Originally posted at The Daily Caller.
Author and filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza is thrilled that a Florida lawmaker is pushing to air his film America in high schools throughout the Sunshine State.
Florida State Sen. Alan Hays is advancing legislation to make D’Souza’s conservative film America part of the curriculum in 8th and 11th grade history classes. There is an opt-out clause for parents who do not want their children to participate.
“I’m very pleased that Sen. Hays is doing this,” D’Souza told The Daily Caller in a phone interview. “I think the film is an important counterweight to an existing bias against patriotism. By and large, what students learn is not history, but rather a one-sided view. America’s crimes are stressed, while her accomplishments are downplayed.”
His films, 2016: Obama’s America, and America — the fourth and sixteenth highest-grossing documentaries of all time, respectively — are unvarnished attacks on liberalism.
D’Souza, one of President Obama’s preeminent critics, sees himself as the counterweight to a biased media.
“The Michael Moore view of the world is very well represented in education today,” D’Souza continued. “I think America will help create a sense of balance, and give students a chance to make up their own minds.”
D’Souza’s latest film holds that history is being distorted by liberal interpretations, and that the United States has a past worth celebrating. But he doesn’t pretend that the movie is meant to be purely academic.
“I would agree that the film is not a scholarly enterprise,” D’Souza conceded. “If you attempted to make a purely scholarly film, people would get up and leave. My film tells an educational and emotional story that also happens to be scholarly. A film gives us a feeling of what something was actually like.”
But is it propaganda?
“Propaganda means that you are forming a message with no regard for the good arguments on the other side,” he replied. “In America I state both sides of the argument and let it flow as smoothly as I can.”
“I am representing both sides of the spectrum, however I don’t deny that the film has a point of view.”
D’Souza is currently serving out a prison sentence, of sorts — he’s required to stay in community confinement each evening, but is free to travel during the day — after copping to a 2012 campaign finance violation. He spoke to TheDC from the confinement center.
While acknowledging his guilt, D’Souza has regularly wondered aloud whether he was targeted for his politics.
“I was told that FBI agents were assigned to my case, just to go through everything I ever wrote with a fine-tooth comb,” D’Souza explained. “You are facing a very powerful juggernaut on the other side. But despite this, I told myself that whatever happens to me, my public voice would not be silenced in any way.”
D’Souza will be released from community confinement in San Diego in May. The experience, he says, has changed him.
“I am working on a new book for this summer that will draw upon my experiences and reflection in here,” he revealed. “I am probably one of the only outspoken conservatives who finds himself in this new world.”
“I now sleep overnight with 115 guys who have just come from prison,” D’Souza said. “Their crimes range from murder, to rape to armed robbery to drug smuggling. It’s a world I normally would have very little feeling for, but I’m getting to know it quite well. It allows me to think in a different way, and to say things in a book that would be different from what anyone else has to say.”
Confinement hasn’t kept D’Souza away from Washington’s ongoing battles. He told TheDC that Obama has done very little to stop the spread of terrorism.
“That doesn’t mean I think Obama is a secret Muslim though,” he cautioned. “Sometimes I try to envision that guy praying five times a day and it’s hard for me to believe that he does. I think he would be a better guy if he did, but the truth is that he sees the U.S as a rogue empire.”
“He is quicker to condemn America than to condemn our adversaries,” D’Souza went on. “He will go out of his way to say the Taliban is not terrorist, and that ISIS is not Islamist. He has to rely on contortions to make this argument, yet he still goes through the trouble of doing it.”
In addition to his work as an author, a filmmaker and a pundit, D’Souza was the president of The King’s College in New York from 2010 to 2012.
He’s highly critical of higher education, and thinks that most professors are not worth the high price tag.
“I don’t think they are worth the money,” he told TheDC, “and the reason is not that they’re liberals or one-sided. The purpose of going to college is to get a job. For professors, that is pretty low on their priority list: they know who they want you to vote for, how you should behave towards women, how to treat transgender students, and what your politics should be.”
“But getting a job is low on their list.”
Read more at The Daily Caller.
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