I expected this book, written by Dinesh D’Souza and published by Broadside Books, to be bitter. For one thing, the title conveys bitterness.
And Dinesh D’Souza has reason to be bitter: A first offender, he had been threatened with prison and then sentenced to confinement for an offense usually not even prosecuted: two misreported campaign contributions to a childhood friend running for office. (It is not even clear that the law creating this offense is consistent with the First Amendment.)
Moreover, D’Souza is a prominent intellectual conservative. Federal officials chose to prosecute him shortly after he had produced a well-publicized film critical of the president. As he documents in the book, a fair amount of circumstantial evidence suggests that the decision to go after him originated high in the Obama administration. Perhaps at the top.
But the text shows little evidence of bitterness. My personal experience makes me understand why. When my tax returns were targeted by Montana state officials in the 1990s in apparent retaliation for my anti-establishment political activities, I was surprised that my own emotions were merely a mixture of resignation and amusement. Same thing when state officials tried to retaliate through my employer. So you don’t always react to events as you would expect.
What D’Souza’s book does portray is how far our country has slipped from constitutional government to third-world-style kleptocracy. When I grew up, political candidates were imperfect, of course; but no individuals as flawed as Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama would have been considered as candidates for much of anything outside of inner cities controlled by corrupt machines. Certainly not for president.
I previously have noted that there are disturbing strains of totalitarianism in modern “progressivism” and in its jurisprudence. See, for example, here, here and here. D’Souza offers a look at the beast from another angle. Drawing from what he learned about criminal gangs while in confinement, he delineates the common traits between those gangs and their methods and the “progressive” movement and, indeed, much of the Democratic Party.
The product is both chilling and hard to put down.
If I have a complaint, it is that D’Souza does not spend enough time offering solutions. His last few pages amount to little more than “Spread the word and defeat Hillary.” Among the potentially more fundamental and permanent solutions neglected is the current drive for an Article V amendments convention.