Marco Rubio Craps All Over Ronald Reagan, The Founding Fathers, And America’s Seniors

Yesterday marked the entry of the third contender for the Republican nomination for president of the United States. Like the two that preceded him (Ted Cruz and Rand Paul), Marco Rubio hightailed it over to Sean Hannity’s ring-kissing emporium to get the blessing of Fox News. That makes Hannity three for three in getting the first post-announcement interviews from GOP candidates.

Marco Rubio

In his speech, Rubio reiterated his resume as a son of the sort of immigrants that he would now prohibit from achieving the American Dream. Like all Republicans, now that he has moved higher he would pull the ladder up behind him. But the most prominent theme in his testimonial to himself was the profound revelation that America’s future lies in the future and that the past is behind us. Hmm…makes ya think, huh?

To illustrate this message, Rubio took a rhetorical swipe at old fogies like Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush who represent an ancient, bygone era that holds nothing of value for today’s society:

“Yesterday is over, and we are never going back. We Americans are proud of our history, but our country has always been about the future. Before us now is the opportunity to author the greatest chapter yet in the amazing story of America. We can’t do that by going back to the leaders and ideas of the past.”

Some folks may think that Rubio’s admonition that “we are never going back” is the small-minded perspective of someone who cannot imagine technology advancing to the point that time travel becomes possible. Obviously he is not as attuned to the future as he pretends to be.

But what he really fails to comprehend is that, contrary to his assertion that “our country has always been about the future,” it is the opposite that is true. Our country has always been about exalting the past as a romantic adventure filled with glory and heroism. In fact, it is Republicans who have been most adamant about the virtues of the past. They desperately want to return to a time when women and minorities knew their place; when Christianity was the universal faith practiced in every home, school, and government office; when morality was imposed by a vengeful God who hated all the things that patriotic Americans hated.

And Rubio’s futuristic, forward-thinking policies that will thrust America into a new century of world dominance? Small government, lower taxes for the rich, expand military, cut Social Security, ban gay marriage, deny Climate Change, and force prayer into schools and government. All he needs to do is add fight commies and segregate lunch counters and he has a future that looks exactly like 1950.

By condemning “the leaders and ideas of the past” as unable to contribute to America’s next amazing chapter, Rubio is shunting aside the sanctified memory of Ronald Reagan. He is ripping apart the mythology of our Founding Fathers as the creators of everything good about America. He is abandoning the concept of strict constructionism as the defining principle of our laws. Hey, I might vote for this guy.

On the other hand, Rubio’s rejection of the past ought to outrage his fellow Republicans. That is, if they were intellectually capable of grasping the meaning of his repulsive ageism. Not only is he belittling St. Reagan, he is disparaging the most reliable voter constituency in the country – seniors. You have to wonder whether Rubio gave any thought to the notion that, by insulting older Americans as rotting on the vine, no longer having any ideas, leadership skills, or worth, it might cause them to be less than inclined to support his campaign. You see, Rubio’s geezer-bashing not only lands blows on his political foes, but also on everyone of that generation who may take personally his cutting remarks.

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Young Americans (who love being reduced to the demographic stereotype Millenials) are certainly going to be a part of the “new American century,” maybe the biggest part. But so are their parents and grandparents who have most of the experience, wisdom, money, and motivation to vote. It is one thing to run a campaign on fresh ideas and innovation (as if the GOP had any), but it is another thing entirely to malign millions of mature citizens/voters. And Rubio can’t have both his youth-focused theme and his party’s fetish with an idealized past.


16 thoughts on “Marco Rubio Craps All Over Ronald Reagan, The Founding Fathers, And America’s Seniors

  1. On the other hand, if Rubio is the future, it might be smart to go back.

  2. Rubio is just another clueless Koch – whore who is doing the bidding of his corporate masters. What is his bold plan for the future? Return to the policies of Reagan and Bush! How is that going forward? It’s more like back to the future than anything else. Another idiot know – nothing politician from the past is what he really is.

  3. “America is about the future.” Is this why the religious right still cannot accept that the Supreme Court legalized abortion OVER FORTY YEARS AGO??

    • The religious right still cannot accept that blacks can marry whites (and that the guy in the White House is even allowed to exist). What makes you think they would recognize abortion?

      • Now that statement is wishful thinking – it would actually give you a sense of superiority over your perceived ideological enemies. If that is what you need for you to keep buying into your warped world view – it’s pretty pathetic, but it does fit you pretty well.

  4. All he needs to do is add fight commies and segregate lunch counters and he has [a] future that looks exactly like 1950.

    No segregated lunch counters advocated yet, but the issues page at his website actually features as a top issue the need to FIGHT COMMUNISM (he’s talking about Cuba).

  5. Words have no meaning to these wingnuts. When they trot out buzz-words like “the future” it’s just because they want to get younger voters to take notice, but it won’t help. The future is terrifying to ultra-conservatives, but to younger people, the future is all they got!

    Has the GOP/TeaParty/NRA ever once admitted to any of their catastrophic mistakes in the past? Will they offer up anything different this time around? Obviously not… expect more of the same: never-ending war overseas and on-going Reaganomics & Culture War at home. It will take a full-on revolution to put an end to that bullshit!

    Of course, Hillary’s Dems are pretty much on the same page (if not as extreme) so it seems like the only sensible thing to do is stop wasting our votes on the two-party system altogether and start voting for what we really want. I like the Green Party, but everybody should look at the alternative (non-corporate) parties for themselves. Why accept two unacceptable choices? Are we too stupid for democracy?

    • A little balance here – it’s nice to see. Calling out Hillary as you did is unheard of here – I’m sure Mark cringed when he read that – it goes against his “ignore” the sins of his own side and criticize the other side only approach. Nice to see someone here can actually think. Pretty rare at this site – well done. Not sure about the green party – but anyone could be better than the GOP and Dems at this point.

      • I like the Greens because they aren’t corporate. I don’t pay that much attention to their specific policy proposals so much as their general philosophy about the function of government. Greens believe the govt is ours (We The People) and it should take care of the people’s needs, not the whims of those who have more than enough already. To the “conservative” mind, that translates to “socialism” and “big govt” and “hand-outs for lazy losers” and all that. I have no patience for such stupidity.

        Every developed democracy in the world offers a better quality of life for their least-fortunate than the US… and none of those countries are being crushed & oppressed by brutal, oppressive, authoritarian government. How do they do it? One way is higher taxes on the rich, another is drastically less war spending. There are lots more good ideas out there but “our” two-party system can’t deal with them because they have to spin it as “libs vs cons” and we’re supposed to buy into their Culture/Identity/Ideology Wars… but that’s just bullshit.

        I don’t care about ideology, I’m a Radical Humanist who believes in putting human needs above politics. I don’t think the Democrats are the “good guys” by any stretch, but the GOP has jumped the shark so many times that they’ve become something very, very bad. The Right is no longer “conservative” in the classical sense; they’re anti-environmentalist, anti-humanist, anti-progress, anti-peace… and what are they for? More tax cuts for the rich, more punishment of the poor, more corporate deregulation, more war.

        No, the Democrats can’t seem to do much right, but Republicans can’t do anything right and wouldn’t even try if they knew how.

        • Can’t really argue with much of that – good to see someone is awake and paying attention.
          I skipped voting in this past election for the first time in over 20 years as I finally see it’s a total waste of time and the people running are all awful. My view is obviously different – most of what ails us today is still brought on by big government bought – bought and paid for by corporate types who like their handouts from the government. To me – the only way forward is still a truly free market with honest money – which we don’t have and haven’t had since JFK – you see what happened to him. Then the ultimate power would be in our hands- but we can’t have that.

          • Well Steve, I can’t blame you for not voting. It is utterly futile (by design, I think) and yet, I feel like the only way we can participate in any meaningful way is to vote for candidates that cannot win. While it is true that our votes don’t count – they still count the votes (eventually) and that’s when the message comes out: None Of The Above. Of course they’ll ignore that message until really large numbers of votes for independents come in, but not voting at all is not a message of any sort. They just chalk it up to “apathy” and leave it at that. If you like the Libertarian Party, vote for them; if not, see what the other parties are about. A vote for change is better than nothing (I hope).

            Your comments about the Free Market are interesting. Many people believe true capitalism was swept away by FDR, and Reaganomics was the first attempt to restore it… but of course they are the same people who believe Obama is a secret muslim who was born in a commune in Kenya. I don’t necessarily have a problem with “free markets” in principle, but I can’t see how to get there from here.

            I’m not an educated man, but my understanding is that Adam Smith and Karl Marx probably agreed on a lot of stuff. Both observed that there is a strong tendency in capitalism for the rich to get richer, and then to use that wealth to amass political power. Smith warned that corporations could get so big that they could no longer be regulated by government – and that would be a really bad thing! Marx saw that too and believed that the only way to stop corporate tyranny was for workers to overthrow the owners.

            It’s not clear how either of those great thinkers could help us in the 21st century. Mass media, computerized finance and technology has changed the landscape too much for us to rely on old theories and ideologies. The political mainstream is stagnant and polluted – we need to break that log-jam somehow.

            • To build on that – my view on governing philosophy is as follows – I think no single ideology on it’s own is perfect – so in my view the best way to go is libertarian leaning conservatism with a small part progressivism (but only to the point that individual rights are totally respected). The progressive part would be small but just enough to handle the parts of governing and society that get messed up by the human greed element. I’m sure that won’t be happening anytime soon, but it’s fun to throw out ideas. Nice to banter with someone who is realistic and not blind to what is happening today.

          • By the way – I say JFK because that is the last president to support real money and not war – LBJ lead us into was and eliminated silver from money, then Nixon killed it all together by closing the gold window and allowing the banks to create our fiat money and impoverish us all – effectively creating the mess we’re in today – JFK was the last honest president we had and he was killed for it.

  6. This item has been posted to MMFA’s CNN Interview with Rublio thread at 7:11p. CDT with
    “the profound revelation that America’s future lies in the future and that the past is behind us. Hmm…makes ya think, huh?” as the tease.

    • I always get a smile from the city motto of La Puente CA, to wit:

      Where the Past Meets the Future

      So, that’d be the present, right?

      • Lakewood CA’s used to be “Tomorrow’s City Today,” which over time had the unintended consequence of highlighting the city’s dated appearance.

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