On January 18, 2016, Marco Rubio was in Iowa at a town hall meeting talking with some Americans about his campaign and his presidential run. As he allowed for questions one was asked regarding faith. The question, asked by an Atheist American, pertained to how Rubio was going to gain the support of atheist voters. He inquired about how Rubio was going to not pander to only a certain religious group, but to the other groups that have different beliefs. The questioner even went into saying that a joke is going around that Marco Rubio is running for “pastor-in-chief,” not commander-in-chief. The link to the brief speech can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qy2Fjk00tTA
Before discussing Rubio’s response, it is important to note the idealized foundation upon which he refers. This platform includes five different phrases: “New American Century,” Renewed American Values,” “New American Jobs,” “Renewed American Education,” and “New American Leadership.” The common themes throughout all these phrases are “new” and “American.” These terms are clear ideographs in the way in which Rubio is running his campaign. He believes in a “New America,” and he wholeheartedly thinks that that can be achieved through establishment of those five ideals. We, as voters, do not know this “New America” that Rubio wants to portray, but some of us buy into that idea and know that it better be different than the America we have right now.
Now let’s dive into the response that Rubio has for the person asking the question by referring to one of the ideographic devices that he uses. The ideograph we will refer to is “Renewed American Values” because it fits in perfectly with his response to the question. Rubio has a certain terministic screen for his faith. He outlines it beautifully in his response talking about how his faith taught him that our creator came down as a man, and helped rid the sin of the world. With this specific terministic screen, he outlines what exactly he believes in, and says that that should influence others, who do not believe in that same way, in a positive manner. Rubio states that every person has the right to believe in what they want and that no one can take away his right or others’ rights to live out the teachings of their faith. This shows that he wants to renew the American Values and build upon the ideals and beliefs that America was founded on.
After watching the response from Rubio to the Atheist American, it is clear that rhetoric is important in politics, even in small town hall meetings. Rubio’s response inspired applause, thought, and attention from the people in that town hall meeting and from much of the news media. Rubio is running a campaign with the proof that rhetoric is the base of gaining voter’s attention, and he is doing it while honoring his own values. Rubio wants to construct a “New America,” - do you?