I have never liked Sen. Jeff Flakeā€™s politics or views. That said, I am impressed and humbled by his speech Monday. He gets what it means to be an American and how American government is supposed to function.

I am impressed that he has taken responsibility that some of his actions have contributed to the disfunction and is willing to work to combat "the new normal." None of us should become inured or endure the constant attacks on our institutions or our freedoms. We should rise above and demand an end to petty coarseness and divisive rhetoric from all of our representatives but most of all from the executive branch.

It is our country and we must be the ones to stand up for the Constitution and institutions because if we do not no one else will.

Alexandra Wiyninger, Bakersfield