Dinesh D'Souza

Indian-American political commentator

Dinesh Joseph D'Souza (born April 25, 1961) is an Indian-born American political commentator, filmmaker, and author.

Virtue has great power, but not if it is imposed – only when it is chosen.
See also:
2016: Obama's America (2012)
America: Imagine the World Without Her (2014)


In most countries in the world, your fate and your identity are handed to you; in America, you determine them for yourself. America is a country where you get to write the script of your own life.
Manhattan today is the result of the people who built it, not the original inhabitants who occupied or sold it.
The atheist seeks to get rid of moral judgment by getting rid of the judge.
Atheism, not religion, is the real force behind the mass murders of history.


  • Consistent with Martin Luther King's vision, the government should stop color-coding its citizens.
    • "As I See It", Forbes 158 (13): 48, 2 December 1996, ISSN 0015-6914 


  • Colonial possessions added to the prestige, and to a much lesser degree to the wealth, of Europe. But the primary cause of Western affluence and power is internal – the institutions of science, democracy, and capitalism acting in concert.
  • One way to be effective as a conservative is to figure out what annoys and disturbs liberals the most, and then keep doing it.
    • "How to Harpoon a Liberal", Letters to a Young Conservative, Basic Books, 1 October 2002, p. 135, ISBN 0465017339 


  • Virtue has great power, but not if it is imposed – only when it is chosen.
    • The Washington Post, 2003-07-04, quoted in Cal Thomas (8 July 2003), "Theological dictators", Townhall.com, retrieved on 2019-09-06 




  • I've been studying radical Islamic thought—specifically, the thinkers who have influenced contemporary radical Muslims. When you read their work, you find that there are no denunciations of modernity, no condemnations of science, no condemnations of freedom. In fact, their whole argument seems to be that the United States—through our support of secular dictators in the region—is denying Muslims freedom and control over their own destiny.
  • If the televangelists are guilty of producing some simple-minded, self-righteous Christians, then the atheist authors are guilty of producing self-congratulatory buffoons like Condell.


  • The ideas that define Western civilization, Nietzsche said, are based on Christianity. Because some of these ideas seem to have taken on a life of their own, we might have the illusion that we can abandon Christianity while retaining them. This illusion, Nietzsche warns us, is just that. Remove Christianity and the ideas fall too.


  • Our President is trapped in his father's time machine. Incredibly, the U.S. is being ruled according to the dreams of a Luo tribesman of the 1950s. This philandering, inebriated African socialist, who raged against the world for denying him the realization of his anticolonial ambitions, is now setting the nation's agenda through the reincarnation of his dreams in his son. The son makes it happen, but he candidly admits he is only living out his father's dream. The invisible father provides the inspiration, and the son dutifully gets the job done. America today is governed by a ghost.


  • The American Indians sold Manhattan to the Dutch for $700 in today's money. My point is, that's what Manhattan was worth then. It was useless, it was just a piece of land, like any other piece of land which you can buy today for $700 in many places in the world. Manhattan today is the result of the people who built it, not the original inhabitants who occupied or sold it.
  • The American idea of wealth creation is being embraced in India, in China, all over the world. It's lifting hundreds of millions of people out of poverty. So ironically this American formula that we are moving away from at home under Obama is being enthusiastically embraced all around the world.
  • Scaring the children: for Halloween last night, I dressed as a Democrat and when kids came to my door, I took half of their candy!




  • If you follow Jan. 6 at the granular level with the facts that are coming out slowly, they are coming out because the government has been very reluctant to release footage, particularly footage of what happened in the tunnel on Jan. 6, where you now begin to see these cops using massive amounts of force against unarmed Trump supporters, including women.
    The death of Rosanne Boyland is now being called into question.
    Was she the second Trump supporter that was killed by the authorities?



10 Things to Celebrate: Why I'm an Anti-Anti-American (June 2003)

Full text of "10 things to celebrate: Why I'm an anti-anti-American" (29 June 2003) at SFGate.
  • Anti-Americanism from abroad would not be such a problem if Americans were united in standing up for their own country. But in this country itself, there are those who blame America for most of the evils in the world. On the political left, many fault the United States for a history of slavery, and for continuing inequality and racism. Even on the right, traditionally the home of patriotism, we hear influential figures say that America has become so decadent... If these critics are right, then America should be destroyed. And who can dispute some of their particulars? This country did have a history of slavery and racism continues to exist. There is much in our culture that is vulgar and decadent. But the critics are wrong about America, because they are missing the big picture. In their indignation over the sins of America, they ignore what is unique and good about American civilization.
  • In the American view, there is nothing vile or degraded about serving your customers either as a CEO or as a waiter. The ordinary life of production and supporting a family is more highly valued in the United States than in any other country. America is the only country in the world where we call the waiter 'sir', as if he were a knight. America has achieved greater social equality than any other society. True, there are large inequalities of income and wealth in America. In purely economic terms, Europe is more egalitarian. But Americans are socially more equal than any other people, and this is unaffected by economic disparities. Alexis de Tocqueville noticed this egalitarianism a century and a half ago and it is, if anything, more prevalent today. For all his riches, Bill Gates could not approach the typical American and say, 'Here's a $100 bill. I'll give it to you if you kiss my feet'. Most likely, the person would tell Gates to go to hell! The American view is that the rich guy may have more money, but he isn't in any fundamental sense better than anyone else.
  • Visitors to places like New York are amazed to see the way in which Serbs and Croatians, Sikhs and Hindus, Irish Catholics and Irish Protestants, Jews and Palestinians, all seem to work and live together in harmony. How is this possible when these same groups are spearing each other and burning each other's homes in so many places in the world?
  • America, the freest nation on Earth, is also the most virtuous nation on Earth. This point seems counter-intuitive, given the amount of conspicuous vulgarity, vice and immorality in America. Some Islamic fundamentalists argue that their regimes are morally superior to the United States because they seek to foster virtue among the citizens. Virtue, these fundamentalists argue, is a higher principle than liberty. Indeed it is. And let us admit that in a free society, freedom will frequently be used badly. Freedom, by definition, includes the freedom to do good or evil, to act nobly or basely. But if freedom brings out the worst in people, it also brings out the best. The millions of Americans who live decent, praiseworthy lives desire our highest admiration because they have opted for the good when the good is not the only available option. Even amid the temptations of a rich and free society, they have remained on the straight path. Their virtue has special luster because it is freely chosen. By contrast, the societies that many Islamic fundamentalists seek would eliminate the possibility of virtue. If the supply of virtue is insufficient in a free society like America, it is almost nonexistent in an unfree society like Iran's. The reason is that coerced virtues are not virtues at all. Consider the woman who is required to wear a veil. There is no modesty in this, because she is being compelled. Compulsion cannot produce virtue, it can only produce the outward semblance of virtue. Thus a free society like America's is not merely more prosperous, more varied, more peaceful, and more tolerant; it is also morally superior to the theocratic and authoritarian regimes that America's enemies advocate.
  • We should love our country not just because it is ours, but also because it is good. America is far from perfect, and there is lots of room for improvement. In spite of its flaws, however, American life as it is lived today is the best life that our world has to offer. Ultimately America is worthy of our love and sacrifice because, more than any other society, it makes possible the good life, and the life that is good.
  • If I had remained in India, I would probably have lived my whole life within a five-mile radius of where I was born. I would undoubtedly have married a woman of my identical religious and socioeconomic background. I would almost certainly have become a medical doctor, or an engineer, or a computer programmer. I would have socialized entirely within my ethnic community. I would have a whole set of opinions that could be predicted in advance; indeed, they would not be very different from what my father believed, or his father before him. In sum, my destiny would to a large degree have been given to me... The typical American could come to India, live for 40 years, and take Indian citizenship. But he could not 'become Indian'. He wouldn't see himself that way, nor would most Indians see him that way. In America, by contrast, hundreds of millions have come from far-flung shores and over time they, or at least their children, have in a profound and full sense 'become American'.



The End of Racism (1995)

  • If racism is not the main problem for blacks, what is? Liberal antiracism.
    • Ch. 1
  • Racism originated not in ignorance and fear but as part of an enlightened enterprise of intellectual discovery.
    • Ch. 1
  • The main contemporary obstacle facing African Americans is neither white racism, as many liberals claim, nor black genetic deficiency, as Charles Murray and others imply. Rather it involves destructive and pathological cultural patterns of behavior: excessive reliance on government, conspiratorial paranoia about racism, a resistance to academic achievement as "acting white," a celebration of the criminal and outlaw as authentically black, and the normalization of illegitimacy and dependency.
    • Ch. 1
  • The American slave was treated like property, which is to say, pretty well.
    • Ch. 3
  • Strictly speaking, relativism does not permit social progress, because the new culture is by definition no better than the one it replaced.
    • Ch. 6
  • It is understandable but implausible...to insist upon prominent media accounts about law-abiding citizens and quotidian virtue; this is a bit like the airline industry complaining that the press does not write stories about airplanes that land safely.
    • Ch. 7
  • Black rage is largely a response not to white racism but to black failure.
    • Ch. 8
  • If biological differences do exist, they cannot be wished away. However unpopular the investigation, we have to take the possibility of natural differences seriously. What is at stake is nothing less than the foundation of contemporary liberalism.
    • Ch. 11

What's So Great About America (2003)

I asked him, "Why are you so eager to come to America"? He replied, "Because I really want to live in a country where the poor people are fat."
  • Americans are the friendliest people you will encounter, but they have few friends.
    • Ch. 1: Why They Hate Us
  • What the immigrant cannot help noticing is that America is a country where the poor live comparatively well. This fact was dramatized in the 1980s, when CBS television broadcast an anti-Reagan documentary, "People Like Us", which was intended to show the miseries of the poor during an American recession. The Soviet Union also broadcast the documentary, with a view to embarrassing the Reagan administration. But by the testimony of former Soviet leaders, it had the opposite effect. Ordinary people across the Soviet Union saw that the poorest Americans have television sets and microwave ovens and cars. They arrived at the same perception of America that I witnessed in a friend of mine from Bombay who has been unsuccessfully trying to move to the United States for nearly a decade. Finally I asked him, "Why are you so eager to come to America"? He replied, "Because I really want to live in a country where the poor people are fat."
    • Ch. 3: Becoming American
  • In most countries in the world, your fate and your identity are handed to you; in America, you determine them for yourself. America is a country where you get to write the script of your own life. Your life is like a blank sheet of paper, and you are the artist.
  • As an immigrant, I am constantly surprised by how much I hear racism talked about and how little I actually see it. (Even fewer are the incidents in which I have experienced it directly.)
    • Ch. 4: The Reparations Fallacy
  • America is a new kind of society that produces a new kind of human being. That human being—confident, self-reliant, tolerant, generous, future oriented—is a vast improvement over the wretched, servile, fatalistic, and intolerant human being that traditional societies have always produced, and that Islamic societies produce now.
    • Ch. 6: America the Beautiful
  • America is the greatest, freest, and most decent society in existence. It is an oasis of goodness in a desert of cynicism and barbarism. This country, once an experiment unique in the world, is now the last best hope for the world.
    • Ch. 6: America the Beautiful

The Enemy At Home: The Cultural Left And its Responsibility for 9 / 11 (2007)

  • The cultural left, and its allies in Congress, the media, Hollywood, the nonprofit sector, and the universities are the primary cause of the volcano of anger toward America that is erupting from the Islamic world.
    • Introduction, pp. 1–2
  • The [George W.] Bush administration and the conservatives must stop promoting American popular culture because it is producing a blowback of Muslim rage. With a few exceptions, the right should not bother to defend American movies, music, and television. From the point of view of traditional values, they are indefensible. Moreover, why should the right stand up for the left's debased values? Why should our people defend their America? Rather, American conservatives should join the Muslims and others in condemning the global moral degeneracy that is produced by liberal values.
    • Introduction, p. 26

What's So Great about Christianity (2007)

  • They [atheists] want to control school curricula so they can promote a secular ideology and undermine Christianity.
    • Preface
  • Today courts wrongly interpret separation of church and state to mean that religion has no place in the public arena, or that morality derived from religion should not be permitted to shape our laws. Somehow freedom for religious expression has become freedom from religious expression. Secularists want to empty the public square of religion and religious-based morality so they can monopolize the shared space of society with their own views.
    • Ch. 3
  • My conclusion is that contrary to popular belief, atheism is not primarily an intellectual revolt, it is a moral revolt. Atheists don't find God invisible so much as objectionable. They aren't adjusting their desires to the truth, but rather the truth to fit their desires. [...] This is the perennial appeal of atheism: it gets rid of the stern fellow with the long beard and liberates us for the pleasures of sin and depravity. The atheist seeks to get rid of moral judgment by getting rid of the judge.
    • Ch. 23
  • Do you believe in the existence of Socrates? Alexander the Great? Julius Caesar? If historicity is established by written records in multiple copies that date originally from near contemporaneous sources, there is far more proof for Christ's existence than for any of theirs.
    • Ch. 26

The Roots of Obama's Rage (2010)

  • We are today living out the script for America and the world that was dreamt up not by Obama but by Obama's father. How do I know this? Because Obama says so himself. Reflect for a moment on the title of his book: it's not Dreams of My Father but rather Dreams from My Father. In other words, Obama is not writing a book about his father's dreams; he is writing a book about the dreams that he got from his father.

    Think about what this means. The most powerful country in the world is being governed according to the dreams of a Luo tribesman of the 1950s—a polygamist who abandoned his wives, drank himself into stupors, and bounced around on two iron legs (after his real legs had to be amputated because of a car crash caused by his drunk driving). This philandering, inebriated African socialist, who raged against the world for denying him the realization of his anti-colonial ambitions, is now setting the nation’s agenda through the reincarnation of his dreams in his son. The son is the one who is making it happen, but the son is, as he candidly admits, only living out his father’s dream. The invisible father provides the inspiration, and the son dutifully gets the job done. America today is being governed by a ghost.

    • Ch. 10: The Last Anti-Colonial

America: Imagine a World without Her (2014)

Did America steal the country from the Native Americans? Much of this critique focuses on Columbus and the actions of the Spanish conquistadors. But Columbus never even landed in America. And the actions of the Spanish, that was 150 years before America.
  • How, for example, did Obama get elected as a complete unknown? ... There is a one word answer: slavery. America's national guilt over slavery continues to benefit Obama, who ironically is not himself descended from slaves.
    • Ch. 1
  • Did America owe something to the slaves whose labor had been stolen? ... That debt...is best discharged through memory, because the slaves are dead and their descendants...are better off as a consequence of their ancestors being hauled from Africa to America.
    • Ch. 8
  • Better off? The point is illustrated by the great African American boxer Muhammad Ali. In the early 1970s Muhammad Ali fought for the heavyweight title against George Foreman. The fight was held in the African nation of Zaire; it was insensitively called the "rumble in the jungle." Ali won the fight, and upon returning to the United States, he was asked by a reporter, "Champ, what did you think of Africa?" Ali replied, "Thank God my granddaddy got on that boat!" There is a characteristic mischievous pungency to Ali's remark, yet it also expresses a widely held sentiment. Ali recognizes that for all the horror of slavery, it was the transmission belt that brought Africans into the orbit of Western freedom. The slaves were not better off—the boat Ali refers to brought the slaves through a horrific Middle Passage to a life of painful servitude—yet their descendants today, even if they won't admit it, are better off. Ali was honest enough to admit it.
    • Ch. 8. Most likely a misattribution. A Newsweek article at the time of the match attributed the quote "Thank God our grandpappies caught that boat!" to George Foreman's manager Dick Sadler. "It Takes a Heap of Salongo", Newsweek (September 23, 1974), p. 72.
  • While posing as the pursuer of thieves, and the restorer of stolen goods, the government is actually the biggest thief of all. In fact, progressives have turned a large body of Americans—basically, Democratic voters—into accessories of theft by convincing them that they are doing something just and moral by picking their fellow citizens' pockets.
    • Ch. 14
  • Progressives have convinced people that they are fighting theft. If a greedy capitalist has looted your possessions, you would want the government to do something about it. An essential function of government is to bring thieves to justice and to restore stolen possessions to their rightful owners. If the progressive critique is valid, then it doesn't matter if government does it inefficiently, since there is no one else to do the job: inefficient justice is better than no justice. Moreover, when we ask the police to go after bad guys and repossess their stolen goods, we aren't concerned with whether we foster virtue among the "giver" and gratitude in the "receiver." That's because the giver isn't really giving; he's merely giving back, and the receiver has no cause for gratitude since he (or she) is merely being made whole. In this scenario, Americans who are sitting in the bandwagon have earned that right, and the people pulling are the thieves who deserve to be penalized and castigated. This is why I've devoted the bulk of this book to refuting the theft critique. If I've succeeded, then the whole progressive argument collapses and our federal government, far from being an instrument of justice, now becomes an instrument of plunder.
    • Ch. 14
  • Here's the formula for Obama's success: "They work, and you eat."
    • Ch. 14
  • The Chinese, the Indians, the Brazilians, and the Russians are all getting richer and stronger due to wealth creation. Yet the leaders of these countries, while they appreciate wealth creation as one way to gain power, have never given up on the conquest ethic as another way to gain power. In fact, they see wealth creation as away to increase their military power; then that power can be deployed to acquire more wealth through conquest. [Americans] no longer have the conquest ethic. But the Chinese do; they have never given it up. This is why the world still needs America. We remain the custodians of the idea that wealth should be obtained through invention and trade, not through forced seizure.
    • Ch. 16
  • If we think of the Titanic as symbolizing the American era, Obama wants that ship to go down. Obama is the architect of American decline, and progressivism is the ideology of American suicide.
    • Ch. 16
  • This is our turn at the wheel, and history will judge us based on how we handle it. Decline is a choice, but so is liberty.
    • Ch. 16

Documentary films

Main article: 2016: Obama's America
  • The first time, we did not know what change would look like. Now we do. The first time, we did not know Barack Obama. Now we do. Which dream will we carry into 2016? The American dream or Obama's dream? The future is not in my hands. It's not even in Obama's hands. The future is in your hands.
Slavery existed all over the world... What's uniquely American is the fighting of a great war to end it.
  • Imagine the unimaginable... What would the world look like if America did not exist?
  • Did America steal the country from the Native Americans? Much of this critique focuses on Columbus and the actions of the Spanish conquistadors. But Columbus never even landed in America. And the actions of the Spanish, that was 150 years before America.
  • Slavery existed all over the world. The Egyptians had slaves. The Chinese had slaves. The Africans did. American Indians had slaves long before Columbus. And tragically, slavery continues today in many countries. What's uniquely Western is the abolition of slavery. And what's uniquely American is the fighting of a great war to end it.
  • Capitalism works not through coercion or conquest, but through the consent of the consumer.

Hillary's America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party (2016)

Hillary's America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party (2016)
  • The Obama administration tried to shut me up.

The Big Lie: Exposing the Nazi Roots of the American Left (2017)


Washington DC, Regnery Publishing, 2017

  • By limiting state power, conservatives seek among other things to protect the right of the people to keep the fruit of their own labor. Abraham Lincoln, America’s first Republican president, placed himself squarely in the founding tradition when he said, ‘I always thought the man who made the corn should eat the corn.’ Lincoln, like the founders, was not concerned that private property or private earnings might cause economic inequality. Rather, he believed, as three of the founders themselves wrote in the Federalist Papers No. 10, that ‘the protection of different and unequal faculties of acquiring property’ is the ‘first object of government.’
    • p. 33
  • Gentile was, in fact, a lifelong socialist. Like Marx, he viewed socialism as the sine qua non of social justice, the ultimate formula for everyone paying their ‘fair share.’ For Gentile, fascism is nothing more than a modified form of socialism, a socialism arising not merely from material deprivation but also from an aroused national consciousness, a socialism that unites rather than divides communities.
    • p. 53
  • Gentile also perceived fascism emerging out of revolutionary struggle, what the media today terms ‘protest’ or ‘activism.’ Unlike Marx, he conceived the struggle not between the working class and the capitalists, but between the selfish individual trying to live for himself and the fully actualized individual who willingly puts himself at the behest of society and the state. Gentile seems to be the unacknowledged ancestor of the street activism of Antifa and other leftist groups. ‘One of the major virtues of fascism,’ he writes, ‘is that it obliged those who watched from their windows to come down into the street.’
    • p. 53
  • One might naively expect the Left, then, to embrace and celebrate Gentile. This, of course, will never happen. The Left has the desperate need to conceal fascism’s association with contemporary leftism. Even when the Left uses Gentilean rhetoric, it’s source can never be publicly acknowledged. And since the Left dominates academia and popular culture, it has the clout to perform this vanishing trick. That’s why the progressives intend to keep Gentile where they’ve got him: dead, buried, and forgotten.
    • p. 55
  • If you read the Nazi platform without knowing its source, you could easily be forgiven for thinking you were reading the 2016 platform of the Democratic Party. Or at least a Democratic platform drafted jointly by Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. Sure, some of the language is out of date. The Democrats can’t talk about ‘usury’ these days; they’d have to substitute ‘Wall Street greed.’ But otherwise, it’s all there. All you have to do is cross out the word ‘Nazi’ and write in the word ‘Democrat.’
    • pp. 60-61
  • The fascists adopted an economic policy that is closely parallel to, and in many respects identical with, today’s progressivism. Mussolini called this policy ‘corporatism,’ but a more descriptive term would be state-run capitalism. Mussolini envisioned a powerful centralized state directing the institutions of the private sector, forcing their private welfare into line with the national welfare… Although today’s American Left dares not invoke Mussolini’s name, the honest among them will have to admit that it was he and his fellow fascists who were their pioneers and paved their way.
    • p. 86
  • As he thought about these problems, Hitler’s attention was turned to America. Hitler didn’t know a lot about America. He had never been to America. And he despised America. ‘My feeling against Americanism,’ he later said in 1942, ‘are feeling of hatred and deep repugnance.’ Why? He claimed, ’Everything about the behavior of American society reveals that it’s half Judaized and the other half negrified.’ Moreover, America is ‘a country where everything is built on the dollar.’ For Hitler, America represented the worst case of unrestricted Jewish capitalism
    • p. 88
  • FDR Franklin D. Roosevelt cozied up to and made deals with the worst racists in America… FDR appointed Hugo Black, a former Ku Klux Klansman, to the Supreme Court. Black was completely unqualified—his only judicial experience had been eighteen months as a municipal court judge—but he had a reputation as an enthusiastic New Dealer who had publicly endorsed FDR’s court-packing plan. Black was also an active Klan member who had spoken at and led Klan rallies and marches throughout his native Alabama.
    • pp. 189-190
  • FDR also supported racist Democrats in Congress in their efforts to thwart anti-lynching laws. This was a key condition the racists put before FDR. They said they would not support FDR’s New Deal programs unless FDR supported their effort to block Republican anti-lynching bills. So FDR convinced even northern Democrats and progressives to back their southern counterparts in keeping these bills from coming to the floor for a vote. This is one of the most disgraceful legacies of the FDR presidency and it goes virtually unmentioned in progressive FDR biographies.
    • p. 190

Quotes about D'Souza

  • All-out opposition to diversity mounted when Allan Bloom fired a major salvo with his 1987 bestseller, The Closing of the American Mind. That same year, the National Association of Scholars in Princeton, New Jersey, was founded to defend "excellence" from extinction with the help of intellectuals like D'Souza and magazines like the Atlantic. The Anglo generals in the war soon had a few lieutenants of color, like African-American professor Shelby Steele of California State University in San Jose (and later Ward Connerly, also of California). Steele attacked affirmative action, saying it represented over-reliance by minorities and women on "the power of being victims." In its place we should follow the Horatio Alger formula for attaining success through individual responsibility and hard work. Not long after came a few Chicano academics who also advised Raza students to forget affirmative action; just stop whining, study hard and help your mom sell more tamales, you too could be Hispanics.
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