13 April 2015 – Copyright © Mark H Goodrich
Today Marco Rubio announced his run for President, and immediately proposed that his candidacy will look forward, rather than signaling a return to the past like his older and more experienced opponents on both the left and right.
Waxing alternately between blind patriotism and reliance upon religion for guidance, his central theme was a vague call for a return to the American Dream, allowing voters to fill in that blank with their own idea of just what that means. He talked about how the equal opportunities that characterize the United States allowed his immigrant parents to raise a family while reaching their American Dream.
The position of Senator Rubio on relations between Cuba and the United States strikes concern about just how forward-looking he might be, as it seeks to raise the fears, hatreds and prejudices not of 1992, but of 1962. He successfully ran for the Florida and national legislatures by pandering to the Cuban refugees that made their way to the United States in the 1950s and 1960s, but the national electorate of today sees the 50 year-old Cuba Policy, driven as it has been by the electoral strength of Florida, as long outdated and overdue for a progressive overhaul.
Again pandering to a political reality – this time to the fact there are more Jews in Florida than Israel – he has likewise sought to focus American political responses regarding the Middle East back to the 1960s, rather than looking forward to new ideas. He ignores that the policy in place for 50 years has failed miserably. Even if the policies of the Israeli and American governments had been only modestly successful since the 1967 War, Israel would by now be a far more stable and peaceful nation.
But most “off the mark” is his notion that somehow people of modest education working ordinary jobs can raise a family in the middle class and save money for retirement. The corporate and business communities that Senator Rubio counts among his contributors and supports with his votes have driven wages down and prices up while gaming the public assistance system to make up the difference in income required to keep the bottom 70% of the American Public just above abject poverty. The schizoid nature of simultaneously opposing an increase in the minimum wage while arguing for the improvement of economics in working class families speaks volumes about the shallow thinking and pandering to moneyed interests that has characterized the career of Senator Rubio.
The Senator has the ability to raise emotions when he speaks, but in the glaring light of critical analysis, the very arguments upon which he relies make the case that he should not be President, and indeed should not be re-elected Senator if we are to hope for forward-thinking policies and an actual potential for ordinary families to achieve the American Dream. Despite the picture of himself that he is trying to paint with nostalgic references, Senator Rubio is oddly 50 years out of step with 2015 America.