A Republican senator has called out his own party for, among other things, "creating" Donald Trump. In an excerpt taken from his new book, Conscience of a Conservative, Arizona's Senator Jeff Flake blasted the GOP for an outline of errors he says ensured Trump's rise, including the party's treatment of former President Barack Obama. Within the excerpt, which was published by Politico, Flake wrote,
It was we conservatives who were largely silent when the most egregious and sustained attacks on Obama's legitimacy were leveled by marginal figures who would later be embraced and legitimized by far too many of us.
Of course, one of those attacks came from President Trump himself, who repeatedly questioned Obama's citizenship during the former president's tenure. Trump himself would later admit Obama was born in the U.S.
Flake not only criticized conservatives for a desire to see President Barack Obama fail, but also for the party's disproportionate reaction to President Trump. The senator essentially said his party engaged in willful ignorance, particularly as a lack of Republicans spoke up while Trump's presidency has resulted in "instability."
Sen. Flake wrote,
Too often, we observe the unfolding drama along with the rest of the country, passively, all but saying, 'Someone should do something!' without seeming to realize that that someone is us. And so, that unnerving silence in the face of an erratic executive branch is an abdication, and those in positions of leadership bear particular responsibility.
Flake also said liberals had their fair share of mistakes that contributed to Trump's rise, too. But the 54-year-old congressman said those mistakes are for the left to answer for on its own.
Flake did, however, end his piece with a number of suggestions for how Republicans should react to the events of the Trump presidency. One of those suggestions was clear aimed at advising the GOP to criticize rhetoric that alienates different groups of people.
...we shouldn't hesitate to speak out if the president 'plays to the base' in ways that damage the Republican Party's ability to grow and speak to a larger audience.
Online, Flake's words drew mixed reactions. Some praised him for speaking up against his own part, while others criticized the senator for having a voting record that contradicted his criticisms of the GOP.
The senator's book, Conscience of a Conservative, was released on Tuesday, Aug. 1. Flake joins a number of conservative senators who have spoken against Trump in the past number of weeks.