Marco Rubio’s revised history
I am told that Marco Rubio has many strong attributes however it seems that a grasp of his own personal history is not one of them. Rubio’s full throated backing of the latest GOP fantasy that government policies had no role in the creation of America’s middle class is made exceptionally remarkable because of his American story.
As the son of Cuban refugees Rubio is the product of one of America’s only ethnic specific entitlement programs. In 1960 President Eisenhower, through an executive order, enacted an open border policy tailored for any Cuban national that would be simply headed to the United States. The executive action was so open ended and generous it can only be described as the DREAM Act on steroids. Financial assistance and services for Cuban refugees were strengthened by President Kennedy. The set aside for Cuban refugees became an entitlement as the executive order was codified in 1966 and added scholarships, business loans, and other forms of generous public assistance. Even though the cold war ended and there are many other nationalities on our planet that could claim economic oppression the Cuban immigration policy remains as the only US ethnic specific entitlement program for non American citizens in existence.
While we can agree that the measure of who we are should be based on what we make of the opportunities given us we must also acknowledge how those opportunities were created. Marco Rubio’s self serving amnesia fails on the second criteria.
In Rubio’s recollection his family only benefited from individualistic industriousness. Gone from his memory banks is the open border cash infused government program that nurtured their dreams.
If Rubio was just an ego driven business man deluded by afternoon martinis into saying that he owes nothing to his fellow countrymen and women his narrative would be harmless. However Rubio has been positioned as a Latino leader that can move Latino voters forward. Rubio’s failed self analysis prescribes a policy posture whose logical conclusion would deny families anything like the ladder his family so skillfully climbed and used to catapult him over America’s class wall and onto the national podium.
Rubio is not alone in his self delusion. The Senator has surrounded himself with other ungrateful conservatives that somehow only remember how exceptional they are but forget the government loans and contracts that funded their enterprises and forwarded their educations. In fact if amnesia were contagious we would be experiencing an epidemic and Tampa would be a hotspot.
When Rubio’s family needed assistance they arrived to a set aside open border entitlement program and realized that a ladder to success had been built for them. What they did on that ladder they should be proud of. However the fact that the ladder was waiting was no accident of nature: Americans- through their government- built it.