Transcript for Republican Sen. Flake won't seek re-election, cites Trump era
At a moment when it seems that our democracy is. More defined by our discord in our dysfunction. And by our own values and principles. Now let me begin by noting that somewhat obvious point that these offices that we hold are not ours indefinitely. We are not here simply to mark time. Sustained incumbency is certainly not the point of seeking office. And there are times when we must risk our careers. In favor of our principles. Now it's such time. It must also be said that I rise today with no small measure of regret. Regret because in the state of largest union. 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 I mean all of our. Complicity in this alarming and dangerous state of affairs. It is time for our complicit complicity in our accommodation of the unacceptable. To end. In this century a new phrases that are blunt language to describe the accommodation. Of a new and undesirable order. That phrase being the new normal. But we must never adjust to the present coarseness of our national dialogue. With the tone set at the top. We must never regard as normal. The regular and casual undermining of our democratic norms and ideals. We must never meekly accept the daily sun green of our country. The personal attacks the threats against principles. Freedoms and institution. The flagrant disregard for truth. And decency. The reckless provocations. Most often for the heaviest and most personal reasons. Reasons having nothing whatsoever to do with the fortunes of the people that we have been elected to serve. We must stop pretending that the deck get degradation of our politics in the conduct of some in our executive branch. Are normal. They are not normal. Wreck less outrageous and undignified behavior. Has become excused and countenance as telling it like idiots. When it is actually just reckless. Outrageous and dignified and undignified. And when such behavior emanates from the top of our government. It is something else. It is dangerous to a democracy. Such behavior does not project strength. Because our strength comes from our values. It instead projects are corruption of the spirit. And weakness. It is often said children are watching. While they are. And what are we going to do about that. When the next generation access. 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. I'm aware that there's a segment of my party that believes that anything short. Cup complete and unquestioning loyalty to a president. Who belongs to my party. Is unacceptable and suspect. If I have been critical it is not because I relish criticizing the behavior of the president of the United States. If I've been critical. Is because I believe it is my obligation to do so. And as a matter and duty. Of conscience. The principles that underlie our politics the values of our founding. Are too vital to our identity and to our survival to allow them to be compromised by the requirements of politics. Because politics can make a silent when we should speak. And silence can equal complicity. I have children and grandchildren to answer to and so Mr. President I will not be complicit or silent. I decided that I would be better. Able to represent the people of Arizona and to better serve my country and my conscience. By freed myself of the political consideration that consume far too much bandwidth. And would cause me to compromise far too many principals. To that had. I'm announcing today that my service in the senate will conclude at the end of my term. In early January. When he nineteen. Regret to hear that our friend from Arizona will. Concluded senate service. At the end of this six year term. And I'd like to. Mr. President. Myself and I think many of my college. We've just witnessed. A speech from a very fine and a man who. Clearly branch. Principles. To the office everyday. And does what Cabell is is in the best interest of Arizona. And the country. Then one of the great honors of my life. At the opportunity to serve. With a man. Integrity. And honor. Decency. And commitment. To not only Arizona but United States of America. I have seen Jeff flakes and for what he believes in knowing full well that there would be a political price to pay.
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