In an interview with The Christian Post, conservative author and filmmaker Dinesh D'Souza responded to criticisms about his recently released documentary and accompanying book titled Hillary's America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party, and talked about his reluctant support for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.
In it, D'Souza lays out a case against voting for Hillary Clinton, connecting her to a history of corruption and bigotry within the Democratic Party.
"From her Alinskyite past to her hopes for America's progressive future, the presumptive Democratic nominee is revealed to be little more than a political gangster intent on controlling the nation's wealth," noted Regnery Publishing.
"D'Souza chronicles the sleazy ascent of the Clintons and makes clear what some voters have long suspected: that Hillary is far more dangerous and corrupt than Bill ever was."
Topics of the interview focused on the challenges in making such a work and getting a response from him about a recently published CP critique of his historical argument. Below are excerpts from the interview.
CP: Were there any challenges in getting both the book and the documentary "Hillary's America" completed in time for the 2016 presidential election season?
D'Souza: The book and the movie were kind of produced in tandem. The book being the research arm of the film and there's, of course, a good bit of information in the book that's not in the film. It was an individual enterprise so I was doing that pretty much on my own with a research assistant. A movie is collaborative. We have a small film team of about ten people, so we were working intensely to get the film finished in time.
We did most of our shooting last fall, so we had shot most of the reenactments last fall. But the editing process of the movie, and also keeping the movie timely so that means having information as of the date if possible, so most of the movie feels like it is right out of the headlines. And so we finished the movie I wouldn't say just in time, but in time to get it packaged and dispatched to the theaters. And so this was a little bit of a close call, but no more so than I expected.
CP: As you know through your research, there are many books out there critiquing the Clintons, especially Hillary. How is your book "Hillary's America" different from these other works?
D'Souza: It's different in I think two respects. The first is that I am familiar with the extensive literature on Hillary and I find most of it mind-numbingly dull and virtually painful to read. In this respect, Hillary is different to me than Obama.
Four years ago when I did the book and movie on Obama, I found Obama very fascinating and I found that a lot of the public commentary on him to be off track and so I advanced an argument that there was an anti-colonial dimension to Obama that people were missing.
Obama was intriguing. I don't know if he is as intriguing now, but he was certainly intriguing then.
Hillary is not intriguing. She's been around a long time. Most people feel that they know her. The challenge of a book and a movie is that the people are sick of her. And so, why would they want to sit in a movie for ninety minutes and then watch Hillary? I've heard people say "I'd rather blow my brains out."
So my challenge was how do you make an interesting movie and write an interesting book about a woman who is not that interesting? And so my answer was, okay, let's do a book and a movie, not on Hillary per se, but on the Hillary gang.
So Hillary is the head of this gang. Again, she is different than Obama. Obama had an ambivalent relationship with the Democratic Party … he's an outsider. Hillary is an insider. She's been running this sort of progressive gang, she's been a key figure in the Democratic party for a whole generation. So I decided to tell the story of the gang. How it got started, all its various heists, what happens when the gangs are busted. How did it cover its tracks, how did it move on to new schemes. So Hillary then just becomes the culmination of a longer story of progressivism in the Democratic Party. So I think that might have been the only book to do that and that's what makes it different.
CP: Some critics of the documentary (including me) argue that the film omits things like Republicans who behaved badly, as well as divisions within the Democratic Party. How do you respond to that critique?
D'Souza: Well, a couple of thoughts about it. The first is the fact that if you're making a movie about Hillary and the Democratic Party, there's no deficiency in the movie that you don't explore the equivalent problems in the Republican Party. So for example, let's say the Clinton marriage is a mess. And I say how it is a mess. And I say how it is designed to benefit Hillary. Well, this has nothing to do with whether or not Ronald Reagan was divorced, or Warren Harding had a sex scandal. I would of course concede that there are plenty of sex scandals to go around in the history of American politics.
My second point is about the internal divisions of the Democratic Party. Of course, you know, the parties have undergone transitions. They are not monolithic things. And so, in telling a story, again for a movie, the important thing is to try and zoom in on what is truly important. The fact that FDR campaigned against [Southern] Democrats — which you mentioned in your review — that's not so significant. Every president would want to have a team behind him that supported his agenda.
The interesting thing to me with FDR was this: that FDR could not get the New Deal through without the support of Southern racists. He knew that. So he cut deals with them in which he agreed to block anti-lynching laws that the Republicans were pushing. He also agreed to exclude the two professions that were most present, namely domestic servants and agricultural labor, from most New Deal programs so that blacks would not get Social Security. This is the Great Progressive Era of the twentieth century in bed with the worst racists of American history. That's a big story.
I am not denying that the divisions of the Democratic Party exist. I tried to pick the most important and unknown threads of our history and put those on the screen.
CP: In reading the final chapter of the book, the impression I got is that you want people to vote for Donald Trump. How do you sell Trump to those who find him just as despicable as Hillary?
D'Souza: I think my problem would be the words "just as despicable." I have issues with Trump. There are things I like about him. There are things I don't like about him. I like the fact that I think he's unquestionably a patriot. He loves the country. He's also a kind of unrepentant capitalist. I like that. I think he contrasts favorably with [Republican Mitt] Romney's sort of pathetic defensiveness about being successful.
Trump is not a racist for the simple reason that insensitive is not racist … My point about Trump is that Trump is an unknown figure. He's coming from the outside. The Republicans have the outsider; the Democrats have the insider. There are a lot of question marks around Trump.
But to me if the Trump door is marked with some question marks, the Hillary door is marked as a known crook. And we've had crooks in America before, but we didn't know they were crooks …. when we found out, we threw them out. With Hillary, we do know. So to me it's a moral indictment of the Democratic Party that knowing who Hillary is and has been, they're lining up behind her. Whether America will do the same remains to be seen.