By Brad Davis /// Business Manager
As one of the few vocal conservatives on this campus, students constantly stop me in the Bon, Maggie’s, or Watzek to ask whom I’m supporting for president. To set the record straight, my vote is for Marco Rubio.
Throughout this election cycle, supporting the Republican party as a young, college-aged conservative has been difficult. While candidates were maintaining platforms, a feeling of tired and stubborn nostalgia lingered as the country rapidly marches forward. Unfortunately, the current state of the Republican primary leaves one wistful for these limited and ineffective policies. In its place, the party slowly implodes with the ascendency of Donald Trump and every other candidate’s half-hearted criticisms of the mogul. Yet, Senator Rubio still leaves a glimmer of hope.
While Rubio did not have a great showing for Super Tuesday, he polled well enough to gain the support of some delegates. The states that are still in play (e.g., California and Florida) could provide a strong base for his nomination. Any extra leverage he gains could be crucial in the event of a brokered convention, where he could try to persuade delegates pledged to Senator Cruz and Governor Kasich to back his campaign. Ted Cruz’s strongest states have largely been decided, and Governor Kasich’s odds at nomination are not too rosy. So, for anyone who desires a non-Trump Republican nominee, Rubio seems to be the only option.
Granted, this may not sound like the most ringing endorsement, but I have firmly supported Rubio for president from the earliest days of his campaign planning. Most importantly, he holds a strong, sensible stance on national security and foreign policy.
Rubio seeks to eliminate the sequester provisions that have strongly curtailed military readiness and wants to extend the authority of our intelligence services to continue their practices in perpetuity. Rather than providing Iran with more money to funnel into its aggressive campaign to dominate the Middle East and deny human rights, Rubio would seek greater threats for a violation of the nuclear agreement and to discourage their funding of Hezbollah and Hamas. These policies, combined with the development of a coalition force to liberate Iraq and Syria would be effective in bringing an end to the conflicts in Syria, Libya, and elsewhere.
When it comes to education reform, Rubio continues to stand strong. While most people agree that college needs to be made more affordable, the common policy proposals to cheapen it tend to make long-term tuition costs rise. (Read my column in the last issue of this paper for a discussion on these tuition increases.) Marco Rubio’s plan is unique, focusing on income-based repayment after college. This incentivizes schools to place their students in jobs and train them to receive higher salaries in order to increase school revenue. Additionally, this helps students pursue careers their more interested in, like artistic or non-profit work, that would ordinarily be barred due to loan repayments.
Marco Rubio also has effective, proactive plans to reform immigration, taxes, and health care that should lead to increased quality of life and lessened government expenditure than in the status quo. However, Rubio is not an ideal candidate in all forms. While he has campaigned as a moderate in the primary, this image has only been able to stick because of his competition. In fact, Rubio first gained national office during the Tea Party surge and continues to vote as a very conservative legislator. Particularly for students here, his stances on abortion, gay marriage, and other social issues will make him a non-starter.
If these issues are your highest concern in the election, you should not consider Marco Rubio for president. Nonetheless, Rubio is a distinguished and accomplished public servant with great policy proposals who may be the only Republican capable of beating Donald Trump. If you are in an open primary, registered Republican, or no party preference, then you should vote for Rubio.