No bombshells, no questions from the audience about "Dreams" authorship, but worth skimming...
D'Souza is a fairly competent defender of western civilization and America in general and brings the immigrant perspective to boot. He didn't neglect to mention that he came here as a peasant immigrant while Ayers inherited capital from this father. Probably the most prescient examples he espoused were a defense of the "rights" inherent in the founding documents that later allowed the slaves to be freed and women and blacks to vote, an answer to Ayers' general idea that white people are practicing injustice (whether he thinks the white people who founded the country are to be condemned is unknown) along with the idea that America invented 'wealth creation'. Ayers of course replied that the evil white men stole the country and murdered the Indians, which is part of his glass-half empty view of American crimes and the need to socialize the country to compel justice. But as D'Souza retorted, it's easy to talk about 'splitting the pie', the hard thing is to create the pie in the first place. Ayers had and has no answer for this.
In his closing remarks D'Souza addressed a whiny South Korean immigrant questioner from the audience who railed on D'Souza for not giving the proper apologies for her new country's atrocities by reminding her she probably wouldn't be standing there asking the question if not for US action in Korea in the 1950s. He boiled down the haves-have nots argument between America and the third world to "we want your jeans and your expensive camera", ie, we want the good things of life, too, so save the boilerplate Ivy League anti-colonial theory.
And that is precisely what eludes the Bill Ayers of the world--the real world. Theirs is a John Lennon "Imagine" world, Godless because there is no God so it must be done here on earth, but hampered by a white-man-created US system that is repressive because it focuses on the rights of the individual, which too often tend to be rich white men. What D'Souza was trying to show was that when it comes to human wants and needs things are usually a little simpler than what Ayers-type liberals imagine, something illustrated by D'Souza's own life story. The existence of the US has increased prosperity for many around the globe in that aspect, despite our faults.
One reality Ayers and his ilk often ignore is that, as the old saying goes, the world is a jungle. The warlords of the jungle crush intellectuals like Ayers all the time, despite his occasional starry-eyed defense of such noble savages. America represents a counter example, despite our stable of small-scale warlords.
D'Souza is no William Buckley so he often didn't have the snappiest replies to the common socialist barbs the professor threw out, allowing Ayers to probably make a few converts with his blame America first rhetoric that is already so rooted in American universities. It would have been fun to watch an Ayers vs Buckley debate and perhaps see how the latter focused on the former's 'small-c communism' and loathing of capitalism to point out that in an Ayers dreamed-of utopia their very debate would likely be impossible.
QUESTIONS NOT ASKED 2/1/14
Here are a few questions that could have been asked of Ayers but were not, either by D'Souza or the audience. They are not conspiracy questions because as we've seen, he's going to be flip or sarcastic or simply lie about anything controversial.
1. You wrote in "Prairie Fire" that you wanted all the people who weren't in line with your thinking rounded up and sent to re-education camps and according to Larry Grathwohl if they refused to come around, be eliminated. You talk about being a small-c communist and someone who wants to end capitalism. With that in mind, number one, how do you respond to that and two, what would an Ayers United States look like from a government standpoint?
2. What did you see in Hugo Chavez and his administration from an educational standpoint? If you were made Education Secretary tomorrow how would you change American education?
3. Do you have the same hatred for all capitalism or just the Halliburtons of the world? Do Microsoft and Google scare you? Do they need to be split up or taken over by the government? Does George Soros need to be reined in?