- What would the world look like if America did not exist?
- What would the world look like if the colonists had not won independence from Britain?
- How would world history have been different if George Washington was killed by a sniper during the Revolutionary War?
Three questions posed at the beginning of Dinesh D'Souza's newly-released documentary "America" set the stage for a debate on whether the United States of America is exceptionally blessed or one that gained prominence by theft and murder.
In "America," D'Souza raises the exceptionalism debate by interviewing prominent college and university professors that have been actively teaching America's next generation that their country's foundation is made of evil and inhumanity.
Featuring works of radical Leftist historican Howard Zinn to Noam Chomsky and Saul Alinsky, D'Souza starts out by picking up their worldview and speculating how the world would be different if America did not exist or if our nation's politics were different.
D'Souza discusses the complaints of North American Indians, American blacks and Mexican immigrants. Indians demand ancestral tribal territory back in their control, Mexican radicals insist Texas, Arizona and California territory be returned to Mexico. Blacks, whose family roots stem back to slavery demand reparations as payback for their ancestors' mistreatment.
D'Souza, a naturalized citizen himself, responds to a list of accusations against America with answers based on a fundamental belief that America is exceptional, and God-blessed.
It's what we do with that extra dose of blessing that is up for debate.
Christian Americans often quote the Scripture, "To who much is given, much is required" as a guideline for charitable giving and ironically, that generosity has been bestowed on nations that attacked and killed our men, women and children, have taunted our freedom and way of life and have ignored America's successful economic example of capitalism.
On the other hand is the competing mindset that in a roundabout way recognizes the richness and prosperity of America, but demands that the nation's bounties be distributed worldwide. D'Souza takes on these claims succinctly in "America."
That anti-American worldview is being taught in America's college and high school classrooms and is turning impressionable young minds away from patriotism and loyalty to historical principles. Promoting democracy and rule of law is abhorred as imperialism and worldwide expansion. Warding off attacks on political allies or economic resources is scorned as arrogance and obsession with control.
The film's animation and photography in "America's" introduction is inspiring and breathtaking and reminds the viewer of America's unique creativity, ingenuity and natural beauty.
If D'Souza and his fellow producers and directors Gerald R. Mohen and John Sullivan had left the documentary focused on rebutting anti-American thinking, it would have been more effective and ignited a much needed nationwide discussion about American exceptionalism.
D'Souza, however, places himself as the focal center of "America," to the film's detriment. D'Souza has been in the midst of moral and financial dilemmas in the past year, and his issues sadly diminish the impact of the film's message. It is distracting for him to admit in the film that he "made a mistake" and was arrested and faces federal charges for making illegal donations to a U.S. Senate candidate through associates' bank accounts. He then implies that the FEC's attention on his activity is part of the Obama Administration's vindictive mentality.
The other distraction the film does not mention is D'Souza's family troubles this year, culminating with him having to resign from overseeing King's College, due to alleged immorality with a staff assistant.
Ironically, the powerful message of "America" and the nation's exceptionalism is muffled by D'Souza placing himself in the forefront. It ends up being a terrible, but real price to pay for hypocrisy.
For most not familiar with D'Souza personal issues, however, the film's discussion about American exceptionalism is worthwhile.
It's time parents and taxpayers realized what the nation's students are learning in public-funded schools and colleges. And why many twenty-somethings are so ungrateful for the freedom that their forefathers passed onto them. For most, they simply have been denied the other side of the story. For that reason, "America" is a must see.
But back to the film's premise: What would the world be like without America?
Despite protests from the spoiled, ungrateful Occupy Wall Street crowd, for us, the idea of a world without America is simply unthinkable.