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An American Son: A Memoirby Marco Rubio
Synopses & Reviews
Pocos políticos han alcanzado una preeminencia a nivel nacional tan rápidamente como Marco Rubio. A sus cuarenta y un años de edad es objeto de un interés genera-lizado y de muchas especulaciones, pero nunca antes había contado en detalle la increíble historia que con todos sus giros y vueltas hizo de él un hijo americano.
Esa historia empezó cuando sus padres salieron de Cuba en 1956. Una vez que Fidel Castro y su comunismo se tomaron el poder, Mario y Oria Rubio jamás pudieron regresar a su tierra natal. Pero adoptaron su nuevo país y enseñaron a sus hijos a agradecerle sus extraordinarias oportunidades. Cada sacrificio que hicieron durante todos esos años y los trabajos que pasaron en humildes oficios en Miami y Las Vegas, fue por sus hijos.
De niño, Rubio pasaba horas y horas con su abuelo analizando la historia y los sucesos del momento. A “Papá” le fascinaba ser cubano, pero también le fascinaban los Estados Unidos por ser un modelo de libertad para los pueblos oprimidos de todo el mundo. Como dice Rubio: “Mi abuelo no pensaba que los Estados Unidos es un país excepcional por haberlo leído en un libro. Él lo experimentó y lo vio con sus propios ojos”.
Destrozado por la muerte de su abuelo, Rubio empezó a obtener malas calificaciones al mismo tiempo que le costaba trabajo encajar en la escuela secundaria, donde algunos de sus condiscípulos lo ridiculizaban por ser “demasiado americano”. Sin embargo, impulsado por el fútbol americano y la política, sus dos grandes pasiones, ya en la universidad y en la escuela de leyes se dedicó a estudiar en serio. Habiendo jugado fútbol americano en una pequeña universidad en Missouri, regresó a la Florida para estudiar en el Santa Fe Community College y la Universidad de Florida. Obtuvo su título de abogado en la Universidad de Miami y entró a trabajar en un bufete de abogados con un salario excelente, que permitió que su padre se retirara.
Siendo un joven abogado, se postuló como candidato para comisionado de la ciudad de West Miami, cargo que lo condujo a la Cámara de Representantes. En solo seis años llegó a ser Presidente de la Cámara y se convirtió en un destacado abanderado de la libre empresa, así como de la lucha por tener mejores escuelas, un gobierno constitucional y un sistema tributario más justo y simplificado. Descubrió entonces que podía relacionarse con la gente más allá de las barreras partidistas y mantener su respeto por los valores conservadores tradicionales.
Su campaña para el Senado de los Estados Unidos contra Charlie Crist, para ese entonces popular gobernador de la Florida, se inició como una posibilidad muy remota. Sin dejarse desanimar, ni por las cifras de las primeras encuestas ni por el tiempo que debió permanecer alejado de su esposa e hijos, Rubio recorrió todo el estado con su mensaje de empoderamiento y optimismo. Y venció a Crist, tanto en la elección primaria como en una dramática elección general tripartita, después de que Crist abandonara el Gran Partido Republicano para postularse como independiente.
Ahora, Rubio habla en los estrados nacionales sobre los retos que afrontamos y ese futuro mejor que podremos alcanzar si volvemos a nuestros principios fundadores. En sus propias palabras: “El conservatismo no busca retrasar a la gente. El conservatismo busca actualizar a la gente”.
Con esa visión, igual que con la historia de su familia, Rubio ha demonstrado que el Sueño Americano aún tiene vigencia para aquellos que luchan por alcanzarlo.
Few politicians have risen to national prominence as quickly as Marco Rubio. At age forty-one he’s the subject of widespread interest and speculation. But he has never before told the full story of his unlikely journey, with all the twists and turns that made him an American son.
That journey began when his parents first left Cuba in 1956. After Fidel Castro solidified his Communist grip on power, Mario and Oria Rubio could never again return to their homeland. But they embraced their new country and taught their children to appreciate its unique opportunities. Every sacrifice they made over the years, as they worked hard at blue-collar jobs in Miami and Las Vegas, was for their children.
As a boy, Rubio spent countless hours with his grandfather, discussing history and current events. “Papa” loved being Cuban, but he also loved America for being a beacon of liberty to oppressed people around the world. As Rubio puts it, “My grandfather didn’t know America was exceptional because he read about it in a book. He lived it and saw it with his own eyes.”
Devastated after his grandfather’s death, Rubio was getting poor grades and struggled to fit in at his high school, where some classmates mocked him as “too American.” But then he buckled down for college and law school, driven by his twin passions for football and politics. He played football at a small college in Missouri, then came back to Florida to attend Santa Fe Community College and the University of Florida. He went on to earn his law degree from the University of Miami and took a job at a law firm, which paid him a handsome salary that allowed his father to retire.
As a young attorney he ran for the West Miami City Commission, a role that led to the Florida House of Representatives. In just six years he rose to Speaker of the House and became a leading advocate for free enterprise, better schools, limited government, and a fairer, simpler tax system. He found that he could connect with people across party lines while still upholding conservative values.
His U.S. Senate campaign started as an extreme long shot against Florida’s popular incumbent governor, Charlie Crist. Undaunted by the early poll numbers and the time away from his wife and kids, Rubio traveled the state with his message of empowerment and optimism. He upset Crist in both the primary and a dramatic three-way general election, after Crist quit the GOP to run as an independent.
Now Rubio speaks on the national stage about the challenges we face and the better future that’s possible if we return to our founding principles. As he puts it, “Conservatism is not about leaving people behind. Conservatism is about allowing people to catch up.”
In that vision, as in his family’s story, Rubio proves that the American Dream is still alive for those who pursue it.
My parents came to the United States in 1956. The country they found was truly a land of opportunity, where hardworking people with grade school educations could afford a home, a car, and college for their kids. A country where maids and bartenders could raise doctors, lawyers, small-business owners, and maybe even a U.S. senator.
That was the American Dream—our countrys central promise to its people: If you work hard and play by the rules, youll find tremendous opportunities and an even better life for your children.
Yet today, I look around and see the American Dream on life support. Seven years of government-centered, tax-and-spend liberalism have failed to lift the poor or sustain the middle class. Fewer Americans are working than at any time since Jimmy Carter was president. New business creation is 30 percent lower than it was in the 1980s. The stock market may be surging by the time you read this, but millions of everyday Americans will still be left behind by an economy that doesnt value their skills and a government that would rather give a handout than a hand up.
I wrote this book because we stand at a critical juncture. What kind of country are we going to be? Will we surrender to Obamacare and other laws that crush innovation and entrepreneurship? Will we accept a powerful nanny state and the erosion of family values? Will we allow politics to kill the American Dream?
Or will we rise to the challenge—and take back our legacy as the only nation on earth that offers unrestricted opportunity to all?
I believe we can restore the American Dream and expand it to reach more people than ever before. But to do so we must restrain our power-hungry, debt-ridden federal government. We must help businesses create more stable middle-class jobs. And we must help our families stay healthy and secure.
In this book youll meet an over-regulated small-businessman, a struggling single mother, an out-of-work and in-debt college graduate, and others who want nothing more than their own shot at the American Dream. Their stories are our stories; their challenges are our challenges.
Of course no book or politician can single-handedly restore the American Dream. But a movement, working to promote the values and can-do spirit that made our country exceptional, can turn everything around.
My goal is to provide a roadmap for that movement and inspire Americans to reclaim their rights: to dream, to work, to build a better life for their children.
I hope you will join me as we build that movement and restore the land of opportunity.
A bold plan to help the middle class, by the New York Times bestselling author of An American Son
For generations, the belief that if you work hard you can offer your children a better life has been known as the American Dream. That dream is on life support today, and not just because of the economic downturn and bad leadership from Washington. America has undergone an economic transformation that our schools, our workers, and too many of our families are unequipped for.
But our leaders in Washington have broken their promise to lead us together into this new era. Their response has been to double down on stale, government-centered solutions, minimum wage hikes, and redistributive health care mandates that re-slice a shrinking economic pie instead of growing it for everyone. All while free enterprise is demonized and work is discouraged.
Now Senator Rubio shares the stories of real people who are fighting to educate their children, protect their families, climb the economic ladder, save for retirement, and achieve their own American dreams. He challenges us to replace our failing 20th century institutions with a new agenda based on choice, innovation and local control.
About the Author
MARCO RUBIO served in the Florida House of Representatives from 2000 to 2008 and was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2010. His committee assignments currently include Commerce, Science and Transportation; Foreign Relations; Intelligence; and Small Business and Entrepreneurship. He and his wife, Jeanette, have four young children and live in West Miami.
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