Aqui esta el futuro

by Heather Robinson

Senator Rubio of Florida speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference at National Harbor, Marylan

A few thoughts following President Obama’s State of the Union speech this evening.

The President’s proposal to give away community college for free sounds appealing and like an easy way for him to be loved. But it won’t be smart policy. Generally speaking, people don’t value what they get for free or super easily, though they will surely take it (just ask the publishers of The Village Voice. Or people who are trying to meet their spouses on Tinder).

And make no mistake, it won’t be truly free, as the cost of educating people who in many cases would be better suited to learning trades than attending college will come from other Americans being taxed to the hilt.

But we shouldn’t be surprised, as President Obama has never budged from his hard left ideology to compromise in any meaningful way, though he had no compunction tonight about preaching unity and scolding legislators (the Republicans presumably) for not reaching across the aisle more.

He also offered: “No challenge poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change.” (Notice how terminology has switched from ‘global warming’ we heard about through the past two decades to ‘climate change.’ I guess it would be a bit too hard to frighten most Americans in the north who are hunkering down amid freezing – albeit normal – January weather this evening with the vision of deadly warming). At any rate, in a month where 13 Iraqi boys and more than a dozen others were massacred for watching a soccer game, drawing cartoons, and shopping, respectively, and the nation of Yemen is about to collapse to al Qaeda, it’s pretty hard to feel alarmed about the theoretical and utterly unquantifiable (yes, even to scientists) possibility that climate fluctuations (which have always existed) are not only caused by human activity but also are truly the most imminent threat to our safety.

(I like to remember that in the 1970’s Newsweek magazine’s cover was devoted to the doomsday news of an impending global ice age.)

That said, Obama’s Presidency has helped more Americans from a broad array of backgrounds, including those who have too often felt marginalized, feel they have a stake in our system. On Martin Luther King’s birthday week, I think that is something we can all feel pride in.

But we should remember that Martin Luther King’s legacy was not about venting anger in destructive ways or being given things for free. We need to get back to some solid values. It’s about hard work, day in and day out, to tackle problems we have the means to begin actually addressing, which includes living within our means as a nation, standing up to real injustice, and managing our affairs responsibly. I believe that is closer to what Martin Luther King—who was not just a dreamer, but also a doer, as a preacher, writer, and activist—stood for than spouting off about hope and raising people’s expectations while increasing entitlements and not preparing them for the hard work success requires and indulging in politically correct alarmism about a theoretical bogeyman (global warming) while falling down on taking concrete steps to defend human rights around the world.

I’m looking for real leadership in 2016. The Republicans will have to work hard to attract new voters, including minorities and immigrants. Does Romney have a shot? As a manager, which I believe we desperately need, no one is more qualified than he. But these days the electorate is shifting more Latin and, in part due to the current President’s policies, dramatically more immigrant.

Was speaking this eve to a brilliant analyst who has seen a dozen Presidents come and go and her prediction is: the Republican nominee will be Marco Rubio.

Aqui esta el futuro.

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