Republican Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska argued Sunday that America’s biggest problem is individuals’ isolation from community, which was brought about by the uprising of social media.
“We’re living through a digital revolution which is undermining ‘place’ — I think the biggest problem in America right now is loneliness,” Sasse said on CBS’s “Face the Nation”. “The good news is it’s fixable, but it requires friendship, it requires more attention to place and family and shared vocation and work and neighborhood and worshiping communities.”
While many tend to blame politics, or even President Donald Trump for the divide in the country, Sasse contends that the problem is “decades in the coming,” predating Trump’s formal entry into American politics. (RELATED: Ben Sasse Slams Colorado For Violating The First Amendment)
“President Trump can’t fix this. He didn’t cause this. Politics can’t fix this. Politics didn’t cause this, but it’s true that our political tribalism is filling that vacuum, that loneliness that’s coming from all these other institutions,” the Nebraska senator said. “We have a decline of the nuclear family structure, a lot the last 25 years, and politics is a place people look to try to find meaning in the absence of these other communities that actually can make you happy.”
“It turns out if you go from 200 to 500 social media friends or 500 to 1,000, you don’t get happier, but if you know the neighbor who lives two doors away from you, statistically you’re more likely to be happy,” Sasse continued. “We need to attend to those kind of things. It’s a big deal.”
When asked how to solve the problem, Sasses recommended that American’s “rediscover plural vocations.”
“Work is statistically one of the most significant drivers of whether or not people are happy,” Sasse replied. “Part of that is because we like to do stuff together.”
Sasse appeared on “Face the Nation” to promote his new book “Them: Why We Hate Each Other — and How to Heal.”
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