I stole a book today. It wasn’t Abbie Hoffman’s Steal this Book. No, I didn’t take it out of the store, but I read it without paying for it, sitting in a comfortable chair at my local B&N for several hours. They worked; I “ate.” That makes me a thieving liberal, much like the progressives described in the book Stealing America: What My Experience with Criminal Gangs Taught Me about Obama, Hillary, and the Democratic Party by Dinesh D’Souza.
I confused this D’Souza with another one, Sean D’Souza of the PsychoTactics website. . I’ve read a number of that D’Souza’s articles, and contemplated taking some of his classes, so I thought it would be interesting to get his perspective…but it was a completely different, much older man who wrote the book, one who lives in the US, not New Zealand, the one with no sense of humor, and no cartoons.
Until I got home, I wasn’t sure they were two different men from India with the same last name (How likely is that given the population of India?), I thought perhaps I had misread the marketing guru’s messages. Silly me. Yes, I’m white, and all brown people look alike. Mea Culpa. My bad. No whitesplaining here…just a bit of transparency…(don’t go there with the colorblind comment).
Dinesh D’Souza, producer of the Hillary’s America documentary, made a strong argument that the Democratic party has been steadily and conspiratorially driving the theft of the wealth of America by the left progressives lead primarily by Barak Obama and Hillary Clinton. He compared them to the convicts with whom he spent eight months in a detention center afer being convicted of breaking campaign donation laws. He wrote little about Republicans, except to say that they had not done enough to stand up for the values of capitalism.
He had some interesting thoughts: “Capitalism works by putting the energies of the capitalist entirely at the service of the actual and potential customers. In order to serve customers, the capitalist must always be thinking about them: their wants, their needs, how to make their lives better” (p. 133)
He continues on the idea of capitalism: “Capitalism makes us better people by limiting the scope of our vices.” (p. 135)
I am still processing what I read, but the main message was progressives are creating the end of America, based on envy. He says we never operate from the motives we espouse, but nearly always from envy, the desire to take what someone else has…lik e Iago.
I tend to believe that D’Souza was targeted because he speaks out against the Obama administration at length, at least if his version of the trial was accurate, if written in somewhat emotionally loaded language. He admitted to breaking the law, a stupid mistake made to help a friend but done in the wrong way, and punished very harshly compared to others who made the same mistake.
His descriptions of the stories of men in the detention center were fascinating, and he exercised his journalistic skills during his nightly incarceration there to build his argument. I found their stories much more interesting than his comparisons to the Democrats. Understand, I don’t think any politician hung the moon, not even Saint Bernie.
I tell my students that it is easier to deconstruct an argument written by someone with whom one disagrees. I have been a Democrat all my life, and I am now currently involved in the “Ponzi Scheme” D’Souza calls Social Security (I’m semi-retired at 65) . Since I was unable to find full-time work after losing my job last year, retiring seemed like the thing to do, even at only 90% of the benefits I would have received had I been able to hold out for March of 2017. It’s not like I haven’t worked at least part time since 1968. So I found D’Souza’s claims difficult to read. He did not have a lot to say about Trump, except for the approval of hitting back, of standing up to say what many people think.
Have I been duped all my life? Am I truly a bleeding-heart, crunchy-granola, pinko progressive liberal thief? I mean, I do wear Birkenstocks (42r), no makeup, and stretchy waist pants (3X). I’m also a college instructor…yep, looks like I fit the profile.
I bewail the idea my students have of going to college to get a piece of paper that to them is just a license to work, much like a driver’s license…or more like a pilot’s license. In truth, however, that’s why I went to college, to get a teaching license, my ticket into the middle class and to avoid the secretarial pool. My other option would have been health care, and I dislike working with body fluids as much as with spreadsheets–not that spreadsheets were a thing in 1969.
I did not write back then, my true dream that was subsumed under “you can’t make a living as a writer,” or learn how to create wealth from writing, as I am working to learn now. I did buy into victimhood, (poor me, I’m a woman from the South), failed perfectionism, playing it safe (I didn’t realize how easy it was for a teacher to be fired) and trying to feel my way through life, rather than doing some critical thinking. Yep, guilty as charged.
I have always worked for the government, both in public and private schools who were heavily funded by tax money either through direct taxation or through Pell grants and student loans. Even for-profit colleges depend on student loans for a large portion of their income. I’m not a wealth creator. Not a job creator. I think of my teaching as community service, another government idea. A government sponsored leach.
What an interesting point of view. I can either align and agree with this point of view, or I can defend against it, but either way, I get stuck in the judgement of myself based on someone else’s view of the world. Conversely, I can allow that person to enjoy his point of view, and I can be aware of it, and even observe the verification or rebuttal to his arguments, without buying and selling it to myself.
I can also be aware of my own assumptions, my own unexamined points of view, which this book has rattled quite a bit. I can lose my judgement of myself for buying the opposite points of view, seeing big business as the evil empire, rather than big government. I can be more aware, and I can allow myself to know and perceive the contradictions and spin that each person, but especially political campaigners put on their messages.
Who will I vote for? It remains to be seen, and in South Carolina, the chances are slim that my vote will even make a blip in the red sea. Despite the large percentage of black voters in SC, the state went heavily Republican in the last two elections. I’ll vote, but I would be very surprised, like the Brits who voted for Brexit, if it made a difference.
At this point, it is more important to me to examine my own assumptions, be more aware of what I have bought and sold myself on both sides of any issue and to operate from consciousness. Even a stopped clock is right twice a day. I can work on being aware instead of being right…in any sense of the word.
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