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De Pasquale’s Dozen with Author Dinesh D’Souza

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of
One lesson that becoming a Christian has taught me is that we all have highs and lows in our personal life and career. It’s a part of the human experience and the source for some our greatest moments of clarity and self-reflection.
Dinesh D’Souza has certainly been on the roller coaster of life over the last several years. He has conquered the New York Times bestseller list several times and the box office with the second and sixth highest-grossing political documentaries of all time. Then after an improper donation to an old friend’s political campaign, he plead guilty and spent eight months in a state-run confinement center. Talk about highs and lows!
In his latest book, Stealing America: What My Experience with Criminal Gangs Taught Me about Obama, Hillary, and the Democratic Party, he gives an honest account of the time he spent in confinement and what it taught him about the current political climate. Not surprisingly, living with gangbangers, thieves, murderers, rapists and drug dealers drew some comparisons to the cesspool of DC. He is brutally honest and offers a surprising take after his experiences.
If you’re expecting a typical left versus right political tome, you won’t find it in Stealing America. On the brink of possibly the most important election in our lifetime, this book is worth devouring before it’s too late.
The De Pasquale's Dozen asks political figures and free market-minded writers and entertainers to take a break from politics and talk about their pop culture obsessions.
1. What's your favorite movie line and who would you like to say it to?
"Finally it is not a matter of obedience. Finally it is a matter of love." These words are said by Thomas More to his friend, explaining why he continues to follow God's laws even at the ultimate cost to himself. He doesn't do it out of compulsion; he does it because he loves God. I would like to say these words to God.
2. Tell me about your favorite teacher and how he or she influenced your life.
Jeffrey Hart, a Dartmouth literary scholar who wrote lyrically and provocatively, and was one of the very few people who could make me laugh out loud. Hart completely overturned my stereotype of the conservative as a staid fellow with a tooth-brush mustache and an umbrella, a paragon of provincialism. He showed me a different sort of conservatism, smart, urbane, confident, irreverent. Alas, in his eighties Hart has become a complete Obama supporter. Perhaps I should be dismayed. But I and his other students are convinced he is doing a late-in-life parody of the jejune leftism he always despised.
3. What every day luxury did you miss the most when you were in the San Diego confinement center?
Sleeping in my own bed. It's remarkable how we take certain things for granted. I am not just talking about my comfortable mattress and soft pillow. I am also talking about silence, about being able to sleep without hearing hoodlums boasting about their crimes and sexual conquests through the night, punctuating every sentence with f*ck and motherf*cker.
4. What canceled show would you put back on the air?
Columbo. One of the first shows I got addicted to when I first came to America as an exchange student at the age of 17. How interesting to see the crime at the outset, committed in a way that almost defies detection, and then follow our man Columbo as he tracks his clever suspects.
5. What's your current “guilty pleasure” television show?
The Kelly File. I watch very little television but I admire Megyn Kelly for introducing both investigative research and hard-hitting interviews to the Fox News Channel. If she didn't do it, it wouldn't be on TV.
6. What’s the best present you ever received as a child?
A chess set. I followed the Fisher-Spassky match in 1972 when I was 11 years old and it was one of the things I remember most vividly, playing out the moves from the Times of India on that cheap board with the plastic pieces.
7. What’s the best present you ever gave?
A four-carat radiant-cut diamond engagement ring to my lovely fiancé Debbie who will become my wife in March 2016.
8. What advice do you remember your mother or father giving you?
My father once told me that I should not despair when my parents died because they were leaving me in the care of God who loved me so much more than even they did. I have found encouragement in that advice many times over the years.
9. Who would be on the perfect "Red Eye" panel?
Eric Metaxas, Richard Dawkins and me. It would be fun for me to deflate Dawkins' adolescent atheism and ridicule him for his pomposity, watching his face grow more and more constipated, as Eric restored his spirits with Christian charity.
10. What books are on your reading list?
Harry Jaffa, "A New Birth of Freedom," Leon Litwack, "North of Slavery," and Pascal, "Pensees."
11. What would you like tomorrow's headline to say?
"Hillary Clinton Indicted, Vows to Press on With Presidential Campaign."
12. Tell me about the moment you decided to enter the political arena.

It was when I realized that in America, unlike in India, "ideas have consequences." Here, I saw, my ideas could really make a difference in the way the country was governed, and in the way that America continued to offer ladders of opportunity to people like me, starting at the bottom, to rise to the top.

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