Nebraska senator says American foreign policy needs to be fixed to protect citizens, maintain power

On Thursday, Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse spoke at the IMU. He called attention what he called the United States’ broken foreign policy.



Senator Ben Sasse had tears in eyes after Christine Blasey Ford’s statements as the Senate Judiciary Committee holds a hearing for Dr. Christine Blasey Ford to testify about sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh at the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill Thursday, Sept. 27, 2018 in Washington, D.C. (Erin Schaff/Pool/Abaca Press/TNS)

Jordan Prochnow, News Reporter

On Thursday, Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb. delivered a speech at the Iowa Memorial Union about American foreign policy and the current state of the country, titled “American Order and Disorder, at Home and Abroad.”

The event, put on by the University of Iowa Lecture Committee, allowed for the UI community to ask questions to Sasse after his speech. Ben Kieffer of Iowa Public Radio moderated the discussion.

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“I think that one of the best parts of college is the exposures that you get to different individuals with different experiences and contexts,” Abby Simon, chair of the UI Lecture Committee, said. “It’s up to us to host a variety of different speakers to support these diverse backgrounds.”

Sasse, a fifth-generation Nebraskan, discussed a variety of topics and mainly focusing on how he believes that American policies are “uncertain, ambivalent, and incoherent.” Sasse explained that the United States must maintain its position as a world leader and to maintain political power and control.

“You might think that you are disinterested in Russia, China, and Iran, but they are not disinterested in you,” Sasse said. “They are interested in taking the United States’ place on the global stage.”

He also discussed that the divide between Democrats and Republicans is unfortunate, but that change can be generated from discussing how to fix broken ideals. Sasse believes that fixing foreign policy should be a bipartisan issue.

“I think I’m in a party right now that doesn’t have much of a plan,” Sasse said. “Once we move from disruption to construction, what do we plan to do, and what can we offer the American people?”

Sasse acknowledged that the Democratic system is broken, as well.

“Both Trump’s view that we should lead from a global stage and Obama’s that we should lead from behind, it sends a message that we should let other countries fend for themselves and that the U.S. should sit back and let other people lead,” Sasse said.

Sasse touched on the United States’ current immigration policies, remarking that the country has a “porous and weak border system.”

“I’m a big believer in immigration and the tradition of immigration, but we need to understand that we have the second largest foreign-born population in the world,” Sasse said.

Despite the United States’ shortfalls, Sasse explained that the country is still seen as a respectable example throughout the world.

“Our principles are not a liability; they are a strategic asset,” Sasse said. “America remains a beacon of liberty, a safeguard of human dignity.”

In order to protect American citizens and to maintain America’s interests and positions, the country’s weaknesses cannot be exposed, Sasse said. When exposed, “foreign enemies will come rushing in.”

“When all hell breaks loose, hell tends to boomerang back home,” Sasse said.