I just finished watching the debate and have come to a startling revelation: I realized that every time Marco Rubio turns a beautiful phrase… I hate him.
Rubio is known for being one of the most articulate presidential candidates—he has a way with words. He speaks wonderfully about principles I hold dear and says them in a way that makes me feel good in the positions I hold. Then why do his resonating words make me hate him?
Until a few months ago, I was indifferent between Cruz and Rubio. Perhaps that is because historically some would call a mild squish on illegal immigration. When Governor Perry argued it was wise for the state of Texas to educate illegal immigrants in their colleges, I agreed. I even respected Rubio’s answer in one of the early debates justifying his joining the gang of eight by basically saying he was so thankful to be part of the America dream and as the son of immigrants he appreciated that others wanted to share in this dream.
However, I finally decided I preferred Cruz’s policies and record of fighting for conservative ideals more than Rubio—but I still respected Rubio and would have been pleased if he won the nomination.
Last week that changed. Last week I started hating Marco Rubio. The more beautiful his words and the more I agreed with him, the more I hated him. What caused this radical change in my attitude toward Rubio?
Last week, I heard for the first time, Rubio’s October 24th, 2010 debate with Charlie Crist when Rubio was challenging him for the Republican nomination for the senate. At one point in the debate Rubio articulated his view on illegal immigration:
“First of all, earned path to citizenship is basically code for amnesty. It’s what they call it,” said Rubio. “And the reality of it is this: This has to do with the bottom line that America cannot be the only country in the world that does not enforce its immigration laws. It is unfair to the people that have legally entered this country to create an alternative pathway for individuals who entered illegally and knowingly did so.”
“If you do that, you will never have a legal immigration system that works,” said candidate Rubio. “No one is going to follow the law if there is an easier way to do it.” (emphasis mine)
He made this statement with conviction, passion and with the certainty of someone with a deeply held conviction. (see video clip) I found his logic unassailable: If we give people who come here illegally an alternative pathway for admission by breaking the law, then no one in the future will follow whatever laws we pass. Future people considering coming to the country illegally would then have every expectation that they could break our laws and at some point in the future be given amnesty. Rubio’s point was right on the mark. I recognized that if we ever wanted to enforce the border that we would have to enforce our existing laws first. Marco was right.
Rubio took office in January of 2011. By December of 2012, Marco Rubio joined the gang of eight that violated every principle he had so articulately enumerated when running for the senate.
His words to the voters were unmistakable: ‘Elect me. I share your deeply held convictions” Perhaps if his words were not strongly spoken and his position not so well thought out, I might believe that he simply had a change of heart.
But no. His words were spoken with the passion of a true believer.
If he really believed the words he uttered, he would not have been able to join the leaders of the amnesty bill. Therefore, his words were deceit. He either never really held those views or he only weakly held them while faking sincerity to the voters.
Either way, he violated our trust and cannot be trusted to do what he says.
And now every time he speaks and his symphonic melody of words flows from his lips, I remember that he deceived us before—and I hate him. I hate him because I feel that his words may just be trying to manipulate me and other voters again.