Hillary’s America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party
It’s hard to imagine a more polarizing film than this one. Strategically released on the weekend before the Democratic National Convention, this documentary intends to portray a different view of the Democratic Party, and specifically Hillary Clinton, than was portrayed at the convention in Philadelphia last week when she became the first woman to receive her party’s nomination for President of the United States. Whether it succeeds or not is probably based on what you thought about Clinton going into the film. Most likely, those who see this film are probably conservative and anti-Clinton anyway, and already have their minds made up about her.
Those viewers who have seen the film have been very positive about the message, based on the viewer rating of 80% on Rotten Tomatoes versus the 4% critics rating (one “fresh” review out of 23). A sampling of critics’ reviews reveals such phrases as “This thing is madness”, “Doesn’t even qualify as effectively executed propaganda”, “This is an embarrassment to propaganda films” and “A piece of ahistorical liberal-bashing that slides from propaganda to paranoia”. I wonder what they really thought about the film.
I had previously seen Dinesh D’Souza’s 2012 film 2016: Obama’s America, so I knew what to expect as far as the format of the documentary. This film is based on The New York Times bestselling book of the same name, as well as D’Souza’s book Stealing America, and is already the top-grossing documentary of 2016.
The film opens with D’Souza being sentenced to eight months in jail and having to pay a $30,000 fine for committing a campaign-finance violation. D’Souza believes that he was convicted less for the crime and more for having made 2016: Obama’s America, as he doesn’t feel that the punishment fit the crime. While in prison he talks to his fellow prisoners and they describe the perfect con. D’Souza goes on to show the Democratic Party has used similar tactics as they try to “steal America”.
D’Souza contends that the Democratic Party was the original pro-slavery and anti-minority party (and still is), while the Republican Party was founded as the anti-slavery and pro-freedom movement. He compares the urban ghetto to the old plantation. Along the way, the film looks at Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, who advocated eugenics for birth control and the “Negro Project”, and who has been praised by Clinton. The film also looks at the radical social engineer Saul Alinsky, who Clinton was a follower of and wrote her thesis about. The film compares Clinton to Eva Peron, the Argentine politician who was accused of money laundering in the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Evita, tying the connection together with the vast amounts of money accumulated by the Clinton Foundation. Interviewed on Fox News about the claims in the film, D’Souza said “What I am hoping the movie will do is reach well-meaning people in the middle, sincere Democrats who go, ‘I can’t believe this,’” he said. “We have had people who have been in the movie, particularly minorities particularly Hispanics and blacks, and they say, ‘Dinesh, the only question I have to ask you, is this true? Because if they are true, it changes everything.’ And that’s the thing. The things in my book and movie are true, and they cannot really be disputed, and it does change everything.” D’Souza encourages people with questions to go to his website for the evidence of his claims.
The film includes interviews and some historical reenactments, the latter of which are effective, but give the film a “made for TV” look. We have readers who are both conservative and liberal. If there are those who are still undecided about which presidential candidate to support, this film may be worth their time. Otherwise, it’s most likely “preaching to the choir”.