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Why did Senator Jeff Flake decide to retire?

Screenshot from CSPAN's YouTube video: Sen. Jeff Flake won't seek re-election -- FULL SPEECH
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Tuesday, in a surprise move, Senator Jeff Flake announced, in an emotional speech on the Senate floor, that he is retiring. Flake, who is up for reelection in 2018, faced a very tough primary challenge, mainly due to his constant problems with the president. Flake has long been a critic of the president and even went as far as to refuse to endorse him during the presidential campaign. This has led to him being a target of the Trump administration, who has been openly backing a primary challenge to the senator. Senator Flake, who did acknowledge his electoral difficulties during his speech, also condemned the nastiness of the current Republican political environment, and is walking away from it. This makes one wonder: Did Senator Flake decide to retire because he faced defeat back home, or out of a principled stand against the new order of Republican politics?

Those who feel Senator Flake retired out of principle say that he is retiring out of his love of country over his love of the Republican party. They feel this move shows how much integrity and honor he has. Plus, they see this as him trying to stem the tide of growing hate and bigotry in the Republican party. People see him as trying to lead other Republicans to take their party back, and to bring it back to being the party of Lincoln and not the party of Trump.

People who feel he is retiring because he was going to lose, immediately point to his double digit deficit in the primary polls back in Arizona. They feel that Flake represented the swamp that the president promised to drain and, by fighting the president, Flake guaranteed his own demise. They are cheering the people of Arizona for showing the senator that he was going to lose, and Flake just gave up and quit.

Senator Jeff Flake and President Donald Trump, while going by what they say, agreed ideologically. They never agreed on tone and tactics. The president is constantly on the attack on anyone and everyone he feels has wronged him, while the senator is more of a traditional politician who values the rules and order of the Senate. Whose way of doing things will win out, we will have to wait and see.

In this clip, C-SPAN shows Senator Jeff Flake’s full retirement speech:

The Issue

Why did Senator Jeff Flake retire from the Senate? Was he making a principled stand against how things are now being conducted in politics, or was he going to lose, so he just walked away?

Jeff Flake is retiring out of principle

Those who feel it was out of principle say that Senator Jeff Flake is a man of honor and integrity, and he could not stomach how things were going anymore.

Jeff Flake is retiring because he was going to lose

Those who feel he retired because he was going to lose say to just go look at how bad he is being beaten in the polls.

Why do you think Senator Jeff Flake decided to retire?

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