Author and filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza, the keynote speaker at CLC, knew his life would change utterly the first time he looked out an airplane window and saw the Statue of Liberty.
America allows us to be “the architect of our own life,” he said. In America life is a blank slate, and we are the artists.
That is the American dream. “And conservatism is the defense of that dream,” he said. But we live “in a very perilous time.”
He was convicted of giving $20,000 over the limit in campaign finances. Another fellow gave $180,000 to Democratic candidates, and committed other crimes. He got no prison term.
But the Obama administration wanted D’Souza in prison for two years. A judge sentenced him to a confinement center for nine months — where he’d spend each night among convicted drug dealers, thieves, robbers, and killers.
He decided, however, to see if he could learn from them — the ideology of the criminal underclass.
He learned criminals admit they’re guilty — but that they’re only the small fry. The other inmates told him the real criminals are those who run things. It’s really the view of Machiavelli: let’s focus on the world as it is.
He used to see America from the conservative world, “as a kind of debate between the liberals and the conservatives.” But to criminals, this is nonsense, he said. To them, people are really motivated by greed, lust, envy, rage and fear. That changed D’Souza’s worldview.
The reason our country is in a mess because of Obama’s policies. Conservatives think “Obama doesn’t get it,” so we have to educate him.
But “Obama is up to something else,” D’Souza said. Or, in the words of criminals, “what’s their racket.”
Now, all crime is about theft. “So what’s the most valuable thing the world has ever produced? … The United States of America,” he said. It’s worth about $90 trillion. “The big argument in American politics is — who gets to control that?”
America has been a machine for producing wealth. That makes it a target for thieves. Yet it inspires the worst of sins — envy.
Other sins have redeeming aspects. Not envy. Yet it motivates those who want to steal America, he said.
A powerful alliance stokes envy of wealth — so that they can control those levers of wealth. The progressive agenda isn’t to raise your taxes; “it is to steal your wealth.”
Progressives are too lazy to be socialists. “Bernie Sanders isn’t going to drill a hole in Midland, Texas to get oil,” D’Souza said. He wants someone else to get it and put it in a barrel; then he wants to tell the driller what to do with it.
“The left has colonized all of the major megaphones of our culture,” he said. The media and education punish opposition.
To counter that, “Power must be deployed in a very laser-like way,” he said. An example: Costco pulled his book “America” from the shelves. Those complaining migrated to the Costco website and bombared the site. Costco reversed its decision, and event built a stand for DVDs of his movie!
A small number of people applying force at the right way at the right place at the right time brought Costco to its knees; conservatives should heed that lesson, he said
He noted how the Bessemer furnace destroyed the iron industry. The liberal power structure can also be destroyed. What we have to do is create new things, the way the iPhone created new industries.
His new movie is “Hillary’s America: a Secret History of the Democratic Party.” It shows the whole history of progressivism.
“If you go see our movie on the opening week, you are putting fuel in our rocket,” he said.
“Democrats play for keeps,” he said. Conservatives are debating; liberals are coming to a knife fight.
Why does the lion think the lion tamer is more powerful? He doesn’t know how powerful he is. Conservatives need to learn their own power.
And it’s happened before, beginning at the founding. “This is our time, this is our opportunity,” he concluded.