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GOP Senator Publishing Book 'THEM' on Problem of American 'Existential Crisis' Tribalism

Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) speaks at a Senate Judiciary Committee meeting July 12, 2017, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

WASHINGTON — Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) will be out with a new book this fall focusing on the “anti-tribes” who are overwhelming political discourse and his thoughts on how Americans can stop hating each other.

THEM: Why We Hate Each Other—and How to Heal will be released by St. Martin’s Press on Oct. 16.

The publisher says Sasse’s book will be “an intimate and urgent assessment of the existential crisis facing our nation.”

“Our culture has always had tribalism. Different political parties, preferred media outlets, and shifts in positions when politically advantageous. But now our country has a far deeper, far more serious existential crisis. We’re reaching a point when we’ve lost faith and trust in the institutions that have held us together. Even more worrisome we’ve lost a shared sense of truth. What happens to a nation when half of us believe different facts than the other half?” says the book announcement.

“Sasse argues that the problem is far deeper than politics or even any one politician. Across the nation, he argues, local communities are evaporating. The basic framework for everyday life — family, work, neighborhoods, friends, trust — is collapsing or in the case of work being vastly redefined. Our citizens have become alienated from each other, angry, and lonely.”

The senator will argue that as “our traditional tribes are falling apart… frustrated and displaced Americans are trying to fill the vacuum with Anti-tribes on social media and cable news, surrounding ourselves with people we already agree with and identifying a common enemy,” becoming “stuck in a loop of loneliness, outrage, and anger.”

The publisher promises that Sasse will offer “his own prescription for addressing this challenge, calling for a radical effort to rebuild and remake the institutions that are foundering within communities and a nationwide discussion and understanding of just how monumental this challenge is.”

Sasse’s book The Vanishing American Adult: Our Coming of Age Crisis—and How to Rebuild a Culture of Self-Reliance, a cultural tome on why Americans have become “drifting and aimless” and yearning for meaning, was released last year and became a New York Times bestseller. It focused on advice for parents to raise kids who are well-rounded and independent.

This week on the Senate floor, Sasse ripped President Trump’s congratulatory call to Russian President Vladimir Putin — a “Russian despot that aims to make Soviet tyranny great again.”

“The president of the United States was wrong to congratulate him, and the White House press secretary was wrong to duck a simple question about whether or not Putin’s re-election was free and fair. It was not. The American people know that, the Russian people know that and the world knows that,” Sasse said. “The White House refused to speak directly and clearly about this matter; we were weakened as a nation and a tyrant was strengthened.”