Created by Jesse Moss and Amanda McBaine, ‘Boys State’ is a documentary film that centers around a group of teenage boys, Texans, who come together to learn about the inner workings of politics by experiencing it first hand. They build a representative government from the ground up in just one week by having parties, cities, and counties that elect their respective chairperson and governor. They then compete with each other in the general elections, just like in the real world. One such individual, who led the Federalist Party in Texas Boy State back in 2018, is Ben Feinstein. Since this transpired two years ago, you must be curious to know about where he is now, right? So, here’s what we know.
Who Is Ben Feinstein?
Ben Feinstein got introduced to us early on in the film as a “political junkie” who had an action figure of Ronald Reagan in his room. This San Antonio native gave a practice speech to his family in the living room just before entering the week-long government practice and stated that every single American should be seen as an individual and not be pinned down as a collective group of race or gender, or disability. “I don’t see myself as white, I see myself as Ben Feinstein, American.” And, we guess he was coming from the right place, especially considering how he is a bilateral amputee who lost both his legs at the age of three due to meningitis.
Having lived with a disability for almost all his life, he knows a thing or two about hard work, hope, and faith, which he decided that he wanted to instill in the party he was with. Ben had his mind set for running as a governor, however, he didn’t start his campaign from the get-go. He did let people know about his plans, yes, but he didn’t ask anyone to endorse him. And thank god for that. Because, although he exudes the confidence of someone who’s been in the political world for a while, he said that he’s not the “rah-rah” kind of guy who could do well in an area that requires a personality-based, flashy guy. And, so, he decided to run for State Chairman instead.
After winning and becoming the State Chairman of the Federalist Party, Ben Feinstein focused on his next goal: leading his party to win the general elections and sweeping the Nationalists off the floor. For this, he used dirty tactics. He exploited the chaos in the rival party and endorsed their movement to impeach their Chairman, Rene Otero. But, on social media, as soon as the page that led the movement posted something genuinely racist, he backed out. In saying that, however, Ben didn’t step back from using personal attacks to win in the general elections. And, when he achieved what he wanted to, Rene referred to him as “a fantastic politician.” “But, I don’t think a fantastic politician is a compliment either,” he added.
Where Is Ben Feinstein Now?
In the two years since Ben left the Texas State Capitol with around 1,100 other teenage boys, he has learned a lot. For starters, he doesn’t support the tactics that he used back then. “I watched it [the documentary], and there were times where I wasn’t proud of, you know, what I did,” he said. He has also added that “I think long-term that kind of campaigning that I did is not really good for anybody or for the system or society as a whole.” Apart from that, Ben has stated that he didn’t appreciate the campaign of the current President of the United States, saying that it was run on “tricks and derogatory messaging and attacks.”
After Ben returned from Boys State, he went back to Keystone School in San Antonio to finish his senior year and started applying what he learned from his experience to real life. This conservative now realizes that, in the end, he and his peers are all still Americans who need to reside and work together for a better, more secure future. Currently, Ben Feinstein is studying international relations at Texas A&M University. With the hopes of one day getting into the CIA, NSA, or the Department of Defense, he plans on going to grad school after completing his bachelor’s degree.
Ben’s motivation has always been serving his country. In an interview with San Antonio Mag in 2019, he stated that if the military ever changes its rules and allows amputees to enlist, he’ll be the very first in line.