When Anthony Kiedis sang “Pay your surgeon very well/To break the spell of aging” in Californication, he could just as well have been describing the Republican Party’s PR tactics as lamenting the slow global spread of western pop culture and sexually driven consumerism. Posing as the antidote to the dinosauric upper echelons of the GOP with reputations tarnished by foreign wars, deficit spending and love for big business over the small man, Senator Marco Rubio is being marketed as a young and dynamic individual whose special qualities will help usher in a ‘New American Century‘.
Having just announced his candidacy for president in 2016 as “a generational choice about what kind of country we will be“, this brilliant and relatively young senator (43) certainly has the brains and charm to give Jeb Bush and Mrs. Clinton a run for their money, if quality was what actually counted in American politics. I began this article with the impression that Senator Rubio was just another self-serving political scumbag out to con people out of good votes, and I still believe he is – “Marco Rubio’s going to do whatever’s good for Marco Rubio,” says former Hialeah mayor Raul Martinez, but after watching him handle the notorious Stephen Sackur with only a few minor flinches, I’m convinced he might be both the ‘Republican’s Obama’ and a Latino Rick Santorum, and more. Whether or not he can make a break with the corporate-state and imprint a positive mark on the American system remains to be seen.
At one level, a president Rubio can be seen as a crude Hegelian synthesis between Obama and the pre-Obama executive in which a black face broke with two centuries of Anglo-Saxon political hegemony in the highest levels of office. Rubio represents the perfect compromise between cultures and perhaps the GOP’s best chance at building fresh connections with a massive supply of potential and new voters whose ancestors lie in the deep deep south of the Rio Grande. His Cuban-American identity sets him apart from the majority of the 25 million or so eligible Hispanic voters, many of whom resent the “wet-foot-dry-foot” status of Cuban immigrants, but this is slowly being turned into an advantage as he pushes for reforms of the complicated immigration bill and his efforts on emphasizing concern for the man on the street.
In an America which is still reeling from the Financial Crisis, a Hispanic Republican championing issues like tax reform, reducing the national debt and economic solutions might well capture the hearts of those who feel the GOP’s love for Big Business takes precedence over all else- a problem compounded by the parties vehement opposition to Obamacare, a victory for the Democrats which may well guarantee a third victory in 2016. I doubt he can win in 2016 though, America it seems will revert back to the pale face of familiarity in 2016 before allowing the synthesis to reveal itself. 2020 seems a logical victory date for Rubio, whose boyish looks and energy seem out of place on the throne of POTUS at the moment. America’s finest news source, the Onion, has it that Rubio’s Campaign Strategy hinges on leveraging the “Latino voter base, large-scale grassroots movement, death of Jeb Bush(!)”.
We wish him well, because Hillary is definitely an annoying blast from the past.
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