Republican Senator Jeff Flake from Arizona delivered a stirring speech on the Senate floor that took direct aim at Donald Trump. The Senator took issue with Trump's repeated attacks on the media and referring to any outlet that doesn't sing his praises and "fake News." At one point saying:
"Mr. President, it is a testament to the condition of our democracy that our own president uses words infamously spoken by Josef Stalin to describe his enemies."
You can read the start of the speech below.
"Mr. President, near the beginning of the document that made us free, our Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson wrote: "We hold these truths to be self-evident ..." So, from our very beginnings, our freedom has been predicated on truth. The founders were visionary in this regard, understanding well that good faith and shared facts between the governed and the government would be the very basis of this ongoing idea of America."
" As the distinguished former member of this body, Daniel Patrick Moynihan of New York, famously said: "Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts." During the past year, I am alarmed to say that Senator Moynihan's proposition has likely been tested more severely than at any time in our history."
"It is for that reason that I rise today, to talk about the truth, and its relationship to democracy. For without truth, and a principled fidelity to truth and to shared facts, Mr. President, our democracy will not last. "
To continue reading the remainder of the speech, go to CNN.
Senator Flake is being praised by politicians, those in the media and America's citizens.
Flake's speech is a reminder that Trump's most damaging and lasting impact is his assault on the idea of "fact" and "truth."— Chris Cillizza (@CillizzaCNN) January 17, 2018
Senator Flake took to the Senate floor today and spoke the truth. When a POTUS continues to lie, calls the press the enemy of the people and claims fake news, he tears away at the fabric of Democracy. We can not let an unstable would be autocrat destroy 241 yrs. of promise.— Rob Reiner (@robreiner) January 18, 2018
I don’t agree with Jeff Flake on much. But he’s absolutely correct that attacks on dissent, press and the truth are hallmarks of authoritarian dictatorships. Not American democracy.— Bryan Behar (@bryanbehar) January 18, 2018
But many were saying that words were not enough.
Before you get all misty eyed about @JeffFlake and his “scathing” Trump speech, remember that he has voted 90 percent with the president, and his rare opposition includes being on the wrong side of disaster aid to Puerto Rico. Jeff Flake is no hero. https://t.co/yj144te1eb— Joy Reid (@JoyAnnReid) January 17, 2018
Jeff Flake’s speech was striking, but it won’t change anything because complicit Republicans in Congress will nod at Flake’s words privately and then do nothing meaningful to constrain Trump—a complete, spineless abdication of their responsibilities. pic.twitter.com/kVsNpY6Qhg— Brian Klaas (@brianklaas) January 17, 2018
Well one thing is for sure, Flake certainly knows how to stir the pot. What the outcome will be, we'll have to wait and see.