Ben Howe Releases #NeverTrump Documentary

 

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.

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  1. Sabacc Inactive
    Sabacc
    @Cs

    Trumps harm of the conservative movement is impossible to overestimate.

    • #1
  2. TKC1101 Inactive
    TKC1101
    @TKC1101

    Sorry Jon. The title is over the top and life is short at my age. Unless this guy can make a clinical diagnosis, he should have used demagogue or some other less loaded term.  Explain to your friend about broadening his audience.

     

     

    • #2
  3. Spiral Reagan
    Spiral
    @HeavyWater

    Thanks for posting this.  I will watch the video.

    • #3
  4. BD Member
    BD
    @

    Ben Howe wants Hillary to win, but one of his alleged problems with Trump is that he was a Hillary-donor? No.  Howe’s objection to Trump is about immigration.

    Red State printed an article stating that Mark Krikorian is a racist who should be fired by NR.  This is where Red State is coming from.

    • #4
  5. MJBubba Inactive
    MJBubba
    @MJBubba

    What foolish rot.

    The bad stuff about Trump is not new and is easily knowable.

    The speculation is just speculation.

    The conclusion seems made in a vacuum that is absent the known alternative: H.R. Clinton.

    • #5
  6. MJBubba Inactive
    MJBubba
    @MJBubba

    How is the election of H.R. Clinton going to do anything to advance any of the stated aims of the TEA Party?

    • #6
  7. MJBubba Inactive
    MJBubba
    @MJBubba

    The obituary for the TEA Party seems either premature or late.   It is either not yet dead, or else it has been dead for two years.  Either way, its demise is not due to Trump.

    The TEA Party still has energy and a following.  It just is not so strong as it seemed in its first burst of energy in 2010.  Competent conservatives can still tap this energy.   Trump may make the situation more muddled, but he does not eliminate the small-government enthusiasm from the TEA Party core.

    • #7
  8. Casey Inactive
    Casey
    @Casey

    I thought I might be stuck with some free time to enjoy this weekend. Thanks for introducing this alternative.

    • #8
  9. Martel Inactive
    Martel
    @Martel

    MJBubba:How is the election of H.R. Clinton going to do anything to advance any of the stated aims of the TEA Party?

    Lots more opportunities for “Stop Hillary Clinton!” fundraising emails and ads on conservative websites I suppose.

    • #9
  10. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    How is this helpful on the weekend before the election, unless your aim is to help Clinton get elected?

    Fine, I understand #NeverTrumpers (mostly) won’t vote for either Trump or Clinton, but to continually make the case against Donald Trump leads me to one logical conclusion: you prefer Clinton to be president.

    There is this thing called a “sin of omission.” Not fighting the Left, the Democrats, and the Clintons (but, I repeat myself) at every opportunity would seem to be one of them, in my estimation.

    I voted for Trump. As someone recently said, it’s not a vote I’m proud of, but it was an easy decision.

    • #10
  11. Paul Dougherty Member
    Paul Dougherty
    @PaulDougherty

    It is a good documentary, concise and accurate. I do think it is released a week early, though. Not much in the way of convincing but explanatory.

    • #11
  12. Freesmith Inactive
    Freesmith
    @Freesmith

    Thanks, Jon. What a thoughtful act.

    It’s just what we at Ricochet need: another explication of the position of the NeverTrump faction.  It’s a cause that hasn’t received a sufficient airing here.

    Or at National Review.

    Or at The Weekly Standard.

    Or at Commentary.

    Or at the Wall Street Journal.

    Or at The Blaze.

    Or at the New York Times.

    Or at the New Republic.

    Or at the Philadelphia Inquirer.

    Or at the Huffington Post.

    Or at the Washington Post.

    Or at democraticunderground.

    Or at Red State.

    Or at firedoglake.

    Or at the Arizona Republic.

    So thanks again for this valuable service.

    I’m sure you realize just how much it is appreciated.

    • #12
  13. erazoner Coolidge
    erazoner
    @erazoner

    Any and all movements are subject to hijacking by opportunists, and the Tea Party was no different. I left it in 2012 after it had become dominated by know-nothings who had no appreciation for its genesis but were able to capture some of its energy to get elected into office. Sadly, many of its followers are unable to recognize the fakery and have fallen in line behind its own Manchurian candidate.

    How did this happen and how could it have been avoided? Many words have already been written, and I’m confident many more are to come.

    • #13
  14. Jon Gabriel, Ed. Admin
    Jon Gabriel, Ed.
    @jon

    Freesmith: It’s just what we at Ricochet need: another explication of the position of the NeverTrump faction. It’s a cause that hasn’t received a sufficient airing here.

    We had several explications of the position of the pro-Trump faction on the front page today, and earlier I posted an anti-Hillary ad. Ricochet has always expressed a diversity of center-right views. There are many websites that push only one way of thinking. Ricochet does not and we will not.

    • #14
  15. lowtech redneck Coolidge
    lowtech redneck
    @lowtech redneck

    BD:Red State printed an article stating that Mark Krikorian is a racist who should be fired by NR. This is where Red State is coming from.

    That doesn’t surprise me, I completely gave up on the site after they not only came out in full support for the Nazification of my ancestral and cultural heritage in the wake of the Charleston massacre, but banned any commentators who expressed the same opinion that Nikki Haley claimed to have one year prior, saying things like “I love the taste of neo-confederate tears” while doing so.

     

    • #15
  16. Umbra Fractus Inactive
    Umbra Fractus
    @UmbraFractus

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.:

    Freesmith: It’s just what we at Ricochet need: another explication of the position of the NeverTrump faction. It’s a cause that hasn’t received a sufficient airing here.

    We had several explications of the position of the pro-Trump faction on the front page today, and earlier I posted an anti-Hillary ad. Ricochet has always expressed a diversity of center-right views. There are many websites that push only one way of thinking. Ricochet does not and we will not.

    I don’t know why you bother, Jon. The responses are so predictable I could have written them myself.

    • #16
  17. Drusus Inactive
    Drusus
    @Drusus

    Western Chauvinist:How is this helpful on the weekend before the election, unless your aim is to help Clinton get elected?

    Fine, I understand #NeverTrumpers (mostly) won’t vote for either Trump or Clinton, but to continually make the case against Donald Trump leads me to one logical conclusion: you prefer Clinton to be president.

    There is this thing called a “sin of omission.” Not fighting the Left, the Democrats, and the Clintons (but, I repeat myself) at every opportunity would seem to be one of them, in my estimation.

    I voted for Trump. As someone recently said, it’s not a vote I’m proud of, but it was an easy decision.

    Who the hell cares if it is helpful? Trump represents an extinction level event for conservatism. I hope he loses and badly. Because he is a destructive, ignorant fraud. I loathe Hillary, but at least she isn’t pretending to be a Republican. I agree, this was an easy decision. Not to vote for either candidate who is anathema to my deeply held convictions.

    • #17
  18. MJBubba Inactive
    MJBubba
    @MJBubba

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.:

    Freesmith: It’s just what we at Ricochet need: another explication of the position of the NeverTrump faction. It’s a cause that hasn’t received a sufficient airing here.

    We had several explications of the position of the pro-Trump faction on the front page today, and earlier I posted an anti-Hillary ad. Ricochet has always expressed a diversity of center-right views. There are many websites that push only one way of thinking. Ricochet does not and we will not.

    Some of us were surprised  and distressed to find just how far left some of those “center-right” views turned out to be.

    • #18
  19. Drusus Inactive
    Drusus
    @Drusus

    MJBubba:

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.:

    Freesmith: It’s just what we at Ricochet need: another explication of the position of the NeverTrump faction. It’s a cause that hasn’t received a sufficient airing here.

    We had several explications of the position of the pro-Trump faction on the front page today, and earlier I posted an anti-Hillary ad. Ricochet has always expressed a diversity of center-right views. There are many websites that push only one way of thinking. Ricochet does not and we will not.

    Some of us were surprised and distressed to find just how far left some of those “center-right” views turned out to be.

    Yeah, standing for free trade, the free market, and a robust foreign policy are pretty far to the left. I can see why you would be upset when conservatives espouse those leftist notions.

    • #19
  20. Jon Gabriel, Ed. Admin
    Jon Gabriel, Ed.
    @jon

    MJBubba: Some of us were surprised and distressed to find just how far left some of those “center-right” views turned out to be.

    Which views in the documentary are leftist?

    • #20
  21. jeannebodine Member
    jeannebodine
    @jeannebodine

    This from the guy that changed his twitter avatar, bio and slogan to ‘I’m with Her’.  It’s not enough that he oppose the GOP candidate but he joins the other side and is proud of it. I’m sorry, I followed the guy for years and he’s an attention-seeking loser and a whiner because the RNC won’t give him work. Red State and Glenn Beck’s operation – his some-time employers – are about as rock-solid reliable on conservative bonafides as Ben Howe. Not.

    • #21
  22. MJBubba Inactive
    MJBubba
    @MJBubba

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.:

    MJBubba: Some of us were surprised and distressed to find just how far left some of those “center-right” views turned out to be.

    Which views in the documentary are leftist?

    Every time they point out how far left Trump is, they build up to the conclusion that he is too far Left for anyone to vote for.  This line of reasoning entirely brushes aside the fact that, however far left Trump may be, Hillary is farther Left.

    This becomes especially clear if you back away from the trees of flaws in Trump and Hillary, and consider just how much greater Team Hillary will be at advancing Leftist causes, in comparison to Team Trump.

    • #22
  23. Drusus Inactive
    Drusus
    @Drusus

    MJBubba:

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.:

    MJBubba: Some of us were surprised and distressed to find just how far left some of those “center-right” views turned out to be.

    Which views in the documentary are leftist?

    Every time they point out how far left Trump is, they build up to the conclusion that he is too far Left for anyone to vote for. This line of reasoning entirely brushes aside the fact that, however far left Trump may be, Hillary is farther Left.

    This becomes especially clear if you back away from the trees of flaws in Trump and Hillary, and consider just how much greater Team Hillary will be at advancing Leftist causes, in comparison to Team Trump.

    No, because Hillary will have an antagonistic Congress which will resist her, while Trump’s would be lickspittle.

    • #23
  24. Drusus Inactive
    Drusus
    @Drusus

    jeannebodine:This from the guy that changed his twitter avatar, bio and slogan to ‘I’m with Her’. It’s not enough that he oppose the GOP candidate but he joins the other side and is proud of it. I’m sorry, I followed the guy for years and he’s an attention-seeking loser and a whiner because the RNC won’t give him work. Red State and Glenn Beck’s operation – his some-time employers – are about as rock-solid reliable on conservative bonafides as Ben Howe. Not.

    Please take another look at the definition of “conservative.” Despite their flaws, you will find that Erickson and Beck largely meet it, while Trump doesn’t come close. Let’s not redefine the term – we’ve already lost “liberal,” let’s not lose “conservative” too.

    • #24
  25. jeannebodine Member
    jeannebodine
    @jeannebodine

    Drusus

    No, because Hillary will have an antagonistic Congress which will resist her, while Trump’s wold be lickspittle.

    Please do not do this type of thing on a Saturday night. I don’t mind erupting in laughter during the week and covering my monitor with water or Diet Coke. But Saturday night is the good stuff and I hate wasting it.

    • #25
  26. Drusus Inactive
    Drusus
    @Drusus

    jeannebodine:

    Drusus

    No, because Hillary will have an antagonistic Congress which will resist her, while Trump’s wold be lickspittle.

    Please do not do this type of thing on a Saturday night. I don’t mind erupting in laughter during the week and covering my monitor with water or Diet Coke. But Saturday night is the good stuff and I hate wasting it.

    Mock away, friend. But Republican “establishment” members have already given Trump the keys to the kingdom. You think they will suddenly oppose him? Like they opposed Bush’s spending?

    • #26
  27. Jon Gabriel, Ed. Admin
    Jon Gabriel, Ed.
    @jon

    I’m seeing criticism of RedState, Ben Howe, Ricochet’s center-right bona fides, and the timing, but not much criticism of the documentary itself. I requested people watch the film first to prevent the typical ad hominem fallacies we’re seeing in this thread.

    • #27
  28. Quake Voter Inactive
    Quake Voter
    @QuakeVoter

    Nice timing.

    January 4th might have been more helpful.

    Ben Howe has been on this self-righteous ego trip  (even faux self-denigrating self righteousness) for nine months.

    Here’s his list of betrayers from one of his first cries from the heart:

    “Ann Coulter, Gateway Pundit, Laura Ingraham, Michael Savage, Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly, Sarah Palin, Breitbart News, Matt Drudge, and scores of others, too many to list here.”

    Is there a constitutional conservative in that list?

    Who are these constitutional conservatives who fell in love with Trump?

    How many members of Ricochet are there, 5000?  There were maybe 10 vocal Trump supporters before April.  Most of those had grave reservations about the guy.

    My best guess is 70% of Ricochet is voting for Trump.  I’m not sure there are today 10 vocal supporters of Trump who genuinely admire and respect him and believe he is an honest constitutional conservative.

    Aren’t there five or six genuinely conservative Senate candidates who could benefit from the energies of some of these NeverTrumpers?

    By the way, I’m just ending the sixth 60 hour week of helping to set up and train phone banks in southwest Colorado and northern New Mexico.

    I think I’ve met one NeverTrumper.

     

     

     

    • #28
  29. Drusus Inactive
    Drusus
    @Drusus

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.:I’m seeing criticism of RedState, Ben Howe, Ricochet’s center-right bona fides, and the timing, but not much criticism of the documentary itself. I requested people watch the film first to prevent the typical ad hominem fallacies we’re seeing in this thread.

    Speaking for myself, I was enraged by the documentary, which I watched in toto over dinner. Not because I found the documentary objectionable, I thought it was excellently done – just the subject matter was an infuriating reminder of every painful detail of the co-opting of our party.

    • #29
  30. jeannebodine Member
    jeannebodine
    @jeannebodine

    Drusus

    jeannebodine:This from the guy that changed his twitter avatar, bio and slogan to ‘I’m with Her’. It’s not enough that he oppose the GOP candidate but he joins the other side and is proud of it. I’m sorry, I followed the guy for years and he’s an attention-seeking loser and a whiner because the RNC won’t give him work. Red State and Glenn Beck’s operation – his some-time employers – are about as rock-solid reliable on conservative bonafides as Ben Howe. Not.

    Please take another look at the definition of “conservative.” Despite their flaws, you will find that Erickson and Beck largely meet it, while Trump doesn’t come close. Let’s not redefine the term – we’ve already lost “liberal,” let’s not lose “conservative” too.

    Who said Trump was a conservative? He’s NotHillary. But promoting ‘I’m with Her’, running a website whose comments section is a mirror image of Little Green Footballs and Glenn Beck, why even bother discussing? If you can’t see the problem with the man and his organization, I don’t know what to say.

    • #30
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