Source: Full Text: Senator Jeff Flake’s Speech on Reelection – The Atlantic, by Arizona Senator Jeff Flake (R)
We must dedicate ourselves to making sure that the anomalous never becomes the normal. With respect and humility, I must say that we have fooled ourselves for long enough that a pivot to governing is right around the corner, a return to civility and stability right behind it. We know better than that. By now, we all know better than that.
Leadership lives by the American creed: E pluribus unum. From many, one. American leadership looks to the world, and just as Lincoln did, sees the family of man. Humanity is not a zero-sum game.
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.
The anger and resentment that the people feel at the royal mess we have created are justified. But anger and resentment are not a governing philosophy.
We must respect each other again in an atmosphere of shared facts and shared values, comity and good faith. We must argue our positions fervently, and never be afraid to compromise. We must assume the best of our fellow man, and always look for the good. Until that days comes, we must be unafraid to stand up and speak out as if our country depends on it. Because it does.
Mr. President, the graveyard is full of indispensable men and women—none of us here is indispensable. Nor were even the great figures from history who toiled at these very desks in this very chamber to shape the country that we have inherited. What is indispensable are the values that they consecrated in Philadelphia and in this place, values which have endured and will endure for so long as men and women wish to remain free. What is indispensable is what we do here in defense of those values.