Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Sen. Jeff Flake's Conscience of a Conservative

Jeff Flake's Conscience Is Good for Libertarians — and the Country - Hit & Run : Reason.com - Nick Gillespie:

August 1, 2017 - "'We've been compromised...by forces...of populism and protectionism, isolationism, xenophobia,' says Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake, about his own Republican Party.

"In a new book that borrows a title from Barry Goldwater, an NPR interview, and a no-holds-barred column in Politico, Flake is making the case that the GOP and President Trump are dishonest and disinterested in limiting the size, scope, and spending of government.

"He has impeccable credentials as a libertarian-leaning politician who once ran the free-market Goldwater Institute in Phoenix. Flake is a dedicated free-trader and defender of immigration.... Since arriving in Congress in 2001, he has passionately attacked the Cuba embargo as misguided, immoral, and ineffective: 'We preach the gospel of contact and commerce and trade and travel, yet with Cuba we turn around and say, "No, it's not going to work there." It just seemed to be a glaring inconsistency in our foreign policy.' An 'unapologetic member of the Gang of Eight' that sound comprehensive immigration reform, he is one of the few remaining Republicans in high office to champion higher levels of legal immigration both as a humanitarian gesture and as a practical boon to the country....

"He says that conservatives need 'to be honest with people' about the causes of economic dislocation. While Donald Trump and his fellow populists wail about Mexico and China, Flake stays grounded in reality. 'We manufacture twice as much as we did in the 1980s with one-third fewer workers and those productivity gains will continue. Globalization has happened and the question is: Do we harness it for our benefit or are we left behind by it?'

"In his Politico piece, Flake ranges close to calling for Trump's impeachment, or at least official censure, writing that 'unnerving silence in the face of an erratic executive branch is an abdication, and those in positions of leadership bear particular responsibility'.... No wonder there have been whispers about Trump working to primary Flake, who is up for re-election in 2018.

"You might not agree with Jeff Flake on everything, but it's good to see a principled free-market, open-borders Republican going public with his discontent, especially because he's got a strong record of calling out massive expansions of the government going back to his first days in Congress. We need more people like him in Washington, not just the handful we already know (Rand Paul, Mike Lee, Justin Amash, Thomas Massie...)."

Read more: http://reason.com/blog/2017/08/01/jeff-flakes-conscience-is-good-for-liber
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