Those who are okay with another Republican Establishment candidate like Bob Dole, John McCain, and Mitt Romney can stop reading now. Marco Rubio is your guy. To conservatives, Libertarians, and any Republican who holds to the notion that we need another leader like Ronald Reagan rather than the milquetoast Neocons that have been forced upon us as the Republican nominee for nearly three decades, it’s time to have a clear understanding that Marco Rubio is not our guy. In fact, he’s definitely more aligned with the Establishment than Romney was and an argument can be made that he’s worse than even Dole and McCain.
Since 1988, we’ve been fed a steady diet of conformist candidates. George H. W. Bush, like him or not (I do), may have been the most digestible Establishment President of our time, but he still followed the tired trend of broken promises and false conservatism. George W. Bush was fiscally irresponsible (aka liberal) and remarkably similar to Rubio with his cut-taxes-but-raise-expenditures philosophy that did economic harm to the country. It may be acceptable today for some pundits and at least one GOP candidate to tarnish the legacies of Bush 41 and 43, but I believe they were what the country needed at the time. However, they also damaged the country’s economy and pushed us further into insurmountable debt despite being recipients of strong economies from their predecessors.
That’s the scariest part. Rubio mimics their economic policies but he’s not inheriting a vibrant financial situation. If Bush 41, 43, or Rubio had inherited the Jimmy Carter economy in 1980, their policies would have been disastrous. It took a conservative like Reagan to correct the errors of Carter. President Obama is leaving the country in even worse shape, making the need greater for a true conservative to come in and fix it.
Is Rubio the conservative we need?
No, Rubio is Not the Right Conservative
It’s important to keep in mind that conservatism is not static. On many issues, Marco Rubio is definitely conservative. The problem is that the areas where he’s not conservative are the areas where conservatism is most vitally needed for the country to recover.
There’s a myth that the Republican Establishment hates conservatism. There are two times when they do not: on the campaign trail and when it pertains to gaining social credibility with Evangelicals. Both are forms of conservatism for the sake of “defending the turf” rather than the type of practical conservatism we need right now. Rubio is conservative on social issues and a hawkish type of conservative on the military, but his vision of lightly reducing taxes, keeping them progressive rather than flat, and eliminated the capital gains tax are not the type of economic stimuli that we need. They economy must grow while and the balance must be balanced in order for us to steer off the destructive path we’re on. Rubio is the type of big government Republican that falls squarely in line with the crony capitalists that keep the Republican Establishment in power.
In other words, he represents the financial status quo that is absolutely not what we need today.
No, Rubio is Not a Consistent Conservative
There’s something scary about the Gang of Eight. It isn’t just Rubio’s on-again, off-again love affair with citizenship and/or amnesty for illegal immigrants. That is still a concern even if his campaign says otherwise about his evolving views.
The truly scary thing about him is the ease in which he was swayed for political expediency. He didn’t join the Senate with an amnesty agenda in mind. He was manipulated. He was malleable. He was sold a dream by McCain and Chuck Schumer and he abandoned the principles that earned him Tea Party support during his campaign in order to play with the cool kids on a national stage with the Gang of Eight. He made a pledge on national radio to never support amnesty and he broke that promise 14-months later.
This was by design. He’s not stupid. He knew he would be called out by his supporters, but it was a calculated risk. The Gang of Eight represented one thing and one thing only for Rubio. It was his announcement that he was a future Presidential contender in the Establishment lane. At the time, he didn’t anticipate the swelling of outsider love that this election has revealed. At that point, it was the Establishment that determined the nominee, so he needed to build up his Establishment bona fides. It was the smart political move. Unfortunately for him, this isn’t the Establishment’s year.
Every candidate waffles. They all flip-flop at one point or another. However, when a candidate abandons one or more core values in order to be a smart politician, it means that they’re willing to do anything even if it means breaking promises. This is a deep representation of the Establishment and it’s not what the country needs today. We need values. We need principles. We need a solid core. Rubio chose to abandon all three traits to further his career.
You’ll see it through endorsements. You’ll hear it in his responses to questions. Despite having some social conservative values, his heart and his policies are now the property of the Establishment. To recover from Obama’s disastrous Presidency, we need an anti-establishment nominee like Ronald Reagan. We can’t afford a Rubio nomination.
Update: After all was said and done, I left to build a new party.