Bestselling author and filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza is an inspirational documentarian. Born in India, D’Souza understands the value of America and sees it as a land of opportunity. The past few years, however, have been rough for the principled author as he narrowly dodged prison time for a campaign finance infraction that, even to a casual observer of politics, smacks of political persecution.
Whether D’Souza’s violation of campaign finance law was a crime or a simple mistake is a matter of debate. The length to which the federal government pursued prosecution and punishment, however, is both shocking and chilling to any with an understanding of how totalitarian regimes operate.
The latest fiasco concerning D’Souza’s sojourn through the justice system is downright bone-chilling as a Clinton-appointed judge with no clear background in psychiatry overruled two approved mental health professionals to impose further psychological counseling on the documentarian in a nakedly transparent attempt to further punish D’Souza.
I’m told I am suffering from a serious psychological ailment: REPUBLICANITIS
— Dinesh D’Souza (@DineshDSouza) July 14, 2015
D’Souza’s attorney offered evidence from a court-approved psychiatrist as well as a court-approved psychologist indicating that there was no need for him to continue psychological counseling and/or examinations.
However, U.S. District Judge Richard M. Berman, appointed by President Bill Clinton, overruled the professional opinions and ordered an additional four years of community service for D’Souza and a continuation of psychological counseling.
“I only insisted on psychological counseling as part of Mr. D’Souza’s sentence because I wanted to be helpful,” Berman explained. “I am requiring Mr. D’Souza to see a new psychological counselor and to continue the weekly psychological consultation not as part of his punishment or to be retributive.”
“I’m not singling out Mr. D’Souza to pick on him. A requirement for psychological counseling often comes up in my hearings in cases where I find it hard to understand why someone did what they did.”
The continued psychological counseling smacks of punitive measures as D’Souza’s violation hardly defies understanding; the acclaimed filmmaker was not caught torturing animals or committing random arsons- he violated an FEC requirement for which he was threatened with 7 years in prison.
The length to which the government went to prosecute D’Souza and drag-out his punishment is the modern, more-civilized face of political persecution.
No, D’Souza was not lined up against a wall and shot. No, he was not sent to Northern Siberia to toil for 30 years. However, are we as a society okay with “just a smidge” of Stalin-esque political reprisals? The answer must be an unwavering “no!”
Gerard Molen, the producer of Dsouza’s runaway hit, “2016: Obama’s America,” articulated this point well, saying that the charges against D’Souza were “the equivalent of prosecuting a political dissident in the Soviet Union for jaywalking.”
“Yes, jaywalking in the Soviet Union is a crime, but it’s a minor crime. The real point is that you are a political dissenter and the government wants to put you away.” Molen continued, “When Dinesh D’Souza can be prosecuted for making a movie every American should ask themselves one question: ‘What will I do to preserve the First Amendment?’”
In the former Soviet Union, “psychology” (and I use that term loosely in this instance) was used to silence political dissidents. Those who would dare to criticize the regime were acting irrational. Those who were irrational were crazy. Those who were crazy should be locked up. Therefore, by extension, those who would dare to criticize the regime would need to be locked-up for their erratic behavior.
When we apply this linear standard of “insanity” to Berman’s assertion that those who would violate an FEC requirement must require additional psychological analysis, it’s clear to see the true motivation behind such a ruling.
Whether one is “left” or “right,” it remains increasingly clear that our republic is in peril so long as we maintain a regime that is intolerant of a vocal opposition.