While Republicans in the nation’s capital try to decide whether or not they’re committed to beating back Obamacare, a Republican Senate candidate from Nebraska is making his opposition to Obamacare the clear centerpiece of his campaign. During a speech earlier this week that officially launched his candidacy, Ben Sasse argued that we need to repeal not only Obamacare but also the “Obamacare worldview.”
Sasse (rhymes with “glass”) said of Obamacare:
“I’ve read the 2,300-page bill. It’s not just bad…it’s worse than you think….
“I am opposed to Obamacare not just because it was passed by a dishonest legislative gimmick; not just because it puts bureaucrats between patients and doctors; not just because it infringes on religious liberty and forces people of conscience to pay for abortion; not just because its information technology systems won’t work, and will likely lead to massive data leaks of Americans’ confidential financial and health data; and not just because its budget projections were built on ponzi schemes, and because its actual costs will dwarf all estimates from the time of its legislative debate….
“I am also against it for a much more basic reason: I oppose Obamacare because I reject the worldview underlying it.”
“The Obamacare worldview holds that government can successfully take over the largest sector of the economy….
“[It] is based on the premise that America’s greatest days are behind us – and weren’t all that great in the first place. [It] therefore wants to unwind that greatness, and empowers Washington insiders to manage the decline….
“That’s not who we are. That’s never been who we are. America has always meant something bigger and more exciting, America has always been about opportunity and progress.”
Sasse emphasized the importance of offering the American people not only an alternative vision of America but also an alternative set of policies, consistent with that vision. He explained:
“Although [President] Reagan never had occasion to say it exactly this way, I think he would exhort us today to recognize that it isn’t enough merely to scream on cable TV anymore. The conservative movement – and all who reject the idea of American decline and yearn for American renewal – must labor now to persuade our neighbors to join with us in recovering a true vision of American greatness….
“There are conservative, small-government policy solutions which advance freedom and empower families and local communities. And over the course of this campaign, we plan to talk a great deal about patient-centered health policy solutions – for we want both to wreck Obamacare but then also to replace it with something actually workable. And we will talk about the emerging golden age of American energy, about rolling back the regulatory state, about an economic agenda of growth…and more.
“But...the heart of this campaign will be about recovering our government from the insider, permanent political class….”
A full-spectrum conservative, Sasse lamented that our culture “denies the obvious fact that family breakdown is the root cause of both poverty and crime”; affirmed “the value of the unborn at the beginning of life, and the frail and elderly at its end”; and added, “Our leadership and values in world affairs are sorely missed.”
Sasse’s message appears to be resonating, as his fundraising haul from individual donors just broke Nebraska’s quarterly fundraising record for a Senate campaign—despite his being a first-time candidate for elective office.
It’s worth reading Sasse’s speech in full, as well as Mark Hemingway’s profile on the Nebraska native.
Jeffrey H. Anderson is executive director of the newly formed 2017 Project, which is working to advance a conservative reform agenda.