• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Did Castro Channel Marco Rubio and the American Dream?

    A charismatic young Hispanic politician yesterday delivered one of the best speeches in recent memory on the American Dream. In retelling the story of his family’s rise from poverty, he hit all the right notes. He described America as “the land of opportunity,” praised hard work, stressed the importance of pulling ourselves up by the bootstraps, and celebrated individual success. He concluded by invoking the “wisdom of our founders and the values of families.”

    So what was Marco Rubio doing delivering a nationally televised keynote address yesterday?

    Well, that wasn’t Rubio but rather Julian Castro, the mayor of San Antonio and a rising star in the Democratic Party.

    The moving personal story and all the talk of opportunity, prosperity and hard work were a brilliant display of one of the oldest rhetorical tricks of the left: the repackaging of statism and governmental paternalism under the guise of traditional American ideals. There was just enough of the real American Dream in Castro’s fine speech for you perhaps not to notice that he was in fact selling a very different dream: a liberal dream where big government is there every step of the way, slowly sapping our self-reliant spirit and transforming Americans into a herd of timid and envious creatures who turn for succor to an omnipotent state.

    For the left, government spending to “stimulate the economy” and cradle-to-grave entitlements are what makes the American Dream possible. Hence Castro’s line that we must “invest in opportunity today for prosperity tomorrow.” The auto bailouts, the stimulus, Obamacare, the orgy of spending we’ve witnessed in recent years—they are all about “investing” in opportunity. Free markets don’t create opportunity—government spending does.

    Absent from this dream is even the slightest acknowledgment of how all this spending and red tape actually restricts opportunity—by saddling the next generation with an unconscionable level of debt ($16 trillion as of yesterday), submerging job-creating businesses under a regulatory tidal wave, and fueling crony capitalism and rigging the rules in favor of the well-connected big players.

    Castro’s perfunctory nods to work and family notwithstanding, this new dream also ignores the profound damage done by the welfare state to the real pillars of the American Dream. Far from fulfilling its promises of eradicating poverty and creating opportunity, the welfare state in fact traps people in poverty by undermining the family and discouraging work.

    To convince Americans to sign off on his call to “invest in opportunity,” Castro made sure to depict the alternative in true straw-man terms as a Wild West bordering on anarchy where it’s every man, woman, and child for himself:

    Of all the fictions we heard last week in Tampa, the one I find most troubling is this: If we all just go our own way, our nation will be stronger for it. Because if we sever the threads that connect us, the only people who will go far are those who are already ahead.

    This in fact the great fiction of the left: the Manichean choice between a world where we are all completely on our own and the togetherness of government. Faced with such stark alternatives, who but the most hardened of Ron Swansons will dare oppose the benevolent nanny state?

    In reality, of course, the conservative opposition to big government goes hand in hand with a strong defense of civil society. In between the individual and the state exists the vibrant realm of civil society where Americans join and form myriad associations, from families to churches to Rotary clubs. In trying to rein in limitless liberalism, conservatives want to strengthen the real robust ties that bind us to one another and sever the flimsy ties of dependence on government.

    When we depend on the government, we don’t depend on each other. And any dream that tries to substitute individual effort and civic interdependence with collective government dependency is no American Dream. What’s worse, by eroding the great American spirit of self-reliance, it threatens to make the American Dream a distant memory.

    Posted in First Principles [slideshow_deploy]

    2 Responses to Did Castro Channel Marco Rubio and the American Dream?

    1. Bobbie says:

      The bit I watched was to see if they could go any lower. What a distorted statement. "we have to invest today for prosperity tomorrow." America's free individuals do that within their own discretion and intelligence. Coming from a government head is fraud for socialism, plain and simple. How many people does this guy govern off the government teat? How many people is he proud to say are making it on their own!? Pulling up their boot straps? Is he giving Texas a bad name? Is he living with tax deductions? Without tax exemptions? Both unpatriotic if eligibility is in the realm of unconstitutional government appeasements of race, personal creed or cultural living! Just remember, his name says it all and he seems like the type to live up to it. If he had any pride in America it would be the dignity to live independently in freedom, on ones own respecting to know that is what makes America exceptional and to that he is destroying.

      What a pity party filled with obsession to control people. Obamacare allows women to make their own choices? Before Obamacare women were already making their own choices between the doctor and ourselves. Putting Obama in between is not a benefit! It eliminates doctor/ patient relationship, it influences doctors decisions, it opens privacy to the public, records will go into whoever the government gives access to unknown to the patient and limits choices by government bureaucrats design. Sure you can keep your insurance but you won't be able to afford it because of government rules, regulations and mandates superseding the private businesses own.

      I want the respect for women Romney and Ryan have! Not the exploitation of women democrats enjoy where they teach women contraception is the woman's responsibility protecting men from their own responsibilities. From contraception to conception is the responsibility of a real man but democrats put it on the women to seek government resources regardless of what and who made her pregnant!?? Democrats call pregnancies and the female gender pre existing conditions??!! Pregnancies which are pre determined conditions that personal responsibility has to live up to. Ladies, dems are trapping the female gender to call it protection!!

      Did anyone hear that democrat from Minnesota? RT Rybeck? He thanked the president endlessly for bridge money a better run government (republican) would've made funds available to do their job without having to thank the President for letting him get away with incompetence and not doing the job his state hired him to do. Hide behind the feds, state runners. Giving states rights and responsibilities away little by little under the dereliction of the democratic governed. Democrats don't respect anyone to impress, that isn't the President.

      Living off government even looking to government, is not American and very unpatriotic!!

      I heard the cowards might cancel tomorrow's convention due to whether? Why doesn't the President just talk to the clouds? Fakes, Phonies and Frauds!

    2. criminalinvaders says:

      This Castro cretin is just as dangerous as Comrade Obama…. maybe worse. The following is from Breitbart.tv:

      Mayor Julian Castro of San Antonio is, according to some, the next Obama. But while Obama's radicalism may have escaped the notice of the DNC in 2004, Castro's views are bit more transparent.

      Indeed, he, along with his twin, Joaquin, currently running for Congress, learned their politics on their mother's knee and in the streets of San Antonio. Their mother, Rosie helped found a radical, anti-white, socialist Chicano party called La Raza Unida (literally "The Race United") that sought to create a separate country — Aztlan — in the Southwest. [Google racist Mexican dirtbag Jose Angel Gutierrez]

      Today she helps manage her sons' political careers, after a storied career of her own as a community activist and a stint as San Antonio Housing Authority ombudsman.

      Far from denouncing his mother's controversial politics, Castro sees them as his inspiration. As a student at Stanford

      Castro penned an essay for Writing for Change: A Community Reader (1994) in which he praised his mother's accomplishments and cited them as an inspiration for his own future political involvement. [From Breitbart.tv -- Read a whole lot more bad news here: http://goo.gl/RWGXl ]

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.

    ×