A historical speech
Arizona Republican Senator Jeff Flake's retirement speech has been not only unique in its kind, but has become the most important in Senate history, and definitely the most important this year so far.
When many believe that the phenomenon of Trumpism is an exaggeration, they should only watch closely the convulsive dynamics within the government agencies to understand that a government that dynamites its own party is irretrievably a storm for the general policy of the country.
The antagonism of the Democratic Party is expected, if not logical, but observing the breaking of ranks within the Republican Party, is an imminent alarm.
Last Monday, two senators raised their voices against the new administration, and more specifically against the president's personality and emphasized the threats posed by a temperament such as that of Donald Trump behind the helm of one of the most powerful countries in the world.
For Bob Corker - Tennessee Republican Senator - many have tried within the Republican ranks to reconcile with the president, and address "the way he behaves," but Trump is definitely "not up to the post."
He added that the president has "a lot of difficulty with the truth" and that "degrading" the United States "will be his great legacy during his presidency," CNN reported.
But it was the speech of Senator Flake that proved that, in the United States today, being against Trumpism is directly proportional to giving up a race in the Republican wing, because there is no space for criticism.
Flake called from "a Conservative Conscience" to the "rejection of destructive policies and return to principles" during a speech that has become the most important in current US policy.
For Flake, " At a moment when it seems that our democracy is more defined by our discord and our dysfunction than by our own values and principles... this is not the time for seeking office and there are times when we must risk our careers in favor of our principles.”
"The reckless provocations, most often for the pettiest and most personal reasons, reasons having nothing whatsoever to do with the fortunes of the people that we have been elected to serve. None of these appalling features of our current politics should ever be regarded as normal. We must never allow ourselves to lapse into thinking that that is just the way things are now".
Flake warned and lamented the current state of US policy, led by personal mechanisms, far removed from diplomacy and regular government channels, which have been exacerbated by a media-government that "endangers democracy."
"Such behavior does not project strength because our strength comes from our values. On the contrary, it projects a corruption of the spirit and weakness”, he assured.
“Mr. President, I rise today to say: enough,” he sentenced.
Faced with the silence and complicity of a large part of the Republican Party, Flake insisted that "silence and inaction" should not come from political considerations, but from the return to values, for " when we succumb to those considerations in spite of what should be greater considerations and imperatives in defense of our institutions and our liberty, we dishonor our principles and forsake our obligations”.
Flake then referred to the "complete and unquestioning loyalty" within the Republican Party. “If I have been critical, it is not because I relish criticizing the behavior of the president of the United States,” he said. “If I have been critical, it is because I believe it is my obligation to do so.”
In the face of such sentences, the senator declared that he would not be "complicit or silent" in a country where “a leader correctly identifies real hurt and insecurity in our country, and instead of addressing it, goes to look for someone to blame,” which he considers as “nothing more devastating to a pluralistic society.”
Flake stated that his job as a public official, especially as a representative of the state of Arizona, would be better by “freeing myself of the political consideration that consumed far too much bandwidth and would cause me to compromise far too many principles,” assuring he will be ending his term in the Senate in January 2019.
It was then that the Senator used the fearsome term of "populism" to describe what appeared to be the tone of the new US government.
“There is an undeniable potency to a populist appeal by mischaracterizing or misunderstanding our problems and giving in to the impulse to scapegoat and belittle — the impulse to scapegoat and belittle 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," he said.
Finally, Flake enunciated the most important threat in current US (and global) politics:
“We were not made great as a country by indulging in or even exalting our worst impulses, turning against ourselves, glorifying in the things that divide us, and calling fake things true and true things fake. And we did not become the beacon of freedom in the darkest corners of the world by flouting our institutions and failing to understand just how hard-won and vulnerable they are.”