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Flake: America Is Sick—'And It Is Contagious'

He berates 'new depths of indecency' in op-ed
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 25, 2017 4:44 AM CDT

(Newser) – Retiring GOP Sen. Jeff Flake continues his remarks Tuesday in Congress in an op-ed in the Washington Post, berating a "political culture [that] seems every day to plumb new depths of indecency" and a president who offers "moral ambiguity in the face of shocking bigotry." In the piece, titled "Enough," Flake presents himself as reawakening the American conscience "in the face of a moral vandal" and "during a time of global tumult and threat," just as Joseph Welch, former Chief Counsel for the Army, stood up to Sen. Joseph McCarthy in 1954 and "ended McCarthy's rampage on American values." As then, "we have again forgotten who we are supposed to be," Flake writes. "There is a sickness in our system—and it is contagious."

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He mentions President Trump's "disgraceful public feuds with Gold Star families" and "the senseless danger" of his "childish insults" directed at North Korea. "Nine months of this administration is enough for us to stop pretending that this is somehow normal," Flake writes. "We can no longer remain silent, merely observing this train wreck, passively, as if waiting for someone else to do something. The longer we wait, the greater the damage, the harsher the judgment of history." Noting Republicans and Democrats must work together, and not appear to outsiders as though "we are at war with ourselves," he concludes the last 14 months of his term will see him "guided only by the dictates of conscience." The full piece is here. (Read more Jeff Flake stories.)

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