The book pulls no punches.
It neatly condemns conservatism for a purpose in a “culture of infamous dehumanization,” not to discuss a sins of incoherence, rejecting of experimental fact and plain hypocrisy.
Writing of a rush by a regressive party, i.e., a GOP, to welcome a unfortunate Donald Trump during a final election, a author is blunt and unsparing. “Never has a celebration so fast or simply deserted a core principles.”
No, these are not new complaints; they have been done regularly in new years. But what creates this sold check of charges opposite conservatism and a Republican Party notable is not a substance, though a source.
Meaning a self-described “proud regressive and a lifelong Republican” — Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona. Flake’s new book, “Conscience of a Conservative,” takes conservatism and a GOP to charge in no capricious terms. It’s being called an act of dignified courage. It competence even be one.
At a really least, a book is timely, quite in a monody of a hatefulness of a nation’s domestic divide. Flake captures this starkly in one unpleasant anecdote:
January 2012, President Obama’s State of a Union address. Flake is sitting subsequent to a friend, Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who is still recuperating after being shot in a conduct a year before.
“During President Obama’s acclaim lines, Gabby wanted to mount adult though was incompetent to do so on her own, so we helped her. That mostly left me standing, a sole Republican among entertaining Democrats.”
He stood, he writes, not to support a president, though to assistance “a loving and dauntless colleague.” Which should have been plainly apparent to anyone with eyes and a functioning conscience, though apparently done tiny disproportion to those who sent him “furious content messages and emails” during and after a speech, holding him to charge for this act of domestic apostasy.
As noted, Flake’s “Conscience” is being widely lauded. The Washington Post called it “brave.” USA Today dubbed it “courageous.” Columnist Michael Gerson pronounced it was “the singular largest act of domestic aplomb of a Trump era.”
You’ll get no evidence here. But we will find an observation: This aplomb would be some-more considerable had it shown itself sooner. The GOP, after all, didn’t remove a mind when Trump came to town. Rather, it was a detriment of a mind that done Trump possible. And that detriment predates his presidency by a good dual decades.
How most of a dysfunction of those years competence have been ameliorated by a tiny in-the-moment regressive courage? Republicans are not asked to desert their low-taxes, small-government orthodoxy. No ideology, after all, has a corner on good ideas.
But this is not about ideology. Rather, it’s about a GOP’s en masse shelter from reason, responsibility, statesmanship and decency.
This shelter has been objectively apparent for years, though a list of Republicans peaceful to mount adult and concur a objectively apparent has been pathetically small. Now Flake adds his name, creation it … somewhat reduction small.
Brave? OK. But that aplomb is irrelevant until and unless his regressive demur touches someone else’s. His party, his people, need to acknowledge their dysfunction, need to possess it — and repair it.
Otherwise, he’s still station alone while a wrong people applaud.
Leonard Pitts Jr. is a columnist for a Miami Herald.