Ten Reasons to Vote for Rubio
It's about time to vote. It's now time to get serious about who can win in the general.
It is true that we have a slate of better than average candidates, but Rubio comes across as better than the others for ten reasons.
Since this is turning into a three-way race, I have to contrast Rubio mainly with Cruz and Trump (but some others, too). Here's why you should vote for Sen. Marco Rubio and not throw away your vote on the other candidates.
1. Rubio has the best chance to deliver Florida.
This reason comes first because we need that state to win electorally. In 2010, he won 48.49% in a three-way race; former Republican turned independent Crist got 29.71, and Democrat Meeks got 20.20%. We already have states like Texas, so we don't need Cruz. We need Ohio, but I doubt Kasich would run as the V.P. Maybe he would campaign for Rubio. If Rubio's opponents claim he can't deliver Florida, then how could Cruz (see the other points below)? And certainly Trump can't. It's doubtful he could get even 30% of the N.Y. voters.
2. He speaks Spanish fluently.
At my large, mostly white church in the greater L.A. area, we sometimes sing in Spanish. The lyrics are put up on the screen. This is happening in historically white churches across the Southwest. We like Hispanics in our congregations.
"True" conservatives have a knack for misreading their own country. Will they get caught flat-footed by this inexorable trend line and continue to be shrill and hysterical about Hispanics and their immigrant relatives?
Like it or not, we need someone at this time in our nation's history to persuade them in Spanish to come over to our side. We don't need one hundred percent of them – just enough to tip the scales our way.
Rubio can go into the Southwest and Colorado and other markets and give speeches and TV interviews in Spanish, explaining why conservative politics is what the nation needs now. He won't scare them off.
From my own experience, I know they are persuadable.
In contrast, Cruz barely speaks "Spanglish" and can't debate or interview on Spanish TV.
Rubio can reassure concerned Hispanic voters in Spanish that Trump's harsh rhetoric and Cruz's politically convenient "never" even to legalization don't represent the best kind of conservatism.
3. His faith seems genuine.
Whichever church he has eventually chosen, his journey seems sincere. He gave a talk before a conference of Iowa ministers, and he spoke as an insider, not an outsider whose religion is politically motivated and convenient (Trump).
Also, he doesn't get into needless controversies, like tracing the current Middle East conflict all the way back to Jacob and Esau in Genesis (Carson). Surely there are more proximate causes than that. But even if, hypothetically, those two characters were the main cause, this knowledge about them doesn't lead to solutions today.
4. He outpolls Hillary in a head-to-head matchup.
I don't trust campaign polls nowadays because the news media gleefully obsesses over Trump, so he gets the most attention, but that linked one at least offers a little perspective.
5. He comes across as youthful, friendly, positive, and winsome.
I heard that 400 million images are uploaded each day on social media – mostly from the millenials. Wow. Image matters.
He has a nice smile. He appears young – for the new generation. He speaks clearly without a high-pitched, nasal, tinny, irritating voice (cf. Cruz and Hillary). He doesn't smirk and make faces (cf. Trump) or have tilted up eyebrows as if he's better than everyone else – much as Cruz and Obama do. His GOP competitors don't project the same positive image as Rubio does.
It could be alleged that he talks too fast or appears sweaty or nervous, but let's just say his defects are minor compared to his competitors. As shallow as this seems to us, smiles are better than frowns and the arrogant messianic vibe in the Age of Image.
It may be alleged that his youthfulness works against him – too inexperienced (as if Cruz's or Trump's political experience is deep and vast). But Obama was inexperienced, yet he knew what he stood for. In a corollary opposite way, Rubio knows what he stands for from a conservative perspective.
Not caring all that much about policy details, millions of selfie-voters need to "fall in love" with their future president. Rubio has no distracting features in his image – it's all attractive.
6. He has a quick, smart mind.
I heard him on the Charlie Rose show talking about foreign policy, and he was jaw-droppingly good. Mr. Liberal Rose really didn't know what to do with him.
Further, he has not launched angry insults as Trump has, nor has he made unforced errors as Dr. Carson has, in the latter's belief, for example, that the pyramids were used to store grain.
A nominee who is quick on his or her "gaffe-free" feet is what we conservatives have been looking for.
7. His Senate colleagues like him.
This counts for a lot. When senators heard that Ted Cruz was inching up in the polls, they didn't rally around Cruz. They rallied around Rubio.
8. He is a conservative in an unscary way.
9. He's not a government shutdown artist in his own Gang of One.
Cruz and Paul have shut it down, to no political benefit except to draw attention to themselves and help their presidential run among frustrated conservatives. Shutting down the government is a loser politically. A lopsided seventy-two or eighty percent in non-campaign polls of the public don't like it and blame the GOP as a party, even though only two men did it.
It's a typical conservative misread of their own country. It's not a "Washington problem" or the "Big Bad Establishment." It's one man in Washington who's the problem: Obama. If Romney had won, the "Washington problem" would have vanished the next day.
Worse, Cruz or Paul may have read America accurately, but cynically used conservative frustration to his own political advantage in the shutdown.
10. He does not have a temperament problem.
As noted, he comes across as friendly and winsome and positive. Americans like that.
Trump, in contrast, has a temperament problem. I hope his devoted followers can reach the conclusion that the much bigger voting public outside the "strong" conservative base don't vote for such nominees.
No, Cruz does not come across in the same outlandish way that Trump does. Not even close. But his overly serious voice and tilted up eyebrows make him seem like he's a messianic figure who works alone in his Mission from God – very pious in the wrong way. Unlikeable for millions of selfie voters and centrists, compared to Rubio, I believe.
Let's wrap this up.
It's time for big decisions at the voting booths or caucuses.
It's time to defeat the news media that have been hyping Trump because they know he can't win in the general.
It's time to vote for a candidate with whom the huge voting public – bigger than the conservative base – can feel comfortable and would not fear, someone who appears to belong in the White House.
Sen. Marco Rubio is the candidate for the new generation whose positive conservatism does not scare people away, but can attract them.
It's time to vote for him in the primaries, so he can win in November.