Opinion — 03 November 2017

Alex Lontoc


While our President is busy blasting anyone and everyone that gets in his way on Twitter, Republican senators Jeff Flake and Bob Corker took action and announced their retirement from the 2018 re-election campaign.

Flake, who started his political work at Goldwater Institute – a conservative public policy think tank in Arizona – in 1992, announced his retirement on the Senate floor during a speech on Tuesday, Oct. 24. He criticized Trump for his ill manners and fondness for picking fights.

“It is not because I relish criticizing the behavior of the President of the United States, if I have been critical… it is my obligation to do so,” said Flake. Nine months into his presidency, and we have a Senator taking a stand against Trump. But is it courageous or is it cowardly? Jarrod White, longtime party activist and an Arizona delegate to Republican National Convention last year, thinks that Flake quit because he knows he’s not going to win the upcoming election.

“He chose to quit and be ‘dignified’ and get his final lashes out at Trump,” said White. This situation could be perceived in two different ways. Flake is either daring or cowardly for quitting. His exit is just giving way to more pro-Trump supporters to enter the Senate. Instead of fighting and doing what he can to make a change and actually challenge the President’s actions, he’s taking his leave.

Bob Corker, Republican Senate of Tennessee and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, made it clear he will challenge Trump during his remaining time in office. Corker is working on the Republican tax plan, which the President and the GOP hope to pass and deliver tax cuts to the rich.

On another episode of Trump’s Twitter tirades, he called Corker “incompetent” and “liddle Bob Corker” after the Tennessee Senator referred to him as “utterly untruthful” in an interview. People are seeing this exchange of name calling and we have our President acting as the big bully. Is this the role model we want our kids, the future of this country, to be looking up to?

Although the consequences of going against the most powerful leader in our country can be an issue, their job, among others, is to make sure no absurd laws that benefits only the one percent of our population gets passed. Politics is a compromise and sometimes those compromise can do more harm than good to the majority, and having a Senate on the floor that knows what’s right or wrong can fight it. Flaking out seems to be an easy way out. Because they couldn’t take any more of our President’s “boorish behavior” they’re quitting instead of going against him and taking a stand.

On a different spotlight, what Flake and Corker did can be seen as audacious. Here we have two Senators from the GOP denouncing our current sitting President, what others would never thought of going public about. They will do what they can to counteract any foolish actions our President makes while in office. It’s a small step, but these two are aware while others are caged, ignorant of our President’s shortcomings.


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Rachel Hanna

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