There was a time not too long ago when Marco Rubio would be drawing comparisons to past successful Presidential nominees. He’s pulling pages from playbooks that helped Democrats like Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama go from obscurity to the national stage and he’s using talking points that would impress Ronald Reagan supporters from days past and present.
Unfortunately for Rubio, his actions have him in the crowded middle of a crowded pack, which means that he’d be considered at the bottom if this were a normal election. It’s not a normal election year. It’s one that has a ton of candidates which would normally be fine for a man like Rubio. The other thing that makes it unique, however, is the one thing his campaign can’t seem to get over: Donald Trump.
While Rubio discusses issues with hundreds of students, Trump is talking to thousands of fans. While Rubio is offering a detailed picture of what he would change as President, Trump is talking in generalities that often contradict his past perspectives. While Rubio discusses his working his way up from humble beginnings in a family that lived paycheck to paycheck, Trump talks boastfully about his conquests and victories, pointing towards a glorious history that he’s built for himself.
One serious candidate, one very unserious candidate. One with plans & solutions, one with platitudes & rhetoric. http://t.co/0OgDS0OyeY
— Kay Shan (@KHShan) August 30, 2015
In any other election cycle, Marco Rubio would be the rising star with a chance at the top. Instead, he and all of the other candidates are being overshadowed. While some of them will be able to make it through the next few months maintaining enough relevance to be considered the alternative to Trump, Rubio is quickly fading into the middle of the pack that is, sadly, leaning too close to the bottom. The top three of four candidates will be able to make it further than New Hampshire while the rest will be begged to leave in order to stop Trump and consolidate around a real candidate. If things don’t change before Iowa, Rubio will be one of those asked to put his dreams for America on hold at least another four years.
This isn’t Rubio’s fault. In fact, it’s really not Donald Trump’s fault. Since 2012, the Republican party has demonstrated an inability to act on our behalf. This stems mostly from Congress, but it’s more than that. They weren’t able to take a weakened President Obama to task for his first term failures, rewarding him instead with a milquetoast candidate in Mitt Romney. They demonstrated some ferocity in winning the majorities in Congress, but that was as much based upon Democratic failures as Republican qualities. Once we had the majorities, we haven’t done a thing with them.
Rubio’s ineffectiveness and Trump’s effectiveness in the polls is not about them. It’s about the voters needing something that at least gives off the perception of action and right now that’s Donald Trump.
It’s still very early. Anything can happen. Still, the fiery voice of a younger Republican Party is being drowned out in the cacophony of Trump’s campaign and media following. Humility is a virtue that does not seem to have a place in politics anymore.