Archive for March 25th, 2016

Words vs. deeds: More thoughts on the end of Marco Rubio’s candidacy

March 25, 2016

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
March 25, 2016

Recently, I wrote about the valedictory that U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) delivered last week upon suspending his campaign for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination. I touched upon some themes — namely, Rubio’s hypocrisy, and his refusal to acknowledge the radicalism of the conservative branch of American politics — that others have remarked upon elsewhere.

But there was one aspect of Rubio’s speech that I don’t think caught the eye of any other commentator. It involved this part of Rubio’s farewell speech:

My parents struggled their first years here. They were discouraged. They even thought about going back to Cuba at one point, but they persevered. They never became rich. I didn’t inherit any money from my parents. They never became famous. You never would have heard about them if I had never run for office. And yet I consider my parents to be very successful people. Because in this country, working hard as a bartender and a maid, they owned a home and they retired with dignity. In this country, they lived to see all four of their children live better off than themselves. And in this country, on this day, my mother, who is now 85 years old, was able to cast a ballot for her son to be the president of the United States of America.

Something about this relatively simple statement of personal history reflects a fundamental part of the concept of the American dream. Because the United States is a land of opportunity, a land of plenty that welcomes newcomers, one implication of the American dream is that foreigners of humble means can come to this nation, work hard, and be successful enough to own their own homes, retire with dignity (to borrow Rubio’s words) and see their children thrive to an even greater extent than they themselves did.

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