In a blistering floor speech Republican Senator Jeff Flake trashes Trump while announcing he won’t run for reelection in 2018.
Condemning the “flagrant disregard of truth and decency” undermining American democracy, Senator Jeff Flake, an Arizona Republican, announced Tuesday he would not run for re-election in 2018.
Speaking from the floor of the U.S. Senate, Flake began:
I rise today with no small measure of regret. Regret, because of the state of our disunion, regret because of the disrepair and destructiveness of our politics, regret because of the indecency of our discourse, regret because of the coarseness of our leadership, regret for the compromise of our moral authority, and by our—all of our—complicity in this alarming and dangerous state of affairs.
In a passionate plea Flake asked:
When the next generation asks us, ‘Why didn’t you do something? Why didn’t you speak up?’ What are we going to say? Mr. President, I rise today to say enough.
Explaining himself Flake declared:
If I have been critical, it not because I relish criticizing the behavior of the President of the United States. If I have been critical, it is because I believe that it is my obligation to do so, as a matter of duty and conscience.
The notion that one should stay silent as the norms and values that keep America strong are undermined and as the alliances and agreements that ensure the stability of the entire world are routinely threatened by the level of thought that goes into 140 characters — the notion that one should say and do nothing in the face of such mercurial behavior is ahistoric and, I believe, profoundly misguided.
Our democracy is more defined by our discord and our dysfunction than it is by our values and our principles.
Reckless, outrageous, and undignified behavior has become excused and countenanced as ‘telling it like it is’ when it is actually just reckless, outrageous, and undignified.
In his speech Flake objected to the “daily sundering of the country” and accused Trump of engaging in “the impulse to scapegoat and belittle,” which he said “threatens to turn us into a fearful, backward looking people.”
In the case of the Republican Party, those things also threaten to turn us into a fearful, backward-looking minority party.
Bottom line: Senator Flake, a strong Republican conservative, rebukes President Donald Trump while announcing that he will not seek reelection in 2018.