According to Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse, Americans should respond to President-elect Donald Trump's victory in two ways: by hoping for his success and by continuing to stand on your individual principles.
In an op-ed written for the Omaha World-Herald Sunday, Sasse — who as a limited-government constitutional conservative was staunchly against Trump's candidacy — wrote that despite the disagreements many people have with Trump, it's our duty as Americans to put those differences behind us and support Trump now that he's the president of all Americans.
First, we root for him, and especially for his steady hand as commander in chief. We pray that God grants him wisdom and discernment in his new calling. (My family has prayed for him for weeks at our breakfast table and will do so every morning.)
Second, even as we hope for his personal effectiveness and success, we should all still argue for principles we believe in. In the American system, the vast majority of policy is to be made by the people’s legislative representatives — not by the executive branch or by unelected judges. And thus the Congress needs to hear from the people on the issues.
There will continue to be disagreements, Sasse went on to write, adding that we must remain civil if we want to move forward in a positive direction.
"The marketplace of ideas should be civil, but it should also be contested. We should disagree respectfully. Reflexive tribalism and reflexive partisanship are signs of a sick republic, not a healthy one," he said.
Still, the Nebraska senator says he's hopeful for a bright future for all Americans now that Republicans have control of the executive and legislative branches of the federal government.
"I am delighted there is a moment of opportunity to advance a conservative agenda," Sasse said. "Some Nebraskans will be less zealous about parts of this agenda. That’s OK. No voter — whether thrilled or worried about our new president — should uncritically join his 'train' or uncritically hope for his failure. All or nothing isn’t how Americans think about government."
We are not North Koreans, swearing a loyalty oath to the “Dear Leader.” Nor are we the French Resistance, plotting against the new regime from day one. Rather, we should hope for his personal flourishing and his wisdom, and we should simultaneously vigorously debate his ideas.
Senators should not be reflexive antagonists. Nor should senators go along to get along. Rather, I’m there to do what Nebraskans hired me to do: Uphold my oath to defend the Constitution regardless of partisan politics, hear and represent their concerns in Washington, fight for limited government and for the limitless potential of every American and look for big solutions that create more opportunity for all.
Sasse concluded the op-ed by explaining that he will be looking for places where he and Trump share common ground, while acknowledging that there will be some bumps along the way.
"Let’s get to work. Let’s look for common ground. Let’s reaffirm a Constitution that checks and balances the three branches of government," Sasse concluded. "And let’s all hope for our president’s success."