Jeff Flake, the U.S. Senator from Arizona, said goodbye to the Senate this week. Flake has been a frequent critic of Donald Trump. During his farewell speech, Flake warned that the U.S. is not immune to “authoritarianism” which he suggested can lead to “tyranny.”
“Let us recognize from this place here today that the shadow of tyranny is once again enveloping parts of the globe. And let us recognize as authoritarianism reasserts itself in country after country that we are by no means immune,” CNBC reported Flake as saying.
The outgoing senator took the moment to throw some shade at President Trump without mentioning Trump’s name explicitly, He did call out Russian President Vladimir Putin by name, according to a report from CNN. He said that Putin hijacked his own democracy, which Trump has not spoken out against. Flake has been outspoken of the president since Trump took office. Being so candid did not earn him many new votes, which is part of the reason he decided to retire instead of launch another campaign.
“My colleagues, to say that our politics is not healthy is something of an understatement. I believe that we all know well that this is not a normal time, that the threats to our democracy from within and without are real, and none of us can say with confidence how the situation that we now find ourselves in will turn out,” Flake said in his farewell.
The conservative said that recently he’s thought a lot about democracy and the possibility that it could slip away if things do not change. He reminded people that a democracy is not a guarantee just because it has existed for so long.
“As the authoritarian impulse reasserts itself globally and global commitment to democracy seems now to be on somewhat shaky ground, I have been thinking a lot recently about the American commitment to democracy, where it comes from and how if the circumstances were right, it might slip away.”
According to the senator, the U.S. faces many challenges today and in the near future, which could lead to the end of the current manner of government. However, he noted that the country faced even more significant challenges in the past and overcame them.
He said that he doesn’t believe that the government should test democracy the way it’s being tested today ever again. Flake urged the government and its citizens to work hard to ensure that democracy remains well in the U.S.
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