Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There is Lewis Carroll's sequel to Alice in Wonderland. In the past people commonly referred to a mirror as a looking glass. Carroll used several methods to make the sequel to the classic a mirror image of Wonderland.
Today when we use the phrase "through the looking glass" it is often to describe a time when our individual worlds are turned upside down and things do not seem as they should.
In a world in which a majority of senior citizens vote for politicians whose platform is to end Social Security and Medicare, things seem a little odd. In a world where many Republican politicians feel that minimum wage is just too darn much to ask corporations to pay their employees, something seems a bit funny. In a world when our teachers are frequently maligned even though they hold our future as a nation in their hands there is evidently something terribly wrong. Let's face it, something just seems a wee bit out of whack with today's world.
We often look to our politicians in the oft dashed hope that they can make things right and return Earth to its proper rotation.
To that end, many people have come to the conclusion that Marco Rubio is the inevitable Republican Vice-Presidential candidate.
Bill Schneider in his article on Huffington Post, Psssst... Marco Rubio Will Be on the Ticket makes that very claim.
I agree with Mr. Schneider's analysis. The fact that Mr. Rubio has Tea Party credentials, is Latino, and hails from Florida are three things that make him almost irresistible as a Vice-Presidential candidate.
He has demonstrated a high level of political acumen in his short time in the Senate. He has consistently stayed away from controversial statements and resisted the urge to pander to the base. He has behaved not as a U.S. Senator, but rather a future presidential candidate.
Winning Florida is almost essential for the eventual victor in the Presidential election in 2012. Marco Rubio can do a great deal to hand Florida to the Republicans.
I do believe Rubio is shooting for the ultimate prize in 2016 and the name recognition afforded him by being named the 2012 Vice-Presidential candidate will be hard to pass up.
Put a question mark next to Republican presidential nominee for 2012, but write Marco Rubio in ink beside Vice-Presidential nominee. Rubio will be number one on everyone's list and he will be the most important Republican in 2012.
Because I do respect the political acumen of Marco Rubio I was a little shocked when he made the following statement during his speech at the Reagan library concerning Social Security and Medicare, "These programs actually weakened us as a people. You see, almost forever, it was institutions in society that assumed the role of taking care of one another."
What was he thinking? Does he not remember the Paul Ryan Medicare voucher fiasco?
The first thing I thought when I heard this is that Rubio will have to backtrack on these statements in the future. The next thought that came to mind was that another potential Republican moderate had just crossed the line and entered the land of Revolutionary War costumes and misspelled protest signs.
That was why when Bill Schneider made the following statement in his article I hesitated, "Rubio delivered a mainstream conservative speech that appealed to moderate voters."
Only after giving this statement much consideration and recognizing the validity of the statement and the source, did I feel that I had passed through the looking glass.
Marco Rubio does not make mistakes. While in the past suggesting the end of Social Security and Medicare has not been seen as a good policy position on election day, today things have changed dramatically. For further evidence of this change we have the leading Republican contender for their presidential nomination stating unequivocally that he feels Social Security is unconstitutional.
Republicans have spent a great deal of time suggesting that we have to do something or those of us in our forties and fifties will not have Social Security to rely on in our golden years. They had to convince potential voters that Social Security is going to be gone regardless, so you might as well support their plan to privatize retirement funds. This was the first thing that they had to accomplish in order to begin to make dramatic changes to Social Security.
The message to potential Republican voters is most simply, if you stick with the Democrats then you will have nothing, but at least with us you get something.
I believe they feel like they have accomplished a dramatic change in perception among Republican and independent voters with this message. Scrapping Social Security is no longer seen as an evil, but rather a necessary evil. There is no longer a need to hide their agenda.
Everyone has known for quite some time that every good Republican wants to privatize Social Security, but what is surprising is that smart, smart Republican politicians no longer fear a political price for suggesting that their campaign donors on Wall Street would be a better custodian of our retirement savings. In fact, I believe many feel that it is politically expedient to do so.
When Rubio suggested that we are weaker because of Social Security, was he implying that we should do away with the single greatest program to reduce poverty among our senior citizens? Yes.
Currently for Republicans it seems that the dismantling of Social Security is inevitable and they are going full speed ahead. What eventually happens will be directly related to what is politically viable in the future.
There is an interesting exchange in Through the Looking Glass between Humpty Dumpty and Alice.
"When I use a word it means just what I choose it to mean -- neither more nor less," says Mr. Dumpty.
Alice responds, "The question is, whether you can make words mean so many different things."
"The question is, which is to be master-- that's all," Humpty counters.
If the question is, "which is to be master?", voters can do a great deal to influence the final result.
When Rubio said that programs like Social Security weakened us, what exactly will he say that means in 2012 or 2016? Did it mean that we just need to do a little tweaking here and there or did it mean he feels that we just need to scrap the whole thing?
If we are resolute in our determination to present our friends, families, and neighbors with the truth then we can turn the tide. If we do nothing, then we should expect nothing.
Nothing except the opportunity to work until we die.
Bernie Sanders offered a solution. Problem Solved. Next!