Flake emerging as leader with integrity – New York News

Do you ever get the feeling we’re all going to be judged for this moment?

Historians, our grandkids and we ourselves will look and ask: What did you do as the Trump/Scaramucci/Bannon administration dropped a nuclear bomb on the basic standards of decency in public life?

What did you do as the U.S. Congress ceased to function? What positions did you take as America teetered toward national decline?

For most of us, it’s relatively easy to pass the test.

Our jobs are not on the line when we call out the mind-boggling monstrosity of what’s happening. For Republican senators, it’s harder.

Their consciences pull them one way — to tell the truth — while their political interests pull them another way — to keep their heads down.

Some senators are passing the test of conscience — Ben Sasse, Lindsey Graham, Susan Collins, Mike Lee and John McCain.

And to that list we can certainly add Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake.

In a few days he comes out with a book called “Conscience of a Conservative,” which is a thoughtful defense of traditional conservatism and a thorough assault on the way Donald Trump is betraying it.

Flake grew up in rural Arizona.

“Cattle ranching is the hardest work I’ve ever known and the best people I have ever known have been cattle ranchers,” he writes.

He was one of 11 children and his family did not dine out, even once, while he was young.

He lost part of a finger and learned frontier self-reliance on the ranch.

As a Mormon he learned to be wary of the government, and especially the way it can persecute minorities.

He came to Congress in 2001 and earned a reputation…


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