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30 August 2018

What kind of “dogwhistle" was that?

The gubernatorial nominee of the Republican Party of Florida stated during the speech following his nomination that it was important not to "monkey this up," meaning that Florida's economy should not be burdened with the kinds of massive social programs and other changes advocated by the Democratic nominee, a Negro named Andrew Gillum.

Some are saying that this was a "dogwhistle" to appeal to White racist voters.

A dogwhistle is something that a political candidate says or does to make White racist voters believe that he's their man, or at least preferable to the other candidate. In 1988 George Herbert Walker Bush engaged in dogwhistling with his advertisements featuring a Negro murderer named Willie Horton, who had been allowed out of prison and thus given the opportunity to commit more crimes -- assault, armed robbery, and rape -- by Governor Michael Dukakis of Massachusetts, who was Bush's opponent in that election. With that advertisement, voters were given to believe that Bush was not soft on Negroes the way Dukakis was.

Back before I heard the term dogwhistle, I used to call this practice winking, which I think is really a better metaphor. A wink is a signal that implies, "I'm on your side," without clarifying what benefit if any that is supposed to confer. The term dogwhistle has become so widespread, though, that there seems no point in fighting it.

The great master of the dogwhistle was Republican campaign strategist Lee Atwater. In a 1981 interview, Atwater described how overt racism became sublimated into talk about tax-cuts:

You start out in 1954 by saying, "Nigger, nigger, nigger." By 1968 you can't say "nigger": that hurts you, backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states' rights, and all that stuff. You're getting so abstract now. You're talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you're talking about are totally economic things, and a byproduct of them is, Blacks get hurt worse than Whites. [Lee Atwater, 1981]

Atwater then tries to backtrack from what he has said, and suggests that "tax-cuts" may have had merely a subconscious racial appeal, but as I recall there was nothing subconscious about it. The "Black welfare queen" and Affirmative Action were familiar to everyone, and tax-cuts and less government seemed as if they might be ways to attack these problems indirectly, while avoiding overt discussion about race. Did it work? No. The main effect of this general approach was to lull White people into avoiding conflict, into thinking that racial preservation would be accomplished indirectly while in fact the cause was not advanced at all.

For the voter, the problem with choosing a candidate based on dogwhistles is that whatever is conveyed by the dogwhistle carries no obligation, because it was never actually said -- and we know that there has been calculated dishonesty in this kind of racial signaling.

George H. W. Bush needed to mobilize the racial feeling in White voters, because otherwise there was not much enthusiasm for him as a candidate. It was a dishonest manipulation, however. Although Bush won White votes with the Willie Horton ads, he was anything but pro-White. It was he who signed the calamitous Diversity Lottery into law, which among other deleterious effects has certainly increased the number of murders in our country.

DeSantis' utterance makes no sense as a dogwhistle. Why? Because everybody already knew that Gillum was a Negro, and a rather dark one at that. There was no point to dropping hints about it. By the way, did you notice that my opponent is a Negro? That is what the "monkey this up" comment was supposed to convey, according to the dogwhistle-theory. But there was no need to say that, and nothing was to be gained by saying it, because everybody could see it.

The idea that DeSantis' "monkey this up" comment somehow functioned as a dogwhistle is very stupid. 

The mention of "socialism" could be seen as a kind of dogwhistle, insofar as Southern White voters tend to think of socialism as redistribution of wealth from Whites to Blacks -- an interpretation of socialism that will immediately spring to mind when a Black is advocating it, especially amid the influence of recent reports from South Africa. Republican media always euphemistically explain the dispossession of Whites under Black rule as an effect of "socialism."

"Socialism" is not a correct explanation of what causes things to go wrong when Blacks take power, but this is how Republicans have become accustomed to talk. Racial concerns are cloaked entirely in non-racial terms. One just hopes that the original thought behind all this dissimulating rhetoric has not been forgotten.

If DeSantis ran advertisements discussing the disastrous effects of "socialism" while showing scenes from South Africa, thereby associating Gillum with anti-White violence through being a "socialist" -- that could be an effective form of dogwhistle. People would hear socialist and think criminal Negro parasite.

But DeSantis doesn't have to go that far. It seems highly unlikely that Florida, a state that doesn't even have an income-tax, would elect a far-left Negro governor -- at least, not yet. If demographic change continues unabated, however, many bad things will become possible.

Things being as they are now, all the wailing and moaning and gnashing of teeth over the monkey-comment won't hurt DeSantis, and may to some extent help him, if he just follows the example of Donald Trump by not acting overly concerned about it.

21 August 2018

All Standards of Intelligent Discussion have been Waived to Accommodate Brown-Skinned Immigrant Dinesh D'Souza

The French Ministry of Biases and Sophisms issues Godwin Points like this one, to be awarded to the likes of Dinesh D'Souza,"for having capably brought the discussion to the ultimate comparison."

Reductio ad Hitlerum is a ubiquitous feature of Dinesh D'Souza's recent work. The past couple of days he has been garnering support -- including more shilling from American Thinker -- by attacking some poorly considered utterance from Web Hubbell's daughter, Chelsea Clinton, about supposed economic benefits of abortion.

She did not explicitly say that abortion added wealth to the U.S. economy, but even Snopes admits that she seems to have implied that abortion added $3½ trillion of production by enabling women to work instead of raising children.

The Clinton girl's utterance was originally reported by Craig Bannister of CNS. One week later, however, Dinesh D'Souza decided that he could make the story suitable for his readership by adding a completely untenable Hitler-comparison. 

As foolish as Chelsea's utterance may have been, Dinesh D'Souza's invocation of Godwin's Law was even worse.

American Thinker however continues to shill for D'Souza.  American Thinker's article declares:
Score one for Dinesh D'Souza....
By all means, "score one" for the insolent immigrant, because he is certainly not scoring many points with his latest silly movie. It was a good idea for him to find something else to discuss. Attacking Clintons always gets applause. A Clinton championing abortion? That is an irresistible target!

The comparison to eugenic sterilizations in 1934 Germany was quite a stretch, however. Obviously, abortion and eugenic sterilization are not the same thing.
In fact, Hitler's government used the tax-code to promote marriage and begetting of children. There was a tax on all unmarried persons, amounting to 3/8 of the unmarried person's total income. Women were encouraged to be housewives and mothers and NOT to work. Abortion was illegal in Germany under Hitler's government. They wanted German women to marry, and to have German children, and to stay home and raise them.

That is completely the contrary of Chelsea's idea. If intelligent women abort their children to pursue careers, that is the opposite of eugenics. That is the elimination of some of the most desirable heredity from the genepool.

Furthermore, it certainly would not have occurred to a German National-Socialist, during the early phase of Hitler's rule when eugenic sterilization was proposed, that bringing women into the workforce would be good for the economy. The chief problem that Germany, like most of the world, faced at that time was an excess of workers and a deficiency of consumers. (You can read Lawrence Dennis, The Coming American Fascism, for more about that.) Let the men have all the jobs and keep the women at home to create more consumers: it's a win-win solution!

I gave Dinesh D'Souza a Godwin Point for stretching so hard to make such a nonsensical comparison to Hitler.

19 August 2018

How does Dinesh D'Souza get away with it?

It has been amazing to see how much Dinesh D'Souza gets away with. I have yet to see any of his movies, but I have his books, and I've listened to interviews and watched his speeches.

Nobody seems to come to D'Souza's presentations prepared, and that's a problem.* It is difficult to argue history extemporaneously. You have to be able to point to a source. In D'Souza's case, you can point to his own sources and show how he has misrepresented them. But nobody does that.

Nobody catches his crooked rhetoric either, like when he sidetracks an important objection to his thesis onto some trivial point. The obvious point that Southern segregationist voters en masse migrated to the GOP -- which blasts a giant hole in D'Souza's thesis -- is obfuscated with a trivia-quiz about politicians who supported Strom Thurmond's third-party presidential campaign in 1948.

Nobody catches the fact that he pretends that there were always only two political parties in US history, and that everyone is either a Democrat or a Republican. He is able to call the Democrats "the party of slavery" because Whigs and Federalists and NPAs do not exist in D'Souza's narrative. Somebody pointed out that Ulysses S. Grant had owned a slave before he became president. D'Souza's comeback is that Grant had not yet become a Republican and was therefore a Democrat at the time. While it is true that Grant had not yet become a Republican, I see no indication that he was ever a Democrat; he seems to have had no party-affiliation until he was drafted to run for president. The point is, MANY non-Democrats -- like George Washington! -- owned slaves, and did so long before the Democratic Party even existed, so that it is not correct to call the Democrats the party of slavery. This should be extremely OBVIOUS.

How does he get away with it?

Somebody has suggested to me that there has been hesitation to take Dinesh D'Souza to task because he is not White. I don't know.

I have been especially disappointed that Republican talkshow hosts like Rush Limbaugh take no trouble to stifle dangerous nonsense being propagated among the GOP faithful. Limbaugh certainly knows better, because I've been sending him information about D'Souza for the past year. Even without such advice, Limbaugh surely knows that the Ku Klux Klan were not "progressives," but he lets D'Souza get away with that on his show. 

In Limbaugh's case, the profit motive seems to be a corrupting factor, because D'Souza has bought wall-to-wall advertising for his movie on Limbaugh's show. Last year Limbaugh was touting D'Souza's book The Big Lie, declaring, "It's all true!" -- but that was before I started sending him information, and maybe back then he didn't know what he was endorsing, but he knows now, and is doing it anyway.

D'Souza's material is dangerous to Republicans because it can easily boomerang against them. For example it was Republicans first and foremost who supported eugenic sterilization. It was a Republican Supreme Court justice, Oliver Wendell Holmes, who wrote, "Three generations of imbeciles are enough." And then there's the plain fact that D'Souza shows that a significant number of Republicans will believe, or pretend to believe, almost anything. It does not look good.
* Here is preparation: Hit Dinesh D'Souza on his Most Vulnerable Points. If you are going to one of D'Souza's presentations, read that, print it out, and take it with you.

16 August 2018

The Reason behind Dinesh D'Souza's Box-Office Failure

This represents a large part of the Republican electorate.

Some anti-Trump pundits are inferring that the initially poor box-office performance of Dinesh D'Souza's current movie Death of a Nation reflects a decline in the popularity of President Trump. What they fail to take into account is that D'Souza's cinematic success has been in steady decline for several years. Here's the breakdown:

2012   Obama's America                                                                    $33,449,086
2014   America: Imagine the World Without Her                      14,444,502
2016   Hillary's America                                                                       13,099,931
2018  Death of a Nation                                                                          5,885,881

The reason for the decline, I believe, is that D'Souza, adhering to the anti-racist neoconservative line, is falling more and more out of step with the multitude of Republicans in the Age of Trump.

D'Souza's great opportunity came with the election of Barack Obama. Many White people were profoundly uncomfortable with having a Negro president, but were afraid to say it. Rush Limbaugh stated on several occasions that Republicans in Congress hesitated to resist or criticize Obama because of fear of being called racist:

"This is what Republicans are still afraid of, in fact, is being called ‘racist’ if they criticize him. They’re still afraid to jump all the way in with both feet on this because they’re afraid of that charge of being called racist." (Rush Limbaugh, 4 October 2010)
* * *
"And I’ve mentioned [that in 2012 Haley Barbour] made the point, 'We cannot criticize Obama, Rush, as a party. We can criticize his policies. We can criticize his policies all day long, but we can’t go there.' He didn’t say why, but it was the unspoken, you can’t go there ’cause he’s African-American, we'll be called racist, and it was the same old song and dance. I didn’t say anything. I just sat there and nodded." (Rush Limbaugh, 15 June 2016)
 * * *
"What has happened is, the Republican Party has by and large been shut down. Their reluctance to be critical of anything Obama is doing is rooted in the fact that they don’t want to be called racist by the media." (Rush Limbaugh, 14 July 2014)

When D'Souza attacked Obama in 2012, he struck a chord. As a non-White person, he did not have the average Republican's fear of attacking Obama, and thus became the voice for people who were afraid to speak freely. Fearful Republicans could stand behind this clearly not-at-all-racist champion, and not risk being called racist themselves.

D'Souza's subsequent movies did not respond to that kind of need. Nobody feels inhibited about praising America or attacking Hillary Clinton. Praise of America is commonplace, and anti-Clinton material has been stored up since the 1990s. This is a large part of why, I believe, D'Souza's second and third movies brought in less than half the revenue of his first production.

The need for a non-White spokesman, based on fear of being called racist, is also somewhat reduced from what it was  when Obama's America appeared in 2012. Republicans have to some extent lost that fear, due to the example presented by Donald Trump, as explained by Rush Limbaugh:

"The Republican Party gave [Obama] his free ride; they said there’s no impeachment; they took it off the table. There’s no enforcement mechanism for anything Obama does that’s extra-constitutional, in violation of the law or what have you. He’s got his free ride here. And the reason he’s got it is because people are scared to death of being called racist or sexist or whatever. 

"Okay, within that, here comes Trump. It may well be that a whole bunch of Republicans agree with Trump and have not had the… I don’t want… I’m not questioning people’s manhood here. I’m questioning political analysis. Maybe they just haven’t had the courage to do it, but Trump did and they’re probably sitting back and saying, 'Yeah, look what’s happening to him. They’re trying to destroy him.' Yeah, but that’s the lesson! What is Trump doing? With every insult that comes his way, with every bit of criticism, he doubles down and fires right back at the critics. This is, in one small part, exactly what Republican voters have been seeking, wanting to see." (17 August 2015)

In addition to ceasing to address a need, D'Souza's work took a turn that seems likely to have alienated much of his audience. D'Souza combined his attack on Hillary Clinton with attacks on Andrew Jackson and racism. At this point D'Souza's propaganda began to acquire a strange odor, because Jackson and racism are traditional targets of leftist propaganda. To make these attacks, D'Souza relied on leftist sources. 

Donald Trump likes Andrew Jackson and most of Trump's base probably has some racial feeling. Thus with Hillary's America in 2016, D'Souza's message took a turn that was offensive to at least a significant part of the Trump electorate.

Many Republicans are happy to say things that they do not really mean (like, "Democrats are the real racists") in order to score partisan debating points. On that basis they may have appreciated Hillary's America as disingenuous but -- they hoped -- effective propaganda.

With Death of a Nation, however, D'Souza is not only attacking the Democrats. Now he adds effusive praise of Lincoln (not as he was but as he is usually portrayed) and argues that racists do not belong in the Republican Party. Believe it or not there are many Republicans today who are racists and not uncritical of Lincoln. It seems likely that Republicans who were comfortable enough with seeing the Democrats called racist as a mere rhetorical ploy are not enthused about seeing it turned against themselves.

Although D'Souza struck a chord in 2012 when he attacked Obama, since then he has been gradually alienating his Republican audience, and the Party of Trump also has less need for what he offers. So, who still follows Dinesh D'Souza? From the positive retweets on D'Souza's Twitter page what I see mainly are simpleminded people: in particular, those who put party-affiliation above all else. Even before the current movie, D'Souza's followers on Twitter were so simpleminded, that when he posted a satire he had to label it satire or they could not tell. Probably they are also especially timid people.

I would suggest, if Dinesh D'Souza wants to end the unmistakable decline of his cinematic success, that he go back to attacking figures that White people in general are still afraid to criticize, and leave off the attacks on racism and on White icons like Andrew Jackson. A movie presenting all the dirt about Martin Luther King, Jr. would probably be a blockbuster and it would actually be helpful. If we could get Rush Limbaugh to stop referring in reverential tones to "Dr. King," that would be fantastic!

12 August 2018

Jewish Professor of Psychiatry Foolishly Tries to Rescue Dinesh D'Souza, is Annihilated

American Thinker seems to be churning out one pro-Dinesh puff-piece after another. I've seen three or four. It makes me wonder who runs that site. It seems that their primary concern is not really thinking but, in this case, pushing an agenda that is incompatible with thinking.

The latest that I've seen is written by a professor of psychiatry at the University of Illinois at Chicago, named Kalman J. Kaplan. His profession is obviously invoked to add credibility to his statements -- and he's a Jew, and Jews are so smart, right? -- but he's still wrong, wrong, wrong. 

The bigger they are, the harder they fall!

You can read the entirety of Kaplan's article of 12 August 2018 on the American Thinker blog, but I don't think that it's really necessary to go there -- unless you want to give thumbs up to my comment -- since I include quotes from his crummy argument below:

I can very easily demolish most of these points.

"The Democrats [Lincoln] ran against were largely supporters of slavery...."

It seems that Kaplan is slightly misrepresenting D'Souza's position in order to help him, because in all the times that I've heard D'Souza make this point in interviews and speeches, he has never said "largely." Instead he asserts without a hint of nuance that the Democrats are THE PARTY OF SLAVERY. He talks as if there were only two parties, the unambiguously pro-slavery Democrats and the anti-slavery Republicans. The GOP sure enough was founded as an anti-slavery party, but the Democrats and the Whigs and the Federalists and the Know Nothings had no clear position on slavery. The Confederate vice-president, Alexander H. Stephens, was in fact a Whig (which was Lincoln's party before the GOP formed), while Lincoln's vice-president, Andrew Johnson, was a Democrat. D'Souza's labeling of the Democrats as "the party of slavery" is an overgeneralization. It is not correct to say that the Democrats were THE PARTY OF SLAVERY when they had no clear position on it.

"The Klu Klux Klan was an organ of the Democratic Party...."

The KKK was never an organ of the Democratic Party. D'Souza alleges as his source for this claim the Marxist historian Eric Foner, an expert on Reconstruction. When you check Foner, however, you find out that he does not quite say that. Foner only says that the activities of the KKK during Reconstruction benefited the Democratic Party (in the South), the planter class, and White Supremacists. That's as far as Foner goes. He does not allege any formal connection as D'Souza does -- and a formal connection is crucial if the Democratic Party per se is to be made responsible for the Klan's activities. D'Souza lies about that detail, because the charge of guilt-by-association with the Klan doesn't hold up without it.

"The segregationist Dixiecrats were Democrats...."

To make his thesis work, D'Souza has to pretend that both major parties are pretty much the same as they were 150 years ago. The fact that Southern Segregationists generally switched to the GOP in the late 20th century blasts a giant hole in that thesis. Therefore D'Souza obfuscates.

Among the Dixiecrats, or Dixiecrat-supporters, were majorities of voters in several states of the Deep South that gave their electoral votes to the Dixiecrat Strom Thurmond in 1948, to the Republican Goldwater in 1964, to the American Independent candidate George Wallace in 1968, and to Nixon in 1972. That's a lot of Dixiecrat voters who ended up voting Republican! Whenever this objection about Southern Segregationist support switching to the GOP comes up, D'Souza sidetracks the discussion into a trivia-quiz about Dixiecrat politicians. That's really not relevant. The important and indisputable fact is that huge numbers of Southern White people who favored Segregation ended up voting for GOP presidential candidates. Kevin Phillips, who was an advisor to the Nixon campaign in 1968, wrote a book about this shift called The Emerging Republican Majority, which was written before the 1968 election and published after. My own mother voted for Strom in 1948 and Nixon in 1972; so, the effrontery of this immigrant trying to gaslight us about our own living memory is just remarkable.

"Robert Byrd, a former Dragon of the Klan ..."

This is a gross exaggeration. Robert Byrd was never a Grand Dragon. Way back in the 1940s he was an Exalted Cyclops, which is a local office.

"Only one segregationist Democratic senator, Strom Thurmond, and one Democratic congressman actually switched parties."

It was a lot more than that. I have already mentioned that MILLIONS of Southern Segregationist VOTERS began voting for Republican presidential candidates. I have found the following noteworthy politicians who switched from the Democratic to the Republican Party for apparently racial reasons: Strom Thurmond, Jesse Helms, Thad Cochran, John Tower, Trent Lott, Charles Pickering, James F. Byrnes, Albert Watson, William Cramer, Arthur Ravenel Jr., Dave Treen, James D. Martin, Floyd Spence, Bo Callaway, Iris Faircloth Blitch, and Mills Godwin.

The reason why there were not more D-to-R Segregationist party-switchers is that the Democrats were the majority party until 1980 and switching parties generally means loss of seniority. But if you look into Segregationist politicians like Senator James Eastland, you find that they were known as conservatives and might just as well have been Republicans.

"Hitler ... was a populist, who was hated by the Conservative Junkers of Prussia."

But they clearly preferred him to the Communists. The conservative DNVP threw its support, including Alfred Hugenberg's media-empire, behind Hitler in 1928 to make sure that the Communists would not come to power. That support was crucial for putting Hitler in power.

"Many of the Brown Shirts were homosexual."

There was a clique of homosexuals around Ernst Roehm, who were extirpated. Homosexuality was illegal under Hitler's rule.

Kalman J. Kaplan may be a professor of psychiatry, but an historian he is not.

You can do this too!

09 August 2018

Hit Dinesh D'Souza on his Most Vulnerable Points

The historical narrative that Dinesh D'Souza has been peddling since 2015 is wrong in its general outlines -- pretending, for example, that Democratic and Republican parties are exactly the same today as 150 years ago -- and in a great number of its details. This is necessarily so, because D'Souza's technique of taking some anti-American or anti-White historical accusation promoted by Marxists and twisting it around so that it is only applicable to Democrats, inherently requires omissions and distortions.

Conservative American White people feel browbeaten with accusations of wrongdoing against other races. They have been browbeaten for many decades. The proper response to this is a kind of historical revisionism that will put them on a firm foundation to reject being browbeaten. Facts can be questioned, context can be added that changes the meaning of the facts presented, and even the value-judgments about certain actions can be rejected.

The appeal of Dinesh D'Souza's work is that it supplies a balm for the distress of being browbeaten, but his approach is completely wrong. The problems with D'Souza's historical revisionism are (1) that it is very superficial and untenable, and (2) that it maintains leftist accusations and value-judgments that keep White people trapped in the box where they must struggle to "prove" that they are not fascist, not nazi, and not racist. Moreover, it teaches White people to affirm the Judaeo-Marxist value-judgments associated with those labels. From a White perspective, the escape that Dinesh D'Souza offers gives only temporary relief and is ultimately a trap.

This has to be stopped.

Anyone who actually finds D'Souza's narrative convincing cannot be generally well informed about the broad outlines of American history. Consequently, the approach for deprogramming such people cannot be about broad outlines; it must focus on specific, finite claims. That is what I am presenting here, a list of specific, finite claims where D'Souza is clearly taking liberties.

This is somewhat expanded from a list that I compiled for a local talk-show host who was going to interview Dinesh D'Souza and was obviously clueless.  I hope that others also will make use of this list of criticisms. Send it to anyone in media who is discussing D'Souza or about to interview him. As of right now, he is still promoting his new stupid movie. So, here is an activity for you. Copy, paste, and send.

If you think that this is too long for your purpose, just use the section titled D'Souza on Nazis and Eugenics, because that section relates especially to D'Souza's most recent work. (I do not normally use the word nazi except with some irony: I use it here because it is the word that the kinds of people being addressed would normally use.)

Dinesh D'Souza vs. Reality 

Dinesh D'Souza exhibits copious endnotes in his books, which impresses people and makes them think that what he says must be well documented. Sadly this is not the case. Checking D'Souza's sources shows that he habitually makes bold assertions going far beyond what his alleged sources would justify.

D'Souza on Andrew Jackson 

Dinesh D'Souza claims that the Battle of Horseshoe Bend was a massacre and an act of genocide by General Andrew Jackson. He also calls Jackson “the land stealer.” The alleged source, Steve Inskeep's Jacksonland, indicates that the Battle of Horseshoe Bend was not a massacre: Jackson asked the Creek Indians to surrender, and took hundreds of prisoners at the battle's end. The killing continued only because the Creek warriors would not surrender. The only massacre that Inskeep mentions was at Hillabee, where Jackson was not involved. Inskeep does not indicate that Jackson stole any land or did anything unethical by the standards of the time.

Dinesh D'Souza refers to "Jackson's policy of Indian Removal." It was not specifically Jackson's policy! It was a policy begun by Thomas Jefferson, who agreed in the Compact of 1802 that Indians would eventually be removed from Georgia. The policy was continued by presidents James Madison, James Monroe, and John Quincy Adams, before it reached its culmination under presidents Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren. This was not a policy that originated with Jackson, nor was it specifically a policy of the Democratic Party, since D'Souza defines the Democratic Party as beginning with Jackson, and since Adams was a Whig. The special demonization of Andrew Jackson has been a theme of leftist propaganda since the 1970s: among scholars however it is not the majority view.

Dinesh D'Souza on Democrats and Slavery

Dinesh D'Souza alleges that the Democratic Party is and always has been "the party of slavery." This only appears to have some semblance of truth because the Democratic Party was not explicitly anti-slavery like the GOP. Most American political parties before 1860 took no clear position on slavery. George Washington, a Federalist, owned slaves. William Henry Harrison, a Whig, owned slaves. The Democratic Party before 1860 had pro-slavery and anti-slavery factions, just like the Federalists and the Whigs. The Confederate vice-president, Alexander H. Stephens, had been a Whig and was in 1860 a member of the Constitutional Union Party, while Lincoln's vice-president, Andrew Johnson, was a Democrat. D'Souza's labeling of the Democrats as "the party of slavery" is an oversimplification.

Dinesh D'Souza on the Ku Klux Klan

One of Dinesh D'Souza's most important claims is that the Ku Klux Klan was formally connected to the Democratic Party -- meaning that the Democratic Party was responsible for the Klan and its actions. To support this claim, D'Souza pretends to quote Marxist historian Eric Foner. In his books Hillary's America and The Big Lie D'Souza attributes to Foner the claim that the KKK was "the domestic terrorist arm of the Democratic Party." Those are supposed to be Foner's words, but in neither instance does D'Souza note a source for the alleged quote. 

In an interview with Jesse Lee Peterson in August 2018, D'Souza took the liberty of adding some words: 

"For decades the Ku Klux Klan was the domestic terrorist arm of the Democratic Party." 

It seems that D'Souza is lying. These are the closest approximations in Foner's work to what D'Souza claims he said: 

"In effect, the Klan was a military force serving the interests of the Democratic party, the planter class, and all those who desired the restoration of white supremacy." (E. Foner, Reconstruction, 1988: 425) 

"The most notorious such organization was the Ku Klux Klan, which in effect served as a military arm of the Democratic party." (E. Foner & O. Mahoney, America's Reconstruction, 1995: 119) 

D'Souza's expression “domestic terrorist arm” does not appear in either quote. Foner never said it.

Foner's qualifier "in effect," which means that any relationship between the Klan and the Democratic Party was informal, is omitted from D'Souza's account of what Foner said. That is because D'Souza wants to blame the Democratic Party as an institution, not just some individuals who happened to be Democrats (whose descendants may now be voting Republican). Without a formal connection D'Souza's accusation falls apart: therefore he omits the crucial qualifier "in effect" when he misquotes Foner.

Finally, Foner never said that the Klan was “for decades” an arm of the Democratic Party. Foner is an expert on Reconstruction, and has written about the Ku Klux Klan only within the context of Reconstruction, which lasted only 12 years. He has not written anything about the revival Klan of the 20th century, as D'Souza implies. 

Dinesh D'Souza makes a big hoopla about the fact that overt Klansmen were present at the 1924 Democratic national convention. 

D'Souza claims that the 1924 convention in New York City was informally known as the Klanbake. This is false. The Klanbake was a simultaneous event across the river in New Jersey.

The 1924 Democratic National Convention was in fact not a happy experience for the Ku Klux Klan. D'Souza mentions that a motion to condemn the Klan failed by just one vote, but does not mention that the Democratic nominee, John W. Davis, denounced the Klan anyway. After that, the Klan's support went to the Republican candidate Calvin Coolidge, who did not in any way repudiate that support.

Dinesh D'Souza claims that President Lyndon Johnson had been a member of the Original Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. The source for this claim is an unidentified confidential informant for the FBI, who alleges that Ned Touchstone, editor of the newsletter of the Citizens' Council of Louisiana and an independent investigator of the Kennedy assassination, was a member of that Klan group, and that Touchstone had told the informant that the group had documentation that Johnson had been a Klansman “during the early days of his political career.” This claim appears in the final paragraph of an FBI internal memo from May 1964 that mostly discusses Touchstone's published findings about the Kennedy assassination. It is a rumor three removes from the source: the confidential informant said that Touchstone said that the Original Knights of the Ku Klux Klan said. We can accept that the confidential informant said what the FBI's memo records, but there is no confirmation of the factuality of what he said. Touchstone himself, although an investigative journalist, never published such a claim. The FBI has much more “information” that Hitler fled to Argentina in 1945, than that Lyndon Johnson was ever in any Klan group. It is an unverified rumor.

In any case, Lyndon Johnson was not well regarded by Southern Segregationists: all four states of the Deep South that had given their electoral votes to the Dixiecrats in 1948, plus Georgia, voted against Lyndon Johnson and for Republican Barry Goldwater in 1964. Robert Shelton, Imperial Wizard of the United Klans of America, declared: “We're going along with the principles that the Republican Party has adopted in its platform.”

When President Lyndon Johnson pushed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, the vast expansion of social welfare programs that disproportionately benefited Blacks, and the Gun Control Act of 1968 – on every point he acted in diametric opposition to the preferences of the vast majority of Southern White people.  Segregationist Senator Richard Russell of Georgia said of Johnson: "He's a turncoat if there ever was one." The suggestion that LBJ was somehow serving an agenda of Southern Segregationists or the Ku Klux Klan is beyond bonkers.

There is an argument that lavishing largesse on Blacks has not been good for them (prominently espoused by a Democrat, Pat Moynihan). Nonetheless, the suggestion that the Ku Klux Klan would support lavishing funds on Blacks as a way to harm them is utterly insane.

D'Souza on Nazis and Eugenics

In his effort to link the American eugenics movement to the Holocaust, Dinesh D'Souza claims that Paul Popenoe, in his book Applied Eugenics (1918), advocated “lethal chambers.” In fact, Popenoe emphatically dismissed “lethal chambers” as unnecessary (p.184), since mere sterilization suffices to achieve the eugenic goal. (Popenoe was also no leftist: Dr. James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, was one of his protégés.) 

D'Souza blames eugenic sterilization on “progressives” without bothering to mention that 19 out of 32 governors who signed eugenic sterilization into law were Republicans. When the case of Buck v. Bell came before the Supreme Court in 1927, 8 out of 9 Justices -- all of them Republicans -- found that forced eugenic sterilization was constitutional: the sole dissenter, Justice Pierce Butler, was a Democrat.

Dinesh D'Souza pretends that laws against interracial marriage were enacted only by Democrats. In fact, most states (even Massachusetts) at some time had such laws. In 1935, 30 out of 48 states had such laws.

Dinesh D'Souza claims that the American one-drop rule (which he calls the “Democratic one-drop rule”) was “too racist for the Nazis.” It is highly unlikely that the Nazis regarded the one-drop rule as “too racist” where Blacks were concerned, since Germany had indeed applied the one-drop rule in German Southwest Africa, starting in 1907. (Source: Ulrike Lindner, Journal of Namibian Studies, 6 (2009): 63-64)

D'Souza's alleged source, James Q. Whitman, says that Nazi officials regarded the American laws as generally inapplicable to their situation, because they were making laws about Jews, not Blacks: only the precedent of attaching criminal penalties to miscegenation was derived from the American laws, according to Whitman.

D'Souza on the "fascist" welfare-state

Dinesh D'Souza, who has been associated mainly with the Neoconservative faction of the Republican Party, points out that Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal resembles programs of recovery enacted by Mussolini and Hitler. What he forgets is that leading Neoconservatives like Irving Kristol are former Democrats who cherish the New Deal. D'Souza is calling his own faction of the Republican Party fascist!

Furthermore, the same argument that D'Souza uses to label Fascism as a kind of Marxism can be used to label Neoconservatism as Marxism, because the founders of Neoconservatism, like Irving Kristol and Norman Podhoretz, were ex-Trotskyites. D'Souza's former editor Professor Paul Gottfried identifies him as a Neoconservative, which by D'Souza's reasoning means that D'Souza himself must be a Marxist. Maybe he is!

01 August 2018

Dinesh D'Souza is The Big Liar

Spread these around!

Here are some new memes to greet the release of Dinesh D'Souza's ridiculous new book and film. The general theme is, Dinesh D'Souza is The Big Liar

Since there is no limit to this person's shameless dishonesty, the strategy is, rather than to pick apart the endless multitude of lies that he tells, to present a few clear examples and thereby to discredit him, and to label him clearly, as an untrustworthy source -- as The Big Liar.

There has been some criticism of D'Souza's propaganda in mainstream media. The problem is that many dittoheads and Fox News viewers refuse to consider that any criticism from mainstream media might be valid.

When some leftist points out the stupidity of D'Souza's arguments and laughs at the people who take those arguments seriously, the dittoheads misinterpret this as an indication that the leftists are angry because D'Souza has scored points against them. They are utterly clueless!

To reach those people, the criticism of D'Souza has to be stark and simple and presented in such a way that it is obviously not from the left and not from any mainstream source.

See also, Talking Points to Demolish Dinesh D'Souza

Alternate Memes -- for Timid People