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Dinesh D'Souza (born 1961) is a prolific author, public speaker, filmmaker and convicted felon. D'Souza writes mostly on Christian apologetics and has debated religious issues with notable atheists including Christopher Hitchens, Da niel Dennett, andMichael Shermer. He produced a documentary about Barack Obama, alleging that Obama is primarily motivated by "anti-colonialist" fervor... which, ironically, is something you would expect every president to have (not to mention D'Souza himself, having been born and raised in an ex-colony, India). Bringing D'Souza to prominence is perhaps one of William F. Buckley's mistakes he might want to take back.
D'Souza was the president of King's College, an accredited Christian college located in the Empire State Building, but resigned after admitting to an extramarital affair.
In January 2014, D'Souza was indicted by the Manhattan U.S. Attorney for laundering campaign contributions for a Republican Senate candidate. In May 2014, he pleaded guilty to avoid a more serious charge that carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison. On September 23, 2014, he was sentenced to 5 years of probation. During the sentencing hearing, a letter from his ex-wife was read in which she stated, "It is my former husband who has an abusive nature. In one instance, it was my husband who physically abused me in April 2012 when he, using his purple belt karate skills, kicked me in the head and shoulder, knocking me to the ground and creating injuries that pain me to this day."
Public Positions Edit
Social Issues Edit
D'Souza is a staunch neoconservative, and began his public career while still at Dartmouth College, writing for conservative publications like the Dartmouth Review, which became notorious for its racist and homophobic content under D'Souza's editorship, and The Prospect. In this period, he criticized Dartmouth's policy of Affirmative Action and used the publication to attack gay rights and gay students.
In one issue of the Dartmouth Review, D'Souza published an interview with a Ku Klux Klan leader. However, far from being controversy-seeking and "edgy" journalism (contrast with John Safran interviewing KKK leaders), the piece was accompanied by a photo of a lynched black man, and the rest of the publication became well-known for its mocking tone of "black speak."
The Review also frequently "outed" gay students against their wishes. His far-right slant on many subjects led others to nickname him "Distort D'Newsa." He then went to work for the Policy Review.
D'Souza served as a White House political adviser during the Saint Reagan years. He has been known to support United Nations mediation in war-torn parts of the world. In his book What's So Great About America, he defends the United States against criticism it has received for its overbearing role in geopolitics, and the conservative method of government, while attacking liberalism.
D'Souza has pushed GOP batshittery like Birtherism, and appears regularly on Fox News. During the Republican nomination in 2012, two contenders — Newt Gingrich and Mike Huckabee — used points raised in his book The Roots Of Obama's Rage, to portray Obama as alien without having to engage in obvious Birtherism. Other Republican leaders have also indirectly used this talking point to attack the character of the President, blissfully unaware of the irony of politicians from a country that owes its very independence to anti-colonialism accusing its president of adhering to anti-colonialism. This also applies to D'Souza himself, since he was born in India, with its own struggle against British colonial rule.
As editor of the Dartmouth Review, D'Souza outed the officers of the Gay Straight Alliance and published stolen confidential files. He claimed he just wanted to make sure they weren't using university funding for "gay parties, gay orgies, or whatever." Yeah, brah. He has repeatedly gone on homophobic rants online and in public. His attempt to recast the movement for gay rights from a personal and humanitarian one to a political one has not gone down well even with conservatives, who see it as something that is mandated by the will of God, not the will of the people.
Racism (Or, "I am brown. I used to have many black friends") Edit
|“”Dese boys be sayin' that we be comin' here to Dartmut an' not takin' the classics. You know, Homa, Shakesphere; but I hea' dey all be co'd in da ground, six feet unda, and whatchu be askin' us to learn from dem?|
D'Souza is completely out of touch with the discrimination that minorities face in the United States. In his controversial 1995 book The End of Racism, he argued that "Racism, which once used to be systematic, had now become episodic," and that "...it no longer controlled the lives of blacks and other minorities." He explains away the prejudice against Blacks and Latinos as being caused by "cultural factors," not racial victimization. The End of Racism, indeed.
In the book, D'Souza, also among other things, argues that the parts of the Civil Rights Act pertaining to private companies should be repealed. D'Souza holds a fellowship at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), a think tank which published the book. This caused two of AEI's black fellows to resign their positions.
Barack Obama Edit
At one point, D'Souza was supportive of Obama, saying that Obama "...makes his claims on the merits, and he appeals to shared American ideals," while contrasting him with people like the evil Jesse Jackson. This was while trying desperately to justify his twisted views on racism, as he used the fact that a black man had been elected president to assert that racism was dead.
D'Souza then hopped on the "Obama is un-American" bandwagon. Obama's hatred towards the country he leads is indicated by his failure to spend the first 17 years of his life there (Hawaii doesn't count). This is in stark contrast to D'Souza's first 17 years, spent in America's heartland of Mumbai, India.
His main claim is that Obama is an anti-colonialist who wants to suck America dry and distribute the spoils among Third World nations. His argument is as follows: Obama's father was an anti-colonialist, and one of Obama's books is titled Dreams From My Father, so he must becarrying on his old man's alleged agenda and wishing for the swift demise of America's empire. His evidence for this unorthodox theory consists of a few choice quotes from both Obamas and already-debunked myths, such as an alleged support of Brazilian offshore drilling with US taxpayer money. Why Obama would take his father's understandable opposition to British rule over his country and turn it into an anti-American doctrine remains a mystery. Not to mention that the US itself has had some issues with British colonialism.
In yet another case of a broken record spinning completely out of control, D'Souza insisted on making a movie about this (non-)issue entitled 2016: Obama's America. Predictably, the biggest critical booster of the film is WND. More recently, he claimed that Obama was sympathetic toMuslim jihadis and other terrorists because his mother "wanted to marry a Third World anti-American guy," among other things. D'Souza's production of pseudo-psychological crap on this subject is unequaled. Furthermore, the pretzel logic he displays on the subject is starting to resemble a moebius strip; he's apparently convinced that Obama's support for equal rights for gays is somehow tied to his anti-colonialist views because - wait for it - he identifies "traditional Christianity" with colonialism.
Debating tactics Edit
- D'Souza has an aggressive and rhetorical speaking and debating style, which makes him sound forceful and convincing. He uses the Gish Gallop frequently and effectively, rebuffing his opponent for not addressing every point he makes.
- He frequently employs caricatures and strawmen of atheist positions. He presents these positions so as to make them sound whimsical or silly, while presenting his own statements with an air of utmost gravity, no matter how lunatic or far-fetched they may be.
- Every time Dinesh attempts to speak for, quote, or misquote his opponent, he adopts a buffoonish, mocking tone. It is a very unsubtle ad hominem attack fused into his prose.
- He is a big fan of quote mining. Not content with simply taking his opponent's statements out of context, he will take a quote about a topic completely unrelated to the one under discussion and re-frame it to make it sound as if his opponent is uninformed or delusional.
- A main weapon in his debating arsenal is the emotional appeal, where he paints his opponent's position as false because some of its implications may be distasteful to certain members of the audience.
- He enjoys painting his opponents as vicious critics of innocuous policies and events, and himself as a paragon of intellectual virtue. While not going as far as character assassination (at least not in a face-to-face debate), he does subtly attack the character of his opponent.
- He often says that an assertion by his opponent, or even the opponent's entire position, is invalid because it is not intuitively or obviously true. He paints this as a "common sense" argument, where he calls upon the audience to evaluate an assertion using their own intuition. In reality, this is a denial of the obvious fact that many things are counterintuitive and require expertise beyond the experience of the average person (but don't take our word for it; ask your neighbor about quantum mechanics or the economics of sub-Saharan Africa). This is a particularly effective tactic, as it shifts audience opinion to his side.
- Thanks to his wide repertoire of tactics, he rarely is forced to allow a point by his opponent to pass unchallenged. This projects the illusion of competence, whereas most of his rebuttals are intellectually dishonest and completely invalid.
- When all else fails, he will spout outright lies and half truths, pulling facts and statistics out of thin air to give his argument some credibility. This amounts to an argument from authority, which he seems to derive from his public "reputation" as a political commentator, academic and writer.
- Lately, he appears to carry around a sizable library of books to debates, frequently flashing them at his opponent and at the audience, while stating that they completely prove his own, or disprove his opponent's, points. These are usually self-published works by fringe lunatics (which are not worth the paper they're printed on). This is argument from authority on steroids, since no one except him has read the book. Therefore, his opponent cannot call him out on it, and is forced to let the point go without comment.
More hypocrisy Edit
In true fashion of other vocal religious neoconservatives, it was revealed in October 2012 that D'Souza was having a sexual relationship with a woman other than his wife. A few days after the news hit the media and internet, D'Souza resigned from his position as president of The King's College. In his defense, he claimed that he was divorced (though having previously stated his belief in marriage as an eternal covenant), when in fact he was simply separated from his current wife and divorce proceedings had begun but not yet finalized—which still technically makes him an adulterer, though a comment on one blog suggested that he was also being polygamous by getting engaged to one woman while married to another. Not to worry, though; D'Souza's squeeze on the side apparently thinks that women's suffrage is a really bad thing (and gives a truly goofy shout-out to Rick Santorum on the subject to boot), meaning that he's got a ticket in the wingnut sweepstakes as well.