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Marco Rubio’s amazing maiden speech in the US Senate

Florida Senator Marco Rubio
Florida Senator Marco Rubio

Human events reported on Florida Senator Marco Rubio’s first speech on the floor of the US Senate today, and it was AWESOME. (H/T Kathleen McKinley)

Full story:

Freshman Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio delivered his maiden speech on the floor of the Senate yesterday and it was a speech all GOP presidential contenders should watch.

It was the best speech of the 2012 presidential cycle, except the person who delivered it has all but ruled himself off of the 2012 ticket on numerous occasions.

The GOP presidential field has been criticized for not having passion or conviction, and Rubio’s speech lit up the normally staid Senate chamber to the extent that this is possible. It had a clear argument, an emotional arc, personal tie-ins, and was delivered with conviction. Too often, even in the GOP, politicians talk about American exceptionalism as if it is an academic exercise.

Not Rubio.

Rubio owned it, his words personified it, and his speech was delivered in a way that led one who was watching to to think Rubio was humbled and still awed at America’s exceptional past and promise.

As Republicans learned in 2008, words and stories matter. It draws a public who does not get caught up in the drudgery of modern American politics in to care about the democratic process.
Add in the fact that Rubio is young and a minority, which are the two groups Republicans do most poorly with, and the speech and the messenger become even more dynamic, compelling, symbolic and important.

Rubio said he came “from a hard working and humble family” that “was neither wealthy nor connected,” but that he “grew up blessed in two important ways:” He had a strong and stable family and was born in America.

He realized that “America is not perfect” and “ti took a bloody civil war to free over 4 million African Americans who lived enslaved … and it would take another hundred years after that before they found true equality under the law.”

Rubio then movingly talked about how people who came to give their children a better life contributed to an “American miracle.”

He spoke of how a “16-year-old boy from Sweden, who spoke no English and had only five dollars in his pocket, was able to save and open a shoe store,” and “today, that store, Nordstrom is a multi-billion dollar global retail giant.”

He spoke of a “a young couple with no money and no business experience decided to start a toy business out of the garage of their home, and, “today, that company, Mattel, is one of the world’s largest toy manufacturers”

He spoke of the “French-born son of Iranian parents created a website called AuctionWeb in the living room of his home,” and, “today, that website now called eBay stands as a testament to the familiar phrase, ‘Only in America.'”

Rubio then talked movingly of the American dream and personified it by putting faces on the dream.

He said it was “story of the people who cleaned our office last night” who work hard so they can send their kids to college.”

He said it was “the story of the people who served your lunch today” who “work hard so that one day their children will have the chance to own a business.”

He said, in a reference to his father, the American Dream was also the “story of a bartender and a maid in Florida, whose son now serves here in this Senate, and who proudly gives his testimony as a firsthand witness of the greatness of this land.”

He then pivoted and said while “most great powers have used their strength to conquer other nations” America “is different” for America, “power also came with a sense that to those that much is given, much is expected.”

Rubio said that America’s greatness can be found anywhere in the world, “when someone uses a mobile phone, email, the Internet, or GPS” or “when a bone marrow, lung or heart transplant saves a life.”

Rubio then talked about how he “grew up in the 1980s, a time when it was morning in America” and that the 1980s, like the American century, faced challenges and triumphs but it was a “century where American political, economic and cultural exceptionalism made the world a more prosperous and peaceful place.”

He spoke of how the country is headed toward the wrong direct and that “we do stand now at a turning point in our history, one where there are only two ways forward for us. We will either bring on another American century, or we are doomed to witness America’s decline.”

Rubio said that since “every single one of us is the descendant of a go-getter,” “of dreamers and believers,” and “of men and women who took risk and made sacrifices because they wanted to leave their children better off than themselves” that “we are all the descendants of the men and women who built the nation that changed the world” whether “hey came here on the Mayflower, a slave ship, or on an airplane from Havana.”

Rubio then quoted John F. Kennedy about how America is the “watchmen on the walls of world freedom” and asked if America declined, “who will serve as living proof that liberty, security, and prosperity are all possible together,” or “lead the fight to confront and defeat radical Islam that “abuses and oppresses women, has no tolerance for other faiths and seeks to impose its views on the whole world,” or stand up for children who “are used as soldiers and trafficked as slaves?”

Rubio asked, if America declines, “who will create the innovations of the 21st century?”

He answered that nobody will because “there is still no nation or institution in the world willing or able to do what we have done.”

“Now, some say that we can no longer afford the price we must pay to keep America’s light shining,” Rubio said. “Others say that there are new shining cities that will soon replace us.”

“I say they are both wrong,” Rubio emphatically said because the world “still needs America,” “still needs our light,” and “still needs another American century” and “with God’s help, that will be our legacy to our children and to the world.”

You can watch the video here. The full transcript is here. READ THE WHOLE THING if you can’t watch the video.

You’ll recall that this blog has been a strong supporter of Marco Rubio since the day he announced his candidacy. He, along with Michele Bachmann, Paul Ryan, Allen West and Jim Demint, are my favorite Republicans. I’m probably forgetting some, but those are the ones that come to mind. I think if I had to choose someone who best matched my views across the board, that would be Michele Bachmann. But Marco Rubio best matches my personal story, and my opinion of the United States of America.

Here’s my post on the day he won the seat: Marco Rubio wins Florida Senate race – first tea party senator!

And here’s my post on the day he announced he was running: Conservative Marco Rubio announces for Florida Senate seat.

He will be a great Senator. And some day, maybe he’ll be even more. IFYKWIMAITYD.


MUST-SEE: Jack Cafferty rants against Democrats for secretive negotiations

Look at this radical left-wing extremist going non-linear against the Democrats!

(H/T Gateway Pundit)

Republican amendments being removed?

Congressman Greg Walden says that his amendments are being stripped from the health care bill after they were approved in committee.

(H/T Gateway Pundit)

Marsha Blackburn on the secret negotiations

Here’s a video of my other favorite Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn talking about the health care bill.

She did a great job debating this issue.

Does the academic left use rational arguments or intimidation in debates?

Muddling Towards Maturity has found yet another interesting post for us. This post is by David French, who writes at the National Review.

The full post:

Late yesterday afternoon, I happened to catch a short-but-insightful lecture by one of my favorite Christian apologists, Ravi Zacharias. In the midst of an interesting discussion about the allure of Eastern mysticism in Western culture, he made a fascinating statement (I’m paraphrasing): In the battle of ideas, stigma always beats dogma. In other words, through stigmatization, one can defeat a set of ideas or principles without ever “winning” an argument on the merits.

I was instantly reminded of not just my own experiences in secular higher education, but also the experiences I see and hear every day while defending the rights of students and professors. Why convince when you can browbeat? Why dialogue when you can read entire philosophies out of polite society? That’s not to say there aren’t intense debates on matters of public policy, but all too often we see social conservatism not so much engaged as assaulted.

I fear that we like to comfort ourselves by saying something like, “kids see through this heavy-handed nonsense.” This is simply wishful thinking. Most people don’t like to be labeled as “bigots,” and they often assume that such overwhelming ideological consensus is the product of considered thought. If “everyone” seems to believe something (especially when “everyone” includes all of your professors and other academic authorities), then mustn’t it be true?

Here’s a question for conservative parents and teachers: Are we really equipping young people to face the challenges of college if we teach them arguments? Or should we instead be primarily preparing them to face scorn and hate with inner toughness and good cheer? After all, when a professor calls you a “fascist bastard” for defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman, what is he doing if not trying to defeat dogma with stigma?

Below, I’ll give my thoughts on this.

My thoughts on the academic left

First of all, from a practical point of view, never take anything except math, engineering or computer science at the university, unless you are really passionate about some other field. Everything else is so politicized that you may be forced to assent to things you do not believe in order to pass. There is not a shred of open-mindedness or tolerance for other viewpoints in today’s leftist campuses. It’s just fascism all the way.

Secondly, young conservatives and Christians need to get used to staying calm while ideas that they don’t agree with are shouted in their faced in the typical vulgar, abusive manner that secular leftists seem to find so fetching these days. The best way to do that is to watch as many debates as possible in advance and get used to sitting still and disagreeing while someone else explains their point of view.

Thirdly, other points of view are only annoying if you have lousy reasons for your own point of view. If you put the time in learning your arguments and evidence, and the best that could be argued against you from the other side, then there should be no problem. Just repeat what Jay Richards said after his debate with atheistic journalist Christopher Hitchens: “a sneer is not an argument, an insult is not evidence”. Richards has a Ph.D from Princeton University… Hitchens does not.

Fourthly, we need to start making it common knowledge that atheism does not ground morality and that is a worldview that is responsible for at least a hundred million deaths in the last 100 years alone. That point must be made over and over – when someone claims to be an atheist it should be immediately put to them that meaningful morality is not rationally grounded by their worldview. Don’t let them make any moral judgments without challenging them on the foundations of morality.

Example of what students can expect from left-wing fascists on campus

Don Feder has a list of campus violence incidents against conservative speakers in a OneNewsNow article.

Here are a couple of the incidents in his list:

When she attempted to speak at Penn State in 1999, black conservative Star Parker was forced from the stage. Parker described the experience as “very frightening” and said she “feared for my life.” Parker’s hatefulness was her contention that single mothers are better off with jobs than on welfare, based on her own experience.

At Emory University in 2006, David Horowitz gave a lecture as part of Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week. To show their outrage at the comparison of radical Islam to fascism, protestors behaved like fascists. A mob of over 300, from groups like Amnesty International, Veterans for Peace, and Students for Justice in Palestine, waved signs and shouted, “Does George Bush respect anybody’s rights?” and “Why don’t you talk about fascism in America?” mixed with chants of “Racist, sexist, anti-gay, David Horowitz go away!” (They can’t reason. But they sure can rhyme.) “Are we going to talk about who killed JFK?” one protestor demanded. (The Zionist-CIA-Karl Rove-AIG Executives cabal?). Horowitz (who had to be escorted off stage) observed, “This is exactly what the fascists did in Germany in the 1930s.” True, but at least they weren’t hypocrites claiming they were motivated by concern for minority rights.

This is the tolerant, open-minded left. The same tolerant left that brought secular-socialist mass-murdering regimes into power in Russia, Italy and Germany. And they kill millions in many ways. You will never find right-wing advocates of free market capitalism and human rights treating their opponents like this. We don’t take positions based solely on emotions, so there is no need for us to use violence to win an argument.