Why Mar-a-Lago Was the Perfect Site to Premier Dinesh D’Souza’s “Police State”

by | Nov 20, 2023 | Culture War

Dinesh D’Souza invited hundreds of conservative influencers, lawmakers, and people of faith who’ve publicly contributed to the cause of freedom to his premiere of Police State. Here is what the event’s guests had to say about the location and what they hope the movie will accomplish.

What better place to screen a movie called Police State than at the site where—for the first time in U.S. history—a former president was targeted by his political opponents, for retribution over his efforts to destroy the deep state?

Famed filmmaker and author Dinesh D’Souza had a message to send to all Americans, and the backdrop of this red-carpet gala helped deliver it loud and clear: We will not be silenced. We will not be intimidated. We are here to stay.

This reporter worked as an adviser on Police State and on D’Souza’s previous project, 2000 Mules. A documentary that chronicled election fraud during the 2020 race for the White House, between Trump and Joe Biden. Although Trump was unable to attend the Police State premiere in person—as he did in 2022 for 2000 Mules—he did share a message to the crowd, that was read aloud by D’Souza before the screening.

“This movie exposes the witch hunt that the deep state has against me,” the 45th President wrote. “And the police state is coming for you.”  

Sticking it to the Man

D’Souza’s decision to showcase this destructive dystopia America is headed for at Trump’s residence was a bold move. One that paid off though, as it drew a crowd that included: U.S. Senate candidate for Arizona Kari Lake, outspoken pro-life advocate Frank Pavone, former Georgia lawmaker Vernon Jones, and actors Kevin Sorbo and Nick Searcy, among others. It also brought some of the top minds in U.S. counterculture together, so they could see what the nation is becoming with their own eyes.

“Mar-a-Lago was the perfect place for the screening,” Jones told Restoration News. “Primarily because it’s where the deep state raided the home of an American president. If his home can be raided by the deep state, no American family’s home is safe.”

Searcy, who plays a corrupt federal agent in the film and is featured prominently in the movie, echoed Jones’ sentiment, telling Restoration News that Trump is a symbol of all those who stand in the way of the Left’s agenda:

As President Trump said repeatedly, they aren’t really after him. He’s just in their way. They are after everyone who voted for Trump. They want to destroy everyone who disagrees with them, as leftists always do. They cannot win an argument, because their policies are wrong, misguided, and depend on the lack of individual liberty to be enacted. For that reason, Mar-a-Lago was the perfect place to hold the premiere. 

Pavone, who was controversially defrocked from the Catholic priesthood for being vocal about his pro-life views, agreed with Searcy and Jones’ assessment, also mentioning Trump when asked about the event’s backdrop. “Mar-a-Lago was the perfect place to premiere this [movie] because it has been a target of this police state activity,” he explained. “And because it is the home of the person who is doing the most to expose and fight against this force.”

Restoration News also caught up with two of the main whistleblowers who contributed to the film. Former FBI Agent Kyle Seraphin and former Facebook content moderator Ryan Hartwig. Seraphin gave an in-depth interview following the screening and spoke about how important it was that the screening be held at Mar-a-Lago:

I think it’s fitting, in so much as it shows a pushback. It shows a refusal to comply with this fear of tyranny. I think self-censorship is really the most dangerous form of censorship because it is still a form of censorship. But it’s one that the state doesn’t even have to impose.

Doing it at Mar-a-Lago in the face of ongoing multiple indictments against Trump is a form of resistance . . . I think the sort of iconic presence—that’s giving the middle finger to the police state that’s coming at you . . . I think it shows the sort of the posture that must happen if we’re going to push back against government tyranny.

Hartwig agreed with his FBI counterpart, adding that many of the guests who were invited faced persecution similar to that of Trump.

“Yes, Mar-a-Lago was a very fitting site, since it is here that the FBI searched for the unclassified documents,” Hartwig declared. “And now we see how Trump is facing charges in Georgia. Although Trump wasn’t at the event, what better place to discuss a police state than the resort where Trump hosts so many events. And when you look at the guest list of roughly 400 people . . .  these are all individuals who have faced similar targeting and prosecution at the hands of the federal government.”

Credit Where Credit is Due

D’Souza and his media partner on the film, former Secret Service agent and syndicated radio host Dan Bongino, both gave remarks before the event got underway. They mostly highlighted the importance of what happens after the movie has been distributed, and is seen by a large portion of the country.

After making a joke about Trump being persecuted for overvaluing Mar-a-Lago—and saying someone should flip the property to purchase Fox News—D’Souza thanked the former president for allowing the use of his “wonderful facility to show the movie.”

“Americans have trouble coming to grips with the idea of a police state. In part because the defining American characteristic is innocence,” he continued.

A sense that things will turn out right. A sense that it can’t happen here . . . The really creepy thing about our police state is it is coming to us in disguise. It is coming to us marching behind these slogans of virtue . . . The task of this film is to strip away the façade and bring people face to face with the police state . . . [George] Orwell called it the boot stamping on the human face.

And we try to show that to you in the movie so that you realize it’s happening to Trump, but not only to Trump. It’s happening to the January 6th families, some of whom—by the way—are here. But it is also happening to a lot of ordinary guys, who are just going about their life. And suddenly they find the hot breath of the police state on their face.

D’Souza went on to recognize the cast, crew, musical director, and financiers who made the project possible before turning it over to Bongino for closing remarks.

Bongino thanked D’Souza for asking him to be part of the movie and said it was a full circle moment for him, because he’d been contacted by Dinesh during the filming of his first big documentary Obama’s America: 2016. The two had met at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) that year, but Bongino said he “forgot to return” the email.

After the audience laughed at this twist of fate, the former Fox News host said the CEO of YouTube’s top competitor Rumble—Chris Pavlovski, who also spoke at the event—deserved credit for creating a free-thinking forum to fuel free speech, in an age of mass censorship.

“I want you all to understand that if it wasn’t for this guy, and his idea to create a free speech [and] free expression platform like YouTube, you wouldn’t be seeing this movie online,” Bongino declared. “Make no mistake, this guy’s got a lot of guts. You know, governments have come after him. That’s not a conspiracy theory. It’s real . . . and not just one government, a lot of them.” Bongino added:

This means something . . . I was supposed to stand for something and that something is whittling away. Because we’re a country where you investigate crimes . . . and you go and look for the people . . . You don’t investigate people and then go look for a crime. I want you to keep that in mind as you’re watching this movie. I’ve seen it a few times and every single time it gets me. I hope you enjoy it. It’s not an easy movie to watch, but it’s a necessary one.

Spread the Word

Time is running short, but America has not become a full-fledged police state, yet. There are forces at work trying to use everything at their disposal to fight back. Some of them involve civic and legal action through the states, the Supreme Court, Congress, governors, and prosecutors taking a stand in the face of unprecedented corruption.

But like most major movements, it begins at the local level and on the ground floor. Individuals can still make a difference. In addition to devoting your time, money, and expertise to causes like this one, you can help spread the word about Police State so that others can see it and experience the film firsthand. Through social media, word-of-mouth, and showing it directly.

A movie is a powerful medium. As Bongino said, it is a difficult film to watch. But it’s a unique and necessary experience for those who wish to preserve freedom. Americans must be able to visualize potential realities, no matter how dark they are. These prophetic moments wouldn’t hit home if not for the music, acting, and subject matter bringing such obstacles to life. The country has never had to see a pastor or priest dragged from their pulpit for exercising their God-give right to free speech. They haven’t had to think about getting a knock at the door, simply for supporting the opposition party. They never had to contemplate federal agents breaking down their doors, invading their homes, pointing weapons at their families, and tearing their lives apart.

We’ve now reached that point. It’s time for our country to meditate and pray on this new normal. For if we continue to ignore the possibility and cloak ourselves in the idea that it can never happen here, we will be like the frog in the boiling pot of water. Slowly, the heat will rise until our systems are no longer able to tolerate it. And the one-of-a-kind freedom we’ve taken for granted will die a slow death, as the rest of the world slips into a collective darkness, the likes of which we’ve never seen.

Despite all this, there is still reason to hope that our young American experiment has only just begun. When our hearts and minds are one, there is nothing we can’t do. So long as we remain pure in spirit with our eyes stay on the restoration of liberty, God will carry us to where we need to be. Keep the faith and may the Lord bless us all, as we continue to forge ahead in this epic struggle between good and evil.

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