It would probably be sound speculation to wager most readers of this blog didn’t spend the day contemplating an autopsy of Marco Rubio’s political corpse. And neither much did I. Though an interminably reiterated piece of both his campaign and farewell address kept coming to mind.
Did you know he was the son of immigrants? Unless just emerging from a Peruvian salt mine it’s likely most observers noted one his 148,000 casual asides mentioning the fact. I’m almost of the mind it was a calculated plug on his part. If so, it indicates a man admirably oblivious to the sentiments of those he would lead. Sentiments that shifted rapidly beneath his feet. But how was Marco to stay abreast of such vagaries? What do you think the guy is, a politician?
It seems almost axiomatic that successful politicians are foremost successful psychologists. Even if the extent of their achievement in the field is only to comprehend what constituents want and provide it–or more customarily talk about providing it. No one said psychology had to be sophisticated. Though one element that apparently is too intricate for now-unemployed Cuban oompa loompas is the concept of scale. Numbers and proportion eventually weigh as heavy on human psychology as they do all other metrics. And what once was a welcome addition may suddenly be cast off as insufferable when weight bears down.
Marco never saw the shrug coming.
Of course the shrug I’m talking about is invocations of The Other. Recent history has proven it a formidable talisman. Whether immigrant, oppressed, transvestite, or unprivileged, fealty to the fringes has been a ticket to the top. Though that wasn’t really the original intent.
As I’ve written before, all Other planks were embraced by the then robust majority as a sort of indulgent politesse. It was to establish a benevolent societal etiquette that put little strain on a dominant culture and demographics. There was no mass intention to embrace its rhetoric as literal or the premise of all public policy. It was simply affordable lubricant. Because in polite company, people converse along the contours of ritual, not truth.
Here’s a personal example: a while ago I received a text from an old out-of-state friend who had recently re-married. Attached was a photo of his new bride. She was a pleasant-looking, though essentially nondescript woman. While he is wealthy, handsome (to the extent I can ascertain such things), and ridiculously charismatic.
My paraphrased response to his message: That’s a beautiful girl, what’s she doing with a hopeless dope like you?
This ritualized lavishing of praise and insult is a form of etiquette. It is benign social lies implicitly understood as a gesture of comity rather than a statement of facts. My friend accepts it with good humor knowing no actual scorn is intended, and appreciates the feigned covetousness for his wife as a congratulations on his marriage.
But what if I really did think he was an imbecile and had designs on his wife? The exact phrasing could still be deployed, though eventually he would come to understand its literal intent and aggressively recoil. So it is with the entire battery of affected xenophilia.
When “son of immigrants” meant a plucky story from some small, quiet, and self-sufficient community it elicited warm regard. Unthreatening, good-natured, and aspirational. Just as the only Mexican restaurant in town used to be a novel treat, while now a dozen to a block is urban blight.
But as the tacos have proliferated, their taste has grown sour. “Son of immigrants” is increasingly becoming understood as celebratory euphemism for mass uninvited colonization, social decay, and overt anti-white hostility. All seasoned with the hypocrisy of those who revere their own symbols and customs, while denouncing yours as not our values. Our is a supple term, indeed.
And it reinforces the fact that people have an entirely different reaction when others really do hate them and want to fuck their wife. Rubio learned this a bit too late. Maybe we can ask if his new workplace has provided time to reflect. Yo quiero taco bell.