[Note from Scott Ott: The presidential primary process doesn’t help us to decide who’s qualified to bear the party standard, and to serve as chief executive. It’s just our way of crushing the hopes and dreams of anyone who dares poke head from hole. Because you already know all of the reasons why every candidate, and potential candidate, has no right to expect the nomination, I’m going to write an utterly one-sided series on why each one should get it.]
Today’s nominee: Senator Marco Rubio. (If you’re concerned that I’m not providing fair and balanced analysis, I’m sure the folks in the comment section will compensate for my deficiency.)
I just read Sen. Marco Rubio’s American Dreams: Restoring Economic Opportunity for Everyone, which combines stories of struggling Americans with often-innovative proposals to address our most besetting challenges in education, social welfare, health care, immigration, Social Security, Medicare and more. The book is worth the brief time it takes to read, even if you favor some other candidate for president.
Why Marco Rubio Should Be the Republican Nominee
1. Positive Vision for “A New American Century”: Republicans should not underestimate the value of a voice that stirs the human heart and reminds us of what we’re all about, and what we can be.
Rubio clearly loves this country, and what it stands for, and conveys that with infectious optimism. Perhaps as importantly, he has applied a lot of time and effort to learning how to craft creative, but workable, solutions to her most challenging problems. He presents these in a forward-looking way. Rubio ends his American Dreams with a flourish…
“There is no time in our history I would rather live in than right here, right now. For we are on the eve of a new American Century. The most prosperous and secure era in our nation’s history is within our reach. All that is required of us has to do what those who came before us did: confront our challenges and embrace our opportunities. And when we do, we will leave for our children what our parents left for us: the most exceptional nation in all of human history.” — “American Dreams,” by Marco Rubio, p. 191
2. A family story that personifies the American Dream: A child of immigrant parents, Rubio speaks passionately of how his Mom and Dad worked low-wage jobs to provide a better future for their children. They did it in the nation that invented the idea that your status at birth is no limitation on your ultimate altitude or potential for accomplishment. His devotion to “equality of opportunity” is the proper antidote for Leftist “equality of outcome” venom. The American story, in a very real sense, is his family’s story, and he never forgets, nor allows others to forget it.
3. Political Experience: I previously noted that the outsider perspective of candidates like Carly Fiorina and Ben Carson can prove useful, or at least refreshing. Yet there’s something to be said for someone who has wallowed in Washington for a while, and understands how things work in that Orwellian Animal Farm. Rubio, who has a JD in law from the University of Miami, served in local politics, and later became speaker of the Florida House, before election to the U.S. Senate. He knows how to run, he knows how to win, and perhaps as importantly, he’s had some time to stumble and find out what doesn’t work.
4. A Strong America Makes a Safer World: Rubio unashamedly professes America’s exceptionalism, and understands that weakness invites tyrants to flex their muscles and overstep their bounds. He’s critical of President Obama for reaching out to enemies while shutting out friends, and for Obama’s lack of a strategic approach to the use of American military power. Understanding that patriotism and American exceptionalism don’t amount to jingoism or imperialism, but rather to a peace plan beyond the dreams of the UN, makes Rubio well-prepared to step into the role of commander in chief.
5. Solutions-Driven Approach to Governance: Rubio’s book consists of a barrage of concrete, detailed proposals for addressing education, health care, immigration, entitlements, and more. I’m not suggesting you’ll agree with all of his proposals, only that he has invested significant effort into laying out a plan that paves the way for the “New American Century.” He’s young, but not a naive debutante. He has gone far beyond talk, to enlist co-sponsors on both sides of the aisle. He rightly critiques Leftists for clinging to failed approaches that ignore the rapid change in technology, communication and global commerce which continues apace even as Democrats like Hillary Clinton still dip into the FDR-LBJ punchbowl of fermented ideas.
6. Broad appeal: While Rubio has the reputation of a rising Tea Party darling, he doesn’t carry the taint of “fringe.” He’s socially conservative, yet believes that questions like same-sex marriage should be decided at the state level, even if he disagrees with the outcome reached by any particular state. He’s young, but he’s prudent, unlikely to make wacky statements in the heat of the moment, but less likely to veer from his core principles simply to please a special interest group. Obviously, he’s made, and will make, mistakes, but all in all, his demeanor, ideas and communication skills should attract adherents from across the Republican spectrum.
7. Politics is Personal: If not for the human stories which animate Rubio’s book, it would be a wonky collection of policy proposals, likely to be ignored. But in his writing and public speaking, Marco Rubio never forgets the real stories of people still fanning the fire of the American dream. He connects with their struggle as they turn a shoulder to a gale-force government that seems hell-bent on extinguishing that flame. In a way that few recent Republicans have, Marco Rubio gets it: politics is personal.