Marco Rubio: There are no flags he will not stand in front of in his quest to be President!
“The single greatest contributor to economic and educational underperformance in America today is the breakdown of families,” Sen. Marco Rubio said recently as the Florida Republican appeared as one of five key speakers at the Faith and Freedom Coalition’s Road to Majority Conference. Of course, this perspective by Rubio – who apparently has confused his main job function of serving his constituents of the great of Florida with being engaged in a never – ending campaign for the presidency of the United States – deserves to be questioned, analyzed and deconstructed simply because such comments are coded to elicit and trigger specific emotional responses from the crowds who turn up to hear him speak. And this opening statement that I want to focus on is instructive in how words can be strung together in a way that reinforces the audience’s preprogrammed shared beliefs and assumptions… without contianing an iota of meaning, let alone truth.
According to Rubio, income and educational inequality in America is the primary result of the “breakdown of families.” I suppose Rubio is claiming that the nuclear family, which by the way, has no traditional or historical background that should be regarded or imbued with a metaphysical glow – is only a recent social development that emerged post – World War 2. This “tradition” can be readily seen in the era of family television shows of that post World War 2 ers: Leave it to Beaver, The Donna Reed Show, Father Knows Best and many others. That’s the source of the myth of the nuclear family tradition: a media presentation that indoctrinated and programmed the Baby Boomers and helped pave the way for the advent of the consumer culture that has since become the most telling attribute of American society.
Look at what Rubio is doing here with his words: he is linking a problem (economic and educational inequality) with the causal agent (breakdown of family “values”). His audience is already presupposed in sharing this view, and most likely will be ready to accept it as gospel. But is this a true statement that is aligned with the reality we all find ourselves in?
The answer is no. To link educational and economic inequality together is proper. To say these twin problems exist because mommy and daddy don’t live together anymore is specious, suspicious and in the end, completely wrong. Do we have income inequality? Yes. Do we have economic inequality? Of course. But is the breakdown of the family the consequence or cause of these twin problems? Obviously, Rubio believes the breakdown of the family is the cause of inequality. I would admit, a broken family certainly is a deep hurdle to jump over. Impoverished families out of the gate are at a permanent disadvantage in educational and economic terms. And when the most obvious tradition in American society is that of Survival of the fittest, children consigned to lives in poverty will almost never escape the negativity and constrictive forces exerted against them. This is reflected in a number of studies that show social mobility is more than ever an impossible dream. Those born in poverty today are now more likely than ever to stay in poverty their entire lives. Their education and vocabulary will be inferior and their reasoning, life skill abilities and most important, their range of choices and opportunities will forever be compromised. This segment of the population will forever be disenfranchised, disregarded and disposable.
Rubio could have stated the problem in a more relevant and truthful way, but considering his audience, it isn’t surprising he didn’t. To do otherwise would be political suicide. It would have been impossible to assert that capitalism is the cause for the breakdown of the family. The vague term of art, “family values,” like “hope” and “change” and “liberty” and “freedom” when employed by the clergy or politicians – BEWARE… these are buzzwords of deception. They are employed simply they have been known to work in diverting attention from reality by opening up and sparking illusory regions within one’s mind that shuts down questioning, resists any interest in moving beyond one’s programming and reinforces shared beliefs. People are therefore easier to be controlled when they don’t question basic assumptions or anything that sounds dubious.
It is my perspective that the “single greatest contributor to economic and educational underperformance” is the system of capitalism, full stop. It is the current neoliberal economic program that is busily dismantling social safeguards, it is the current economic system that has been a disaster for families and even more so for those who are forced to endure their lives spent in poverty. What to stabilize society? Stabilize the access to money for everyone, since it is the access to money that is the crucible for survival on Earth.
Such a solution offers a clear, concise formula for action. It must however, overcome sizeless mountains of resistance, mental preprogramming and powerful vested interests that will do everything to maintain their control and position. I believe, given the growing diminishing of influence wielded by religious pressure groups like the Faith and Freedom coalition, that people are slowly seeing the shadows on the wall for what they are. I am hopeful (against all common sense) that more and more people will be waking up to face the word – weaseling gamesmanship employed by these agents of neoliberalism who can only be viewed as mouthpieces for the current system. They aren’t to be trusted.