A group called the Virginia Vision PAC recently created a political event in August in Virginia Beach. Their featured speaker? Dinesh D’Souza. Although Mr. D’Souza is a long-time conservative commentator, I find the decision to focus a gathering around him particularly troubling.
I’ve met Mr. D’Souza only once, at a gathering of the William & Mary College Republicans in Williamsburg many years ago. While there, I picked up a copy of his book, The End of Racism, which he signed for me.
As you may know, since that time Dinesh D’Souza has made quite a name for himself, both for good and ill. He has written many books about politics and crafted a film called 2016: Obama’s America, which I’m told was highly critical of the current president, earning quite a bit of praise in Republican circles.
When I was invited to this Virginia Vision PAC event, I immediately questioned the wisdom of hosting D’Souza. I posted my thoughts to the Facebook event pointing out that he is a recently convicted felon and that cheated on his wife a few years ago. The first response to my comment explained that former President Bill Clinton was also a disreputable character. Although I agreed that that might be true, I questioned the relevance of bringing him up in relationship to D’Souza. After all, Clinton’s behavior wouldn’t excuse D’Souza’s. Before anyone else could offer his or her opinion, the creator of the Facebook event deleted my post.
Taking some time to research Virginia Vision, it seems like I would agree with many of their positions. According to the Virginia Vision PAC website, “The Virginia Vision PACs (State and Federal) were formed with the express purpose of objectively reviewing the voting record of our elected officials and holding them accountable to Conservative Principles.” Sounds pretty good, no? And that’s not to say Mr. D’Souza doesn’t deserve another chance either. After all, whether big or small, we all screw up from time to time. Those points notwithstanding, I do believe hosting D’Souza shortly after his release for felony election fraud is a very poor decision.
If you may recall, during the Clinton presidency conservatives railed against the president for cheating on his wife and then lying about it. And yet, here we are with some of them standing behind a man, D’Souza, who boasted similar misdeeds. Why is it these days that we will condemn someone for their immoral behavior if we happen to disagree with them while at the same time turning a blind eye to those with whom we happen to agree. Isn’t doing so the pinnacle of hypocrisy? For conservatives does breaking both election laws and marriage vows matter? Or should we overlook those details and instead simply “protect our own”?
In The End of Racism, D’Souza dedicates the work “for my darling wife Dixie who makes life complete.” I do have to ask, once she made his life complete did he decide to trade her in for a newer model?
My hope is that the Virginia Vision PAC will realize their error and find someone more appropriate to headline their event. Otherwise, I believe it would be wise for conservatives to decline attending such a gathering.