[guest post by Dana]
Ben Sasse wrote an open letter yesterday to the American voters which dovetails nicely with our host’s latest posts that basically consider the possible next step for those no longer interested in being a part of the Republican Party as it currently stands, and do not support the presumptive nominee. Sasse, who doesn’t support either Trump or Clinton, questions why we have to accept such a lousy choice in the first place:
Washington isn’t fooling anyone — Neither political party works… They resort to character attacks as step one because they think voters are too dumb for a real debate. They very often prioritize the agendas of lobbyists (for whom many of them will eventually work) over the urgent needs of Main Street America. I signed up for the Party of Abraham Lincoln — and I will work to reform and restore the GOP — but let’s tell the plain truth that right now both parties lack vision.
As a result, normal Americans don’t like either party. If you ask Americans if they identify as Democrat or Republican, almost half of the nation interrupts to say: “Neither.”
Young people despise the two parties even more than the general electorate. And why shouldn’t they? The main thing that unites most Democrats is being anti-Republican; the main thing that unites most Republicans is being anti-Democrat. No one knows what either party is for — but almost everyone knows neither party has any solutions for our problems. “Unproductive” doesn’t begin to summarize how messed up this is.
Our problems are huge right now, but one of the most obvious is that we’ve not passed along the meaning of America to the next generation. If we don’t get them to re-engage — thinking about how we defend a free society in the face of global jihadis, or how we balance our budgets after baby boomers have dishonestly over-promised for decades, or how we protect First Amendment values in the face of the safe-space movement – then all will indeed have been lost…
These two national political parties are enough of a mess that I believe they will come apart. It might not happen fully in 2016 – and I’ll continue fighting to revive the GOP with ideas — but when people’s needs aren’t being met, they ultimately find other solutions.
In the history of polling, we’ve basically never had a candidate viewed negatively by half of the electorate. This year, we have two…
With Clinton and Trump, the fix is in. Heads, they win; tails, you lose. Why are we confined to these two terrible options? This is America. If both choices stink, we reject them and go bigger. That’s what we do.
Remember: our Founders didn’t want entrenched political parties. So why should we accept this terrible choice?
So…let’s have a thought experiment for a few weeks: Why shouldn’t America draft an honest leader who will focus on 70% solutions for the next four years? You know…an adult?
**Although I’m one of the most conservative members of the Senate, I’m not interested in an ideological purity test, because even a genuine consensus candidate would almost certainly be more conservative than either of the two dishonest liberals now leading the two national parties.)
Imagine if we had a candidate:
…who hadn’t spent his/her life in politics either buying politicians or being bought
…who didn’t want to stitch together a coalition based on anger but wanted to take a whole nation forward
…who pledged to serve for only one term, as a care-taker problem-solver for this messy moment
…who knew that Washington isn’t competent to micromanage the lives of free people, but instead wanted to SERVE by focusing on 3 or 4 big national problems…
Back in February, Sasse reminded voters the place and function of political parties:
Now, let’s talk about political parties: parties are just tools to enact the things that we believe. Political parties are not families; they are not religions; they are not nations – they are often not even on the level of sports loyalties. They are just tools. I was not born Republican. I chose this party, for as long as it is useful.
If our Party is no longer working for the things we believe in – like defending the sanctity of life, stopping ObamaCare, protecting the Second Amendment, etc. – then people of good conscience should stop supporting that party until it is reformed.
I believe that most Americans can still be for limited government again — if they were given a winsome candidate who wanted Washington to focus on a small number of really important, urgent things — in a way that tried to bring people together instead of driving us apart.
Unfortunately though, as Trump’s ascendancy confirms that voters, specifically *the voters who voted for Trump in the Republican primaries, don’t really care about character, Conservatism, limited government, or entitlement spending, let alone the Constitution. Not anymore. Further, why would they see the current Republican Party as problematic when it gave them the candidate for whom they clamored? When 17 candidates vie for the nomination, and the party chooses an egocentric, lying, non-Conservative, Big Government charlatan to throw their support behind, all I can say is, Reince Preibus, you’re but a speck in my rear view mirror. Tell someone who cares that it’s time to get in line and get behind Trump .
I love that Sasse has continued faith in the American people. I love that he hasn’t caved to the party demands, but is looking for other options. As are a lot of us.
[*modified per Beldar’s suggestion]