Another Purple State Looking Red

For twenty-eight years, from 1978 to 2006, Nebraska sent Democrats to the Senate nine out of eleven times.  From 1958 to 1994 they choose nine of twelve Democrat Governors.  Those days are done. 

In 2012, Nebraskans, disgusted with Washington, sent Sarah Palin’s pick, outsider Deb Fischer, to the Senate, where she earned a Freedomworks scorecard of 83% in 2014.  This November is looking like a landslide for Ben Sasse, a Tea Party candidate running for Senate.  As of September 2, he’s polling 22 points ahead of his Democrat opponent.

Ben Sasse (pronounced ‘Sass”) shows how the Tea Party has matured.  He is a stellar candidate: a fifth-generation Nebraskan who spent his summers working in the soybean and corn fields; a graduate of Harvard, Oxford and Yale; a college wrestler and quarterback; a business consultant for the top companies and venture firms.  His resume includes serving for George W. Bush on legal policy, homeland security, and Asst. Sect. for Planning and Evaluation in the Dept. of Health and Human Services.  From 2009, he accepted the post of president of a struggling Lutheran college.  He ended life tenure for professors.  May he do the same for Senators!

Sasse has political guts.  During his primary he attacked Minority Leader McConnell’s weak leadership and challenged Republican Congressmen to give up their special exemption from Obamacare.  Palin, Cruz and Mike Lee stumped for him.

I take a great deal of personal pleasure in reading Sasse’s resume.  Like Ted Cruz, he is a brilliant man with the Ivy League credentials that will cut off one of the progressives’ favorite weapons, ridicule of conservatives as morons.  They can’t land a glove on him.

I also had the distinct pleasure of hearing Sasse in person at a Freedomworks conference last June. He told us that he’d received standing ovations across Nebraska for boring speeches on the Constitution.  He started with 3% name recognition and went on the gather the biggest crowds in state history.  He stood next to a 9.5 foot stack of the Obamacare legislation at every meeting, and told the audience that the 1862 Homestead Act, that peopled the middle of our country, was one and half pages.  He challenged Obama to deliver the ‘you didn’t build that’ speech in front of The Little House On The Prairie Museum.  The man knows how to campaign.

Sasse is an inspiring speaker and we need to hear more from people like him. “The meaning of America is in jeopardy,” he told us.  We have a “moral responsibility to leave a country as great and free and with as much opportunity as we grew up in.”  Nebraskans, he told us, are clear that the American Dream and the work ethic must be taught or they will be lost.  They believe in liberty, individual responsibility, and understand full well that democracy requires a divided government.

There’s a lot of discouraging and dreadful news these days.  Men like Ben Sasse remind us that our votes can result in candidates who truly represent our values.  It’s not that complicated:  those five million Republicans who boycotted Romney need to show up on voting day.  Nebraskans get it.