Why I’m Not Surprised About Rubio
Rebecca de Winter
During this campaign season of Twitter, I’ve noticed a lot of recurring themes, one of which was the worship of Rubio by a certain subset of the Twitter population. I finally had to mute many of these lovesick fans, whose admiration of him bordered on obsessive.
Still, I liked Rubio well enough, he was even my first choice for a brief moment. That moment didn’t last long, because I couldn’t get past the “Gang of Eight” debacle. Not for the reasons many others had, though. For me, it had far less to do with immigration than it did with his character.
Let the record show: I did get annoyed with the constant shrill cries of “But Gang of Eight! But Gang of Eight!” It grated on my nerves as well. I even joked about it.
However, behind the constant refrain was an undeniable truth.
“Past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior,” it is said, and throughout my life and relationships, this has proven to be true, with astonishing predictability.
No matter how you feel about the immigration issue, the cold hard fact is this: In Florida, Rubio ran on a promise, then turned around and betrayed the people he made that promise to. You cannot sugarcoat that fact. So during this presidential campaign, while people marveled at his sunny optimism, his ability to stir up positive emotions and hope for the future and our party, I couldn’t shake the feeling that it was all strangely familiar, and not in a good way.
Rubio had the best of intentions, I’m sure. I don’t think he was twirling an evil moustache and planning nefarious deeds. What I do think is that he used incredibly poor judgment, and went back on his word when it suited him to do so.
“Don’t listen to what people say, listen to what they DO,” is the refrain that kept running through my mind. That is a bit of wisdom I learned many years ago, and that - more than any other piece of advice I’ve gotten in my life - has been proven true many times over.
That is why I ultimately chose Cruz. No, he didn’t have the handsome face or the pretty words, but what he did have was far more valuable to me: his solid record of doing exactly what he promised he would do. Some sneeringly call that “grandstanding.” I call it character: making a promise to his voters and sticking to it, no matter how many people (and colleagues) mocked him or tried to shame him out of it.
I “forgave” Rubio for the Gang of Eight debacle, but I couldn’t ever quite forget it. It hung like a cloud over him. It demonstrated what I consider to be a character flaw that is all too common in D.C. - the weaselly instinct to go along to get along, to make decisions based upon opportunity and political winds rather than on your word.
So when the news hit that he would be “honored” to speak on Trump’s behalf at the convention, I didn’t feel even a moment of shock. Even though he was one of the most vocal “Never Trump” voices - I had put no stock into that. I knew, from his past behavior, that it could change on a dime.
And it did.
I still kind of like Rubio. He seems like a nice guy. He’s funny and engaging, and I don’t think he is a bad person. But as they say, “fool me once, shame on you - fool me twice, shame on me.” I won’t be fooled again.
11/17/2020 09:00:49 am
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