Diary

Ben Sasse asks Donald Some Questions

Every now and again I question the very existence of Twitter. It is a time-sucking, soul-crushing tool that rarely yields anything good. Sometimes, though, there are moments where it really shines. Enter Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska. The Senator has one of the most interesting twitter feeds of any politician, and he really lets his personality shine. It’s clear that he is a star in the making, and tonight proved no exception.

Senator Sasse took to Twitter to pose a series of questions to Donald. He first congratulated him on his excellent campaign, then asked the following:

He finished his series of questions with a multi-part tweet that queried Donald about the executive overreach and unilateralism.

He wasn’t quite done there, concluding with a series of tweets:

There is a lot to admire about this set of tweets. First of all, I don’t think the Senator was engaging in “gotcha questioning.” I believe he is earnestly looking for answers from Donald Trump. I think Senator Sasse shares many of our concerns about Mr. Trump and wants to know how much he has truly evolved on these issues.

More importantly, Senator Sasse truly gets to to the heart of conservative concerns about Donald Trump. Many conservatives have pointed out the Donald’s failings on certain key issues, and these are all important to note. But Sasse digs deeper and really gets to the heart of conservatism. Our philosophy isn’t just about cutting taxes and making government smaller – though these are obviously important objectives. But these are means to an end. Conservatives distrust authoritarian and totalitarian forms of government for the reasons outlined by Senator Sasse.

I’m not going to regurgitate Russell Kirk’s six tenets of conservatism, though I would observe that central to his description of what is at the center of the conservative mind is a distrust of sophisters and calculators, and for those that would try to perfect humanity. Centralizers and planners restrict human freedom, and in doing so minimize our potential for growth. We conservatives value small government because a government that concerns itself with a few minimal core functions will be less likely to interfere with our freedoms. And one way to ensure that government remains constrained is the system of government created by the Framers – one which separates powers and prevents one branch of government or even one segment of society from dominating the rest. Any individual running for the highest office in the land who runs on a platform that involves expanding the state, and whose rhetoric at least implies a continuation of the strong man executive, is one who should be distrusted. Senator Sasse understands that our very freedoms are being threatened by not only Democrats and “Independents” such as Michael Bloomberg, but also by people running under a Republican banner.

Kudos to Senator Sasse for asking these questions and for demonstrating an understanding of conservative philosophy that runs deeper than  most, and certainly all but a few on Capitol Hill. Whether or not he receives a response, and if so what it will be, should prove illuminating.