Posted on August 6, 2018

The Death of Historical Accuracy

Boyd Cathey, Abbeville Blog, August 6, 2018

In case you haven’t heard, there is a new “conservative” film out; it is titled “Death of a Nation: Can We Save America a Second Time?”

It’s director and screenwriter is Dinesh D’Souza, the somewhat pompous, word-measuring figure who occasionally shows up on Fox to talk in pious tones about “conservatism.” {snip} And, in his latest cinematic adventure he stunningly compares the “triumph of America and its values” under that “great president and martyr” Abraham Lincoln to the crisis facing President Donald Trump. Like Lincoln, Trump is saving America “for a second time.”

Here is the film’s official blurb from D’Souza’s web site:

Not since 1860 have the Democrats so fanatically refused to accept the result of a free election. That year, their target was Lincoln. They smeared him. They went to war to defeat him. In the end, they assassinated him. Now the target of the Democrats is President Trump and his supporters. The Left calls them racists, white supremacists and fascists. These charges are used to justify driving Trump from office and discrediting the right “by any means necessary.” But which is the party of the slave plantation? Which is the party that invented white supremacy? Which is the party that praised fascist dictators and shaped their genocidal policies and was in turn praised by them? Moreover, which is the party of racism today? Is fascism now institutionally embodied on the right or on the left?

Thus, the president who refused all compromise (and torpedoed negotiations) with Southerners and Confederates (who were, as D-Souza assures us, no better than “racists” and “fascists”), the president responsible for the most egregious violations of habeas corpus and constitutional liberties in American history, the president who in effect unleashed a vicious conflict that took the lives of at least 620,000 Americans and maimed and handicapped for life hundreds of thousands more, the president who by military force radically altered the original American Constitution and set the stage for the growth of powerful and unchecked government, and the emergence of the managerial Deep State…that president is D’Souza’s model…and his analogy for Donald Trump.

And Lincoln, that noble opponent of “racism”? D’Souza omits Lincoln’s contradictory statements on American blacks and his repeated desire that blacks be sent back to Africa. And he conveniently fails to cite Lincoln’s declaration to New York Tribune editor Horace Greeley, August 22, 1862, scarcely three months prior to the formal issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation:

If I could save the Union without freeing any slave, I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves, I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone, I would also do that. What I do about Slavery and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save this Union, and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union.

The one very significant fact that becomes clear in his latest cinematic screed is that D’Souza is {snip} an ideological and historical fabricator who seeks, in the name of defending his adopted nation, to bend and mishandle its history to fit a preconceived narrative which satisfies his Neoconservative task masters. {snip}

His narrative is essentially a leftist one {snip}: “the South had slavery, therefore it was a racist society. Racism had to be opposed at all costs and by all means. And that is what Lincoln did.”


As noted economist Frank Taussig has detailed in his classic study, Tariff History of the United States (1967 edition), tariffs were the chief revenue source for the Federal government. {snip} With the Southern states seceding, such a loss of revenue would be devastating to the Federal treasury and could not be allowed to stand.

There is another major critique that must be made: despite D’Souza’s claims, it was the Republican Party in 1860 that was, by every measure, the radical party, the party intent on destroying the original Constitution and transforming the union, not the more conservative (at that time) Democrats. {snip} it was the intransigence of the Lincoln administration that literally provoked war.

Even D’Souza’s supposedly hated Marxists recognized that Lincoln and his actions furthered their program and ideals. In 1864 Karl Marx sent Lincoln a famous “Address” from his “workkingman’s group,” in which he declared that “victory for the North would be a turning point for nineteenth-century politics, an affirmation of free labor, and a defeat for the most reactionary capitalists who depended on slavery and racial oppression,” that is, one more critical step in the projected Marxist historical dialectic. The American ambassador in London, Charles Francis Adams, responded and “thanked them for their support and expressed his conviction that the defeat of the rebellion would indeed be a victory for the cause of humanity everywhere.”


No: stay away from this cinematic fraud…like tasty ice cream infected with poisonous venom, it might taste good at first, but the poison is sure to work its effect.