The Big Lie (Dinesh D'Souza)

BIG LIE – This 2017 book begins and ends with the systematic efforts of the left to resist a duly elected president, Donald Trump, by whatever means are necessary, and thereby either cripple his presidency or drive him out of office. We are witnessing, according to Mr. D’Souza, a fascist coup – which is supremely ironic in that one of the prime charges against the president is that he and his supporters are the modern-day equivalent of the Italian fascists and German Nazis that were destroyed by the outcome of World War II.

Another disconnect is that many US liberals praised the fascists in the 1920s and 1930s, even while slamming the communists for using similar tactics to achieve similar goals. The current fascist claim against Trump et al. is likened to the psychological mechanism of transference, whereby people pretend to be fighting the very ideals/values that they themselves exhibit. Another analogy is the “blame the victim” defense that she/he was “asking for it.”

Considerable evidence is marshalled to support the claim that fascism was spawned by leftist, not conservative, thinking. Also, parallel US developments such as the systematic abuse and displacement of native Americans, slavery, the Ku Klux Klan, eugenics, etc. are all attributed to Democratic politicians (Andrew Jackson, Woodrow Wilson, FDR, etc.) vs. Republicans.

While agreeing with D’Souza’s conclusions about the current leftist game-plan in this country, his historical discussion seems overdone. Didn’t Republicans support moving Indians from their ancestral lands, for example, and wasn’t the real point about both communism and fascism that the leaders were after power? The distinction between “left-wing” and “right-wing” seems somewhat academic.

Also, President Trump’s bombastic rhetoric and disruptive policy proposals have arguably fueled the fascist claims even though – in the end – his aims may be unexceptionable. Acknowledging the president’s shortcomings could have resulted in a stronger action plan for conservatives at this juncture than simply saying they need to “fight fire with fire” by becoming just as relentless as the leftists.

All things considered, this book is well researched and makes some interesting points – but it could have been far better.

Posted on Amazon, 7/17/18.

11/13/19 update (first day of public impeachment hearings in the House): The determination of anti-Trumpers to take down the president continue to be demonstrated, three years after the election. Trump continues to energize his base, but has not expanded it. Time will tell how this story turns out.
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