But D’Souza knew there were millions more out there who needed to hear this message. To reach that battlefield, you have to go beyond books.” Inspired by the success of It received a 26 percent score from critics on Rotten Tomatoes, but what did he care?
He was a rock star again, this time doing large arenas.
Seeing a career in government as a slog, in 1989 he accepted a job offer from the American Enterprise Institute, the pre-eminent conservative think tank.
He could easily have spent the next couple of years churning out dry policy pieces. But in 1991, his was a smash hit: an exhaustively researched takedown of the political correctness that was sweeping college campuses and that he believed was undermining academic standards and chilling freedom of thought.
Sullivan, who had planned to run an excerpt in declined to publish it. As Loury wrote, “It violated the canons of civility and commonality.”But, D’Souza says, “I didn’t believe that sensitivity had a legitimate place in the debate. He placed special blame on divorce and adultery, inventions, he wrote, of the left.
Eventually, recalls Sullivan, “in the office, he was called by his nickname, ‘Distort Denewsa.’ ” Glenn Loury and Bob Woodson, two African-American colleagues at A. Sensitivity was the reason why the debate had the artificiality it did. The logic was as tortuous as it needed to be: the Abu Ghraib scandal, for example, was actually the fault of liberals because the soldiers who enacted the despicable acts, Lynddie England and Charles Graner, were divorced, sex-crazed partiers who were therefore “act[ing] out the fantasies of blue America.” As a remedy to terrorism, he advocated that God-fearing right-wing Americans should join forces with their natural ally, traditional Muslims, including those who agree with Sharia law. And so they have these very chic events, and I literally parachute in. And then I parachute out and I’m gone.” Whether it was their resentment over his stardom or simply that they hated the book, the rift was untenable, and he resigned.
This philandering, inebriated, African socialist is now setting the nation’s agenda through the reincarnation of his dreams in his son.”The conservative called the book “lunacy,” but to thousands of Americans—among them Newt Gingrich—D’Souza’s theory sounded about right; the book was an instant best-seller.
The book was written in two months, he boasted in the introduction.
And with sentences like these, it showed: “The most powerful country in the world is being governed according to the dream of a Luo tribesman of the 1950s—a polygamist who abandoned his wives, drank himself into a stupor, and bounced around on two iron legs …
That if we’re going to discuss America owing blacks reparations for slavery, then what do blacks owe America for the of slavery?
He riffed on “widely different personalities” developed during slavery—“the playful Sambo, the sullen ‘field nigger,’ the dependable Mammy, the sly and inscrutable trickster”—that, he claimed, were “still recognizable.” It was another best-seller, but this time the press denounced it as insensitive. So I don’t owe you anything.’ ” He ditched Washington for his wife’s hometown of San Diego and got a job at the Hoover Institution, Stanford’s conservative think tank.