By Jedediah Bila, Author and Political Commentator
So many frustrated conservatives have been awaiting the arrival of a Republican candidate who simply gets it. Someone who isn’t a fancy token of the establishment, but a regular guy or gal who is smart, authentic, and in touch with America’s founding principles. If you haven’t done so already, shift your focus over to Florida. Marco Rubio merits your immediate attention.
1. He strongly believes in American exceptionalism. He understands the gift of being born American. He has a profound love of country and isn’t afraid to show it. Some of my favorite lines from his speech include “I am privileged to be a citizen of the single greatest society in all of human history,” “ . . . this is the only place in the world where a company that started as an idea drawn out on the back of a cocktail napkin can one day be publicly traded on Wall Street,” and “ . . . when was the last time that you heard news accounts about a boatload of American refugees arriving on the shores of another country?” HE GETS IT.
2. He treasures our Constitution. He values the beauty of its message and comprehends that our exceptionalism stems from its tenets: “ . . . principles that recognize that our rights come from God, not from our government — principles that recognize that because all of us are equal in the eyes of our creator, all life is sacred at every stage of life.” He links conservative ideals to those of our founding documents. HE GETS IT.
3. He sees what they’re trying to do and isn’t going to have it: “ . . . they are using this downturn as cover not to fix America, but to try to change America to fundamentally redefine the role of government in our lives and the role of America in the world.” He’s not about to sugarcoat the Obama agenda, declaring that “They’re asking us to abandon the things that separate us from the rest of the world” and “2010 is a referendum on the very identity of our nation.” He understands the immediate need to turn things around and wants to help save America for future generations. HE GETS IT.
4. He is proud of who he is. That includes his mom’s years of hard work as a cashier, a stock clerk at K-Mart, and a maid. It includes his father’s sixteen-hour shifts as a bartender. It includes the stories his Cuban grandfather shared of the limitations he endured in Cuba—restrictions on his success and potential—that Marco would never have to face. Sometimes it takes someone who has seen the other side, who knows what things can turn into if we don’t protect what we have, to really grasp what’s at stake. And to be the most vigorous defender of our liberty. HE GETS IT.
5. He hears your frustration and doesn’t blame you one bit: “ . . . thing that people want are leaders that will come here to Washington, D.C. and stand up to this big government agenda, not be co-opted by it.” He echoes your sentiments that America “doesn’t need two Democrat parties” and “already has one Arlen Specter too many.” I know that it’s no small task to trust politicians these days. And I can’t look into a crystal ball and tell you what he’ll do if he wins. But I can tell you that I believe he is speaking from the heart. In this day and age, that’s a darn good start. HE GETS IT.
6. He is a true conservative. His vision embraces tax rate reductions for everyone, abolishing death and capital gains taxes, opposing cap-and-trade, and putting “ . . . the consumer in charge of health-care spending in America.” He is pro-Israel and very tough on Islamic terrorism. He supports military tribunals, not civilian courts, for those who seek to destroy us. HE GETS IT.
Rubio’s speech is hands down one of my favorites thus far this year. He was earnest, down-to-earth, and committed. At times, he was quite funny: “. . . that Marco cheer always worries me because I’m always afraid that someone is going to start screaming ‘polo,’ and it would ruin the speech.” Most importantly, he is the antithesis of the elitist discourse and crafty slogans Americans are ready to pack up and ship out.
Simply put, HE GETS IT.