Tuesday, February 16, 2016

That Rubio Video

A few points on the Marco Rubio video going around, in which Senator Rubio declares that "we are all truly in this together":

Rubio's remarks show how it's possible to stress ideals of civil togetherness while also noting some of the challenges faced by various Americans and addressing the real threat of alienation.  If radical identity politics undermines the foundations of a civic republic, it's important for national leaders to offer a rhetorical and theoretical alternative to the politics of tribalism.

Many transnationalists often exacerbate identity politics, but a sober-minded republicanism can instead appeal to broader notions of civil engagement and rational discussion.  Some of the current populist insurgency has been driven by a hostility to left-wing identity politics, and a generous, balanced approach can both speak to those populist concerns and remain true to the principles of ordered liberty.

However, it's also worth noting that rhetoric isn't everything.  Republican candidates who hope to tackle the problem of civil alienation will need to offer a forthright rhetorical case against identity politics and support policies that strengthen our local civic architectures.

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