HARLINGEN — Filmmaker and author Dinesh D’Souza, whose documentary “Hillary’s America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party” will be re-released this weekend in 400 theaters including locally, thinks Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is adopting some of the film’s themes.
“Trump seems to have jumped on some of the things we talk about in the movie, the GOP as the party of Lincoln, inner cities, the history of the Democratic Party,” D’Souza said yesterday in a phone interview.
“He seems to have pivoted a little bit more toward our playbook, and I’m happy about that,” D’Souza added.
D’Souza also said he was impressed by how Trump carried himself during his visit this week to discuss immigration and trade issues with Mexico President Enrique Pena Nieto.
“I think he handled himself pretty well,” D’Souza said.
“In order to win this election it’s important for Trump to define Hillary and to define himself,” he added. “He needs to convince people that he’s capable of statesmanship. I don’t mean this as a critique of Trump, because Reagan had to do the same thing in 1980 when people said Reagan is a cowboy who will blow up the world.”
Born in India, D’Souza came to the United States as an exchange student before graduating from Dartmouth College. He became a naturalized citizen in 1991, and has authored several best-selling books with conservative themes.
In 2012, D’Souza released “2016: Obama’s America,” a documentary film based on his 2010 book “The Roots of Obama’s Rage.” The works analyze Obama’s upbringing with an emphasis on his Kenyan father’s anti-colonialism and what D’Souza sees as a psychological desire to fulfill his father’s dream of diminishing the power of Western nations.
In January 2014, D’Souza was indicted on charges of making illegal political contributions to a U.S. Senate campaign, a felony. He pleaded guilty in federal court to using a “straw donor” to make an illegal political campaign donation. He was sentenced to eight months in a halfway house, five years probation and a $30,000 fine.
D’Souza’s supporters say the indictment was politically motivated payback by the Obama administration for the book and the film.
But the filmmaker and author has moved on.
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