On May 4, Republican Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska wrote a lengthy Facebook post advocating for a third party nominee who he thinks would better reflect the ideals of Americans than the current front-runners from the Republican and Democratic parties.
Sasse began his open letter with a warning: "If you are one of those rare souls who genuinely believe Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are honorable people – if they are the role models you want for your kids – then this letter is not for you. Instead, this letter is for the majority of Americans who wonder why the nation that put a man on the moon can’t find a healthy leader who can take us forward together.”
Sasse went on to describe conversations he had with people at a Walmart in his hometown of Fremont, Nebraska. Those people included a retired Democrat union worker, an evangelical mother, a middle-aged Republican male, and a Trump supporter. According to Sasse, none of these people were happy with the presidential choices, even the Trump supporter.
"Please understand: I’m going to vote for him, but I don’t like him," the Trump supporter allegedly told Sasse. "And I don’t trust him – I mean, I’m not stupid. But how else can I send a signal to Washington?!"
According to Sasse, these people's dissatisfaction was proof that neither party is meeting the needs of the American people, and he compared the Republican and Democratic parties to “a couple arguing about what color to paint the living room, and meanwhile, their house is on fire.”
Sasse urged his followers to consider drafting a third-party candidate to run against Trump and Clinton.
“With Clinton and Trump, the fix is in," Sasse said. "Heads, they win; tails, you lose. Why are we confined to these two terrible options? This is America. If both choices stink, we reject them and go bigger. That’s what we do."
"So...let’s have a thought experiment for a few weeks: Why shouldn’t America draft an honest leader who will focus on 70% solutions for the next four years?" he added. "You know...an adult?"
Many lauded the conservative Republican for his post.
“I am a very liberal Democrat and I agree and totally support you, Ben,” one Facebook user commented.
But not everyone was impressed with Sasse's rant. On May 5, Washington Post blogger Paul Waldman accused the conservative Senator from Nebraska of “playing a game here, one that says that you don’t need to actually understand anything about policy, that the 'adult' response to the current political situation is a formless grunt of displeasure.”