|Friends, there is no politician who’s going to save America|
Friends, there is no politician who’s going to save America
The title above is just one quote from a speech that Ben Sasse, the junior Senator from Nebraska, gave Saturday night at the Celebrate the Family banquet in Iowa.
Sasse's full quote was, "friends, there is no politician who’s going to save America. Politicians, simply aren’t up to the task. There is no election that’s going to transform your life to become so much better than it is right now.”
Sasse, who is a historian by background, often sounds and thinks like a founding father. "The only way to be a good citizen, the only way … to be a good Republican is to be a great American first, and a great American doesn’t put politics anywhere near the center of our identity."
In his remarks, Sasse spoke about everything from Tocqueville and Aristotle, to Nebraska football, wrestling in Iowa, and how he recently lost a bet and had to be an Uber driver. The speech was witty, honest, insightful, and humorous. Sasse, who penned the book, The Vanishing American Adult, often speaks about the value of work and how automation is quickly changing economic vitality and stability.
Sasse, who has stated that both political parties are "disastrously sick," is one of the few public servants that stood for principles throughout the 2016 election and has not wavered this year. He is also someone that sees the larger picture.
"I think that the Republican Party doesn’t have clarity of any long-term vision that it communicates to the American people. That’s why in the 2016 presidential election you saw it ripe for a pretty fundamental attack on its platform. Those two sides of the Republican Party — you can call it a Wall Street-K Street continuum and a Bannonite populism — both of them are unpersuasive to moms and dads in Iowa and Nebraska who are thinking about what kind of country they want to give their kids in 10 and 20 years."
Sasse gets it. He understands that faith, family, and community are more important than politics. As a Christian, he is conscious that political idolatry is dangerous and should never replace Christ as our savior. That government is simply a framework that protects liberty and creates equal opportunity for a free society. He recognizes that government, especially Washington, D.C., was never intended to hold that much power. That as a U.S. Senator, his job is to uphold an oath to defend the Constitution regardless of partisan politics.
As he has said previously, "we are not North Koreans, swearing a loyalty oath to the “Dear Leader.” Nor are we the French Resistance, plotting against the new regime from day one. In the American system, the vast majority of policy is to be made by the people’s legislative representatives — not by the executive branch or by unelected judges. And thus the Congress needs to hear from the people on the issues.
There will be disagreements — between neighbors, between the executive and legislative branches, between political parties. This is a good thing. This is an intentional feature of our system, not a bug. The marketplace of ideas should be civil, but it should also be contested. We should disagree respectfully. Reflexive tribalism and reflexive partisanship are signs of a sick republic, not a healthy one."
If you get a chance, watch the speech. You will not be disappointed.