Chief Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes infamously wrote that "Three generations of imbeciles are enough."

Unmentioned by D'Souza or interviewee Jonah Goldberg was that Holmes was a Republican who was appointed by Republican President Roosevelt.

Minor aside: Winston Churchill, a historical figure held in high regard by modern American conservatism, was also an early proponent of eugenics.

2. Republican Corruption

President Nixon
President Nixon, with edited transcripts of Nixon White House Tape conversations during broadcast of his address to the Nation. |

D'Souza portrays the Democratic Party as constantly corrupt, being comparable to the imprisoned scam artists he encountered while serving time.

While D'Souza goes in depth into claims leveled against Democratic leaders like the Clintons and discusses Democrat city bosses, he makes no mention of Republican examples of corruption.

No mention of Richard Nixon and Watergate, Ronald Reagan and Iran-Contra, or Warren G. Harding and Teapot Dome.

D'Souza argued that Democratic Party bosses exploited working class communities, especially immigrants and minorities, to vote for Democratic candidates.

He omits mention of how, during the latter half of the 19th century, Republican-dominated federal politics was also pervasively corrupt.

"It was … an era in which political corruption seemed to be the norm; practices that today would be viewed as scandalous were accepted as a matter of routine," noted the website Sage American History.

"Businessmen wantonly bribed public officials at the local, state and national level, and political machines turned elections into exercises in fraud and manipulation."

3. Republican Sex Scandals

Warren G. Harding
Warren G. Harding, president of the United States of America from 1921-1923. |

During the film, D'Souza repeatedly speaks of sex scandals being common practice among Democratic presidents.

He specifically cites former presidents Andrew Jackson and Bill Clinton as examples. He could have added to his examples former presidents Franklin Delano Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy.

Aside from the obvious fact that both major parties have a long list of members who have engaged in sexual indiscretions, there has been at least one confirmed sexually scandalous Republican commander in chief.

Republican President Warren G. Harding had a longtime mistress and likely fathered a child out of wedlock. For these and other reasons, Politico labeled him "America's Horniest President."

Also ignored was what could be. If Donald Trump is elected president, he would be a Republican president who has had multiple failed marriages and who has boasted about his own extramarital affairs in print.

On a slightly related note, the first divorced president in United States history was none other than Republican Ronald Reagan, a man much admired by D'Souza.

Michael Gryboski has an MA in history from George Mason University.

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