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As a prominent contributor and editor to RedState, Ben Howe has been Tea Party from the start. The conservatarian movement’s dedication to restoring a constitutional limited government that lived within its means was exactly what Howe was looking for. He took on ever-greater roles as an activist, communicator, and filmmaker to help achieve that lofty goal.
Then came 2016. Already frustrated by so-called “Tea Party” groups using the movement as a cash-grab, he was shocked to see “constitutional conservatives” throw their weight behind a candidate who made a mockery of their principles. Howe signed on early to the #NeverTrump effort, and wondered why so many of his former allies fell in love with one of Hillary Clinton’s most famous donors.
To answer this question, he created a 50-minute film and made it available online. You can watch it here:
When I attended a Trump rally in central Arizona, I drove his crew to the site and watched some of their interviews with the attendees (as a result, my name is listed in the ending credits). What I most like about the documentary is that The Donald’s fans are treated with respect, even though the candidate is most certainly not. If you are a reluctant Trump supporter, don’t let the overly harsh (in my opinion) title dissuade you from watching. The film is reasonable, measured, and powerful.
Instead of an attack on Trump, the film feels more like an elegy for the Tea Party. A documentary about a movement with such great promise and principle being cynically co-opted by a petty demagogue. If he loses on Tuesday, Donald Trump might have killed the Republican Party. But, far worse, he has discredited the best vehicle to reform the GOP establishment.
Being the weekend before the election, pro- and anti-Trump commentary is running hot. I look forward to reading your comments, but I request that you first to watch the film. Even if you disagree with its conclusions, I’m confident you’ll find it a thoughtful explanation of how Never Trumpers like myself have viewed this campaign, and why some conservatives in good conscience cannot cast a vote for this man.Published in