‘We know better’: Marco Rubio warns of internal Marxist threat, globalism in NatCon keynote
Image via AP.

“I’ve seen this movie before.’

As U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio sees it, the seeds of America’s present division were born at the end of the Cold War. The last great threat to global accord was extinguished, birthing a new era that many believed would unify cultures, people and nations.

Forget the preceding millennia. For those optimists, humans were on the precipice of a historic, leftward turn onto a path bright with possibilities and devoid of the obstacles born of human nature — selfishness, greed, cruelty, tribalism — that plagued all prior generations.

“It was a terrible mistake,” he said. Evidently, no one spoke of this new world order to China, “which took advantage of all its benefits … but none of its responsibilities.” Similarly, no one bothered to tell Vladimir Putin and the Russian Federation about these newfangled guidelines for international conduct in the ensuing years.

The United States got complacent, he said. It shipped manufacturing jobs overseas. As time passed, more and more previously domestic commodities and vocations were things of the past, leaving fewer options for more Americans.

Parallel to that, he said, was the devaluation of the model nuclear family. Rubio said that reality was a casualty of the erosion of common values, but it also came from a decline in “dignified jobs.” Without them, pride — personal and national — faltered, and corrosive, failed ideas like socialism and Marxism took root.

“It’s probably one of the fundamental differences between the socialists and leftists and those of us on the Right, and that is their belief that it doesn’t really matter where the money you have comes from, whether it’s a government stimulus check or government welfare program or a job. The important thing is you just got a hundred bucks,” he said.

“But we know better, because human history tells us that if that $100 is the product of your work, your labor or something you put into it, it means something to the person. It has an element of it that is the glue that holds communities together. It’s the kind of thing that makes it possible to start a family and be a part of a community.”

So began a 45-minute speech Florida’s senior U.S. Senator delivered Monday to a crowd of hundreds in the ballroom of the J.W. Marriott Miami Turnberry, the site of the National Conservative Conference. Shortened to “NatCon,” it’s a symposium of conservatives united under the concepts of national independence, free enterprise, a rejection of globalist policy and ideology, limited immigration and the belief that traditional, Christian family values should factor prominently in American society.

If you’re atheist, agnostic or of a different religious persuasion, if you’re a member of the LGBTQ community or you believe some existing aspects of American society describable as socialist — public libraries, schools, health care, police, fire rescue and infrastructure among them — you won’t be discriminated against under this creed, its proponents say. But don’t expect special treatment or unique protection. Equality doesn’t have carve-outs.

If National Conservatism sounds like an echo of what Donald Trump promotes in his perpetual “Make America Great Again” tour, itself a facsimile of prior conservative messaging, it’s because that’s essentially what it is. And to Rubio — who famously and publicly traded barbs with the former President before morphing into a stalwart defender through two impeachments and an ongoing FBI investigation — taking a National Conservative stance is to enlist oneself as a warrior for common sense battling an increasingly batty army of “laptop liberals and Marxist misfits,” whose disregard for traditional, capitalist, American values long ago verged into outright disdain.

“Now what you’re seeing is a divide play out, over and over again, not simply on economics. It is basically a call to a nation to reject not just our traditions and our values and the time-tested principles of 240 years of the most successful republic in human history, but to reject the lessons, the fundamental truths, of what works and what doesn’t,” he argued.

“It’s tempting for every generation to believe they have it figured out, that everyone before you was ridiculous, but you somehow after 35 or 40 years of life have discovered some hidden truths about humanity that everyone else for 5,500 years has not.”

The Democratic Party has all but caved to the far-left demands of Marxists swelling from within its ranks, who are distinguishable from their less threatening, but nonetheless errant, socialist cousins by their quest for power rather than economic equity, Rubio continued.

Power over what? According to Rubio, fellow U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, and nearly every speaker and panelist at the convention: anything and everything. And if the woke, Marxist, socialist Left gets its way, they warn, the U.S. is toast.

“American history, patriotism, border security, gender, traditional morality, capitalism, fiscal responsibility, opportunity, rugged individualism, Judeo-Christian values, free speech, law enforcement, religious liberty, parental involvement in schools and even private ownership of firearms — the woke Left wants all of that gone,” Scott told a crowd of hundreds Sunday night in what served, in part, as a warmup speech for a longer, more dynamic address by Gov. Ron DeSantis.

The “new socialist America” for which Democrats are pushing will be George Orwell’s “1984” made real, a living horror in which everyone must obey, lest they risk getting “canceled,” Scott said before referencing another dystopian novel that warned against the stifling of so-called dangerous ideas.

“The militant Left in America are the modern-day book burners,” he asserted, because “canceling, silencing and banning from the internet is book burning.” Opposing book bans is popular — 85% of Americans are against the practice, without exception — but it’s Scott’s own party in Florida and elsewhere that has recently led efforts to ban books in schools and impede lessons on gender identity, sexual preference and racism in classrooms and the workplace.

But that’s justified censorship, according to DeSantis, because it protects kids from indoctrination on everything from critical race theory to transgenderism.

“This is ideology run amok, (and) you’re seeing it across a variety of institutions,” he said.

The rise of destructive beliefs is nothing new. That’s why it’s so easy to spot for those with a sense of history, Rubio said: because socialism, communism and all their various offshoots are failed experiments that caused hundreds of millions to suffer.

“I’ve seen this movie before. It’s just like these horror movies, right? Like, you know, don’t go in that closet. No one survives opening the door to that closet.”

Jesse Scheckner

Jesse Scheckner has covered South Florida with a focus on Miami-Dade County since 2012. His work has been recognized by the Hearst Foundation, Society of Professional Journalists, Florida Society of News Editors, Florida MMA Awards and Miami New Times. Email him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @JesseScheckner.


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  • PeterH

    September 12, 2022 at 3:54 pm

    Excellent article Jesse Scheckner!

    I’m amazed at how many Republicans live in fear of the 5000 powerless and voiceless Communist who reside in the USA. Does anyone know who currently leads the American Communist Party? I don’t!

    Rubio portends a repeat of the magical thinking “domino theory” of the 1970’s……where America is the final standing domino ready to be pushed over by an imaginary communist hiding under a Republican bed.

    Additionally, the USA opening of China for economic capitalist business penetration occurred under the watch of Nixon Republicans. Capitalist will ALWAYS seek the least means of production to increase business profit. Markets are unregulated to benefit the capitalist.

    Someone needs to inform Marco Rubio, Rick Scott and Ron DeSantis that America’s “service industry” economy was implemented by world leaders at the World Bank and International Monetary Fund 50 years ago. …..We’re now in the 21st Century economy _____and we are never turning the clocks back to an imaginary 1940’s America. Good grief! This is not an assembly of conservatives!

    • Joe Corsin

      September 12, 2022 at 10:03 pm

      If the tax rates were 90%+ for top earners like they were in the 1950’s then they could turn back the clock. Would be a great way to do it…

  • Tom

    September 12, 2022 at 4:05 pm

    Yea, correct Marco.
    Do not hold back.
    Truth to powers!

    It’s a Stalinist state that these subversives are attempting to muzzle non stalinists.

    Marco has done more for average Floridian.
    He is the best “legislator” in Congress!

    Call them out Marco!
    Let it rip.

    • Charlie Crist

      September 12, 2022 at 10:04 pm

      👆Neo nazi maniac…

  • tom palmer

    September 12, 2022 at 4:07 pm

    Rant rave, rant rave. The boy is desparate;

  • tom palmer

    September 12, 2022 at 4:12 pm

    Actually. GOP-backed agencies like TSA resemble Orwell or the Third Reich May ve see your papers, please, before we allow you vote or go on vacation

    • Tjb

      September 12, 2022 at 4:35 pm

      Also, should Marco Rubio be addressing the White Supremacist Terrorist groups and the folks who attacked the Capitol on Jan 6? Is he afraid he may lose votes if he speaks ill of these terrorists.,
      It’s ironic how our two Senators can complain how Biden’s recent speech divides Americans, but it is ok for them to create a wider culture divide with their rhetoric.

    • Tom

      September 12, 2022 at 4:44 pm

      You are deranged Palmer.
      Rubio is way in lead!
      To suggest he’s losing Hispanics to Dumings is ridiculous.
      Rubio wins easily.

      • Charlie Crist

        September 12, 2022 at 10:05 pm

        👆Vote for me. I’ll suplex body slam this azzhole off a roof.

      • AggieTate

        September 13, 2022 at 12:04 am

        Do they actually believe what they spew to their base? Do they understand what Marxism and/or socialism and that those terms along with woke are not all interchangable? I find it laughable that Rubio claims it’s “leftists” who are unable to ses what works and what doesn’t, that somehow conservatives have studied the past and learned from jt. If that were so they wouldn’t be laser-focused on reversing the last 100 years of civil rights advances, looking to render minorities and women second class citizens again, bringing back the robber baron days. Thanks to 50 years of predominantly “conservative” policies being enacted the US is no longer #1 in healthcare outcomes, quality of life, education, production or innovation. They’ve sold our country and its people out to multinational corporations, the military industrial complex, oil companies and billionaires that back candidates with $1m contributions and don’t even pretend to care what the people think anymore. They love to pose as strongmen, glory in bullying, threatening, and retaliating against people who don’t but their BS, but grovel and crawl in front of anyone they perceive as more powerful. Rubio, Scott and DeSantis want authoritarianism. They hate and fear the people and only want power ir at least hold on to the illusion that they’re members of the ruling class and can force others to their will. They spew complete BS to divide and conquer the US and couldn’t care less about who they hurt or what they destroy. They believe the ends justify the means and their ends are only money & power.

  • Charlotte Greenbarg

    September 13, 2022 at 8:13 am

    There are no lines between reporting and editorializing in this hit piece

  • Andrew T. Linko

    September 13, 2022 at 12:36 pm

    As forever President George Bush warned us after 91, the biggest threat to democracy was a terror threat within. Senator Rubio, it happened, JANUARY 6th was a fascist led terror attack on our Nation’s Capitol, terror groups ‘Proud Boys’ and ‘Oath Keepers’ both right wing terror groups plotted to overthrow our Democracy, kill the VP, kill Capitol Police, and you turn your back on these facts as it is now your party’s voting base! Shame on u Rubio, your no different than CASTRO, and 45 is no different!

Comments are closed.


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