On Oct. 24, one senator announced that he would not seek re-election in 2018, and it's all because of President Trump. Arizona Republican Sen. Jeff Flake gave a speech about Trump on the Senate floor, and he did not hold back about what he truly thinks the president has done to America.
While Flake criticized Trump throughout the entire speech — repeatedly saying that he does not believe the president's actions are "normal" — he also had a few choice words for his fellow Republican senators, who he feel are "normalizing" Trump's actions. Flake described his party's members as people under a spell, complicit in their silence. But he said, "This spell will eventually break. That is my belief. We will return to ourselves once more, and I say the sooner the better. ... We must respect each other again in an atmosphere of shared facts and shared values, comity and good faith."
Flake has long been an outspoken critic of Trump. In July, he penned a piece for Politico Magazine titled, "My Party Is in Denial About Donald Trump," in which he laid out how he believed the Republican party created — and then rationalized — President Trump.
Here are 27 of the most scathing words Flake used to describe the Trump presidency and explain why he feels he must step down.
Discord & Dysfunction
"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, let me begin by noting the somewhat obvious point that these offices that we hold are not ours indefinitely."
"It must also be said that I rise today with no small measure of regret. Regret because of the state of our disunion."
Disrepair & Destructiveness
"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."
Alarming & Dangerous
"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 complicity and our accommodation of the unacceptable to end."
"In this century, a new phrase has entered the language to describe the accommodation of a new and undesirable order, that phrase being the new normal."
"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."
"Without fear of the consequences and without consideration of the rules of what is politically safe or palatable, we must stop pretending that the degradation of our politics and the conduct of some in our executive branch are normal."
Reckless, Outrageous, & Undignified
"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."
Corruption & Weakness
"Such behavior does not project strength because our strength comes from our values. It instead projects a corruption of the spirit and weakness."
"We must dedicate ourselves to making sure that the anomalous never becomes the normal."
Chaos & Instability
"What happens if stability fails to assert itself in the face of chaos and instability?"
"And as a matter and duty of conscience, the notion that one should stay silent — and 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 we should say or do nothing in the face of such mercurial behavior is ahistoric and, I believe, profoundly misguided."
"When a leader correctly identifies real hurt and insecurity in our country, and instead of addressing it, goes to look for someone to blame, there is perhaps nothing more devastating to a pluralistic society."
"These articles of civic faith have been critical to the American identity for as long as we have been alive. They are our birthright and our obligation. We must guard them jealously and pass them on for as long as the calendar has days. To betray them or to be unserious in their defense is a betrayal of the fundamental obligations of American leadership and to behave as if they don’t matter is simply not who we are."
"None of this is normal."
"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."