The Teddy Roosevelt Option: Ben Sasse’s Plan to Save the Country
Let’s get this out of the way right off: The Vanishing American Adult is not a political book. So says author Ben Sasse.
Sure, the author happens to be a first term Republican Senator who gained notoriety last cycle by maintaining an unflinching #NeverTrump posture. Indeed, it may be true that St. Martin’s Press may have handed Senator Sasse a book deal thinking that November’s election of Hillary Clinton would have whetted the appetite for Republican book buyers trying to chart a way forward. In that way, this book is a sibling to both Rod Dreher’s Benedict Option and John Kasich’s Two Paths.
But while publishers may have sought the same market share the three books are very different. Kasich’s book largely regurgitates his campaign stump speech replete with warning that America will either be “Divided or United” premised mostly on whether or not it comes together and elects him instead of Trump. Dreher’s book, as has been amply discussed in this space, offers a journalist’s/prophet’s timely prescription for American Christians wondering How We Should Then Live as our culture’s post-Christian flood threatens to carry away our children.
One might think that Sasse would pen a book much like his fellow #NeverTrump elected-Republican Kasich, but instead he has written a volume much more like the non-politician Dreher’s. If Dreher’s Benedict Option is “A Strategy for Christians in a Post-Christian Nation,” then Sasse’s Vanishing American Adult might be “A Strategy for Parents in a Post-Adult Nation.” Or actually, more accurately, “The Teddy Roosevelt Option: A Strategy for America to Avoid Becoming a Post-Adult Nation.”
But remember, this isn’t about politics.