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SASSE 2016!

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On the night Donald Trump won the Indiana primary and became the presumptive Republican nominee for president, while other GOP “leaders” were rushing to kiss The Donald’s ring, Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb, posted this on Facebook:

“I’ve ignored my phone most of today, but the voicemail is overflowing with party bosses and politicos telling me that ‘although Trump is terrible,’ we ‘have to’ support him, ‘because the only choice is Trump or Hillary…


“The oath I took is to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution.  In brief, that means I’m for limited government. There is no reason to believe that either of these two national frontrunners believe in limiting anything about (Washington) DC’s power…


“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…


“Imagine if we had a candidate who hadn’t spent his/her life in politics either buying politicians or being bought…


“With Clinton and Trump, the fix is in… Why are we confined to these 2 terrible options?  This is America.  If both choices stink, we reject them and go bigger.”

Handsome and energetic, Sasse, 44, was a college president before being elected to the Senate by a landslide in 2014.  He’s as solid a constitutionalist as Ronald Reagan, and as magnificent an orator as Marco Rubio.

“When was the last time you heard a sitting politician give a speech that made you stop and think?” wrote Charles Hurt in the Washington Times after Sasse made his “maiden” speech in the Senate last November.  “A speech where you actually learned something?”

When was the last time you heard a vicious excoriation of Washington and Congress and the whole federal government, yet saw the first glimmer of hope that perhaps all is not already completely lost?

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell sent the text of Sasse’s speech to every Republican senator.  This was unusual, said Fred Barnes of the Weekly Standard, both because McConnell doesn’t do this sort of thing, and because in his campaign for the Senate, Sasse had described McConnell as part of the problem.

“All that’s necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”

That’s the most famous quote attributed to British statesman Edmund Burke (1729-1797) the father of libertarian conservatism.  Burke never actually said that so succinctly, but it’s what he believed, and he was absolutely right.

It isn’t enough to say Americans deserve better than a choice between Bad and Worse.  Someone has to offer a better choice.

Sen. Sasse would prefer it be someone else. “Such a leader should be able to campaign 24/7 for the next six months. Therefore likely he/she can’t be an engaged parent with little kids.” (Ben has three.)

And because Ben Sasse hasn’t sold his office to crony capitalists like Donald Trump and as Hillary has, he is not a wealthy man.

There are others – Mitt Romney, perhaps, or Dr. Tom Coburn, the conscience of the Senate before cancer forced his retirement in 2014–who, by bringing to the polls #NeverTrumpers otherwise inclined to sit this election out, might save a few seats from the electoral debacle a Trump-led GOP faces in November.

But only Ben Sasse would have a chance to win.  Only he has the fresh face, the youth and dynamism to appeal to Millennials.

No independent since George Washington has been elected president.  Only former president Teddy Roosevelt in 1912 has been competitive (and that gave us Woodrow Wilson – thanks, Teddy…).  But both Trump and Hillary are so wildly unpopular that for the right independent, victory isn’t out of the question.

For there’s more than one way to skin a victorious cat.

Even if he finishes third in the popular and electoral votes, Ben Sasse could be elected.  All he need do is best the two lying leftist scoundrels in enough states to keep either of them below 270 electoral votes.

If no candidate wins a majority in the electoral college, the House of Representatives will choose the president: the 12th Amendment which supersedes Article II, Section 1, Clause 3.  Each state delegation will have one vote.  California and Wyoming will be equal.  Among Hillary, Trump and Sasse, for whom do you think the current Republican majority in the House would vote?

Burke did say: “Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could only do a little.”

Here’s what we who can do only a little better start doing right now:

  • Read carefully Ben Sasse’s Facebook post.  Watch the video of his maiden speech in the Senate, and this video of his address to CPAC.  I think you’ll find them as inspiring as I did.
  • Send Ben an email ( or a tweet (@BenSasse).  Remind him of Burke’s dictum.  Urge him to run.  Let him know he’ll have your support.
  • Be willing to go to Fremont, Nebraska, mow Ben’s lawn, take the kids to school or soccer practice, whatever else might make it easier for him to answer destiny’s call.
  • We must circulate petitions to get Ben Sasse on the ballot.  He doesn’t need to be on every state ballot to win.
  • We must make certain his campaign is adequately funded.  (Are you listening, Koch brothers?)  Few of us can give much.  Most of us can give a little.
  • It’s up to us to let our neighbors know there’s a choice besides Bad and Worse.  No one else will tell them. (Most of) the “mainstream” media are in the tank for Hillary.  The faux “conservative” media are in the tank for Trump.

The deck is stacked heavily against us.  Odds are we’ll fail, and a Dark Age will begin.  But at least we’ll have done our utmost to prevent it.

Jack Kelly is a former Marine and Green Beret, and was the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force during the Reagan Administration.  He is the national security writer for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.