The disconnect is amazing. That same contradiction is also indicative of a larger pattern whenever it comes to proposed government cuts. When asked, generically, Americans say government is too big. When asked, generically, Americans support spending cuts. However, when specific programs are mentioned as potential cuts, it becomes impossible to find programs where a majority of Americans support making cuts.
Republicans love to rail about the deficit and how cuts are necessary to close that deficit. I think some of them, especially in the leadership, finally understand that a majority of Americans made the connection between their financial gimmickry and the deficits we now have. More and more Americans understand that the large deficits aren't primarily a spending problem, but are primarily a revenue problem. They are beginning to understand that taxes are government revenues and when taxes are cut, but the large and popular programs are not, deficits result. Americans would rather the wealthy pay their fair share than cut those programs. That is the death knell of the Republican economic agenda.
Now, enter Marco Rubio. He brings an impression of diversity to a party growing increasingly white and male in an electorate that is moving more and more away from that. He is also very conservative in a nation that is moving away from conservatism. He is seemingly the ideal Republican spokesperson to counter claims of racism and favoritism towards the rich. Then he begins to speak.
It's the same Republican agenda, but just repackaged in more flowery language and with a different face on the cover. He even goes so far as to justify calls for cuts in government by pointing to those very successful government programs that helped him and his family. He hopes that Americans do not connect the dots and do not care to learn that those very programs were opposed by conservatives and pushed through by liberals.
The current era of conservatism is waning. A new era of liberalism is beginning to emerge. This is part of the ebb and flow of our history. One day in the future this emerging liberal era will wane and a new conservative one will emerge. There is, however, one other historical lesson to take with that ebb and flow: the reaction of the conservative eras never manages to completely eradicate the progress made during the liberal ones. Just keep that little tidbit in mind.