For anyone wondering what the Republican Party is going to look like after the dust from the post-election infighting settles, take a long look at Marco Rubio’s rebuttal to the president’s State of the Union address.
Senator Rubio didn’t sugar coat the economic challenges that Americans will face in the years to come. He addressed the $100 trillion in unfunded entitlement liabilities, the 7.9% unemployment, the 7 million Americans projected to lose their preferred health care coverage as a result of ObamaCare, and the fact that the economy actually shrank in the final quarter of 2012.
Unlike President Obama, the senator presented Americans with a national vision that empowers and unites, rather than divides. He used his own life experiences to emphasize how economic freedom benefits individuals and families in all communities, not just the privileged few.
Rubio clarified that raising taxes does not create jobs, and that small business owners are succeeding in spite of the government, not because of it. Government creates complicated rules and regulations that small businesses can’t afford to follow, leaving them at a competitive disadvantage with the corporations who circumvent the red tape using the best accountants and lobbyists that money can buy.
Senator Rubio’s mere presence in front of the cameras Tuesday night is a testament to the growing and lasting influence of the decentralized, bottom-up grassroots freedom movement.
In the years since the historic 2010 mid-term elections, grassroots Americans who believe in individual liberty and limited-government have successfully repopulated the Republican Party with a diverse and principled generation of fiscal conservatives in the House and Senate. (Note to Karl Rove: they didn’t do it at the direction of Washington kingmakers behind closed doors.)
This new generation of idea-driven Republicans is committed to shrinking the size of government, and is sick of bailing out the budgetary indulgences of entrenched political elites. They believe it’s time to clean house and to replace failed political management with principled and innovative leaders, who have the audacity to come to Washington and do what they promised their constituents they would do.
Marco Rubio got it right Tuesday night. .
The senator, once a long-shot underdog primary challenger rejected by the Republican Party establishment, now represents the leadership and solutions so desperately needed in Washington.
Matt Kibbe is president and chief community organizer of Free the People. He is the author of the New York Times bestseller, "Don't Hurt People and Don't Take Their Stuff." Follow him on Twitter at @MKibbe.