How Marco Rubio Is Leading The Republican Surge Of 2016

How Marco Rubio Is Leading The Republican Surge Of 2016

Marco Rubio is the fresh-faced Republican candidate that has the opportunity to unite the Republican Party that has long been divided on many issues.
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As a 24-year-old Republican, it's difficult to have a civil conversation with others my age as they are currently in the Bernie Sanders bandwagon to get "free stuff." When asked my views, I state them and I immediately get labeled as "insensitive" or "old school," and constantly get asked "how can you be a Hispanic and be a Republican? You're shooting yourself in the foot."

If you are like me and need someone to get behind in the 2016 Presidential Election, I would strongly consider looking at Marco Rubio. The son of Cuban immigrants, Rubio was elected at the age of 28 to the Florida House of Representatives, representing Miami in Florida’s 111th House District where he defeated Democrat Anastasia M. Garcia 72 percent to 28 percent in a January 2000 special election.

In November of that same year, he won re-election unopposed. In 2002, he won re-election to a second full term unopposed. In 2004, he won re-election to a third full term with 66 percent of the vote. In 2006, he won re-election to a fourth full term unopposed.

In May of 2009 Rubio announced he would run for the United States Senate seat. Rubio ended up winning the general election in 2010 with 48.9 percent of the votes, former Florida Governor, Charlie Crist received 29.7 percent as a member of the independent party, and Democrat Kendrick Meek won 20.1 percent of the votes.

Ever since Rubio first came on the scene in 2009, many Republicans like myself have been calling him to be the next GOP nominee. If elected, Rubio will make history. Not only will he be the first Latino president, but at the age of 44, one of the youngest. His youth offers an obvious contrast with both Jeb Bush (63) and Hillary Clinton (68). He is well-liked by the party's moderates, establishment and donors, unlike Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.

In general terms, Rubio has a lot of political similarities to Barack Obama in 2007, (and Bush is not dissimilar to Clinton in 2007 in case you were wondering). Rubio has the same kind of opportunity Obama did to beat the front-runner by running as a youthful, optimistic candidate of the future. It’s no surprise that the Republican Party needs a makeover. The once proud party of Lincoln now faces a pretty difficult rise back to prominence, and Rubio could be the man leading the Republican wave.

According to CNN, of the 60 percent of voters ages 18-29 that voted for the 2012 Presidential Elections, 55 percent were women and 71 percent were Latino. If you are a member of the Republican Party right now, these numbers should scare you deeply for the simple reason that if you never get these voters, the Democratic party will be in power of the White House for a very long time. I’m not saying that the Republican Party has to cast aside their views and morals. However, what I’m saying is they need to rethink some of their ideas and get some new blood in the party.

The issue we face today is much more complicated than before. If someone doesn't believe in abortion, or gay marriage, they are labeled "haters," "Bible thumpers," or "uneducated." America, believe it or not, was founded on all these principles. We should look at these issues more closely, at the end of the day, they are moral truths that can't be changed at their core.

Look, the Republican Party will never be pro-choice or pro-gay marriage, but why can't we both find a middle ground? I’m not saying the Republican Party has to be pro-choice and believe in gay marriage. But, maybe they should be pro-life except in the case of health of the mother. They should be against gay marriage, but should be for a domestic partnership in which both partners are protected by law so in the case of one of them dying, the other isn’t left with anything.

Another stumbling block for the Republican Party has been the whole “Illegal immigration” issue. People like Donald Trump believe all illegals need to leave America, even if you came here as a 2-year-old baby. They believe America is full of Americans… but, unless if you are a Native American, we are all immigrants in this nation. Heck, look at Trump's family—his wife isn't even a "real" American.

Republicans pride themselves in being “The Party of Lincoln”—well, I hope they know Lincoln freed the slaves. Republicans speak of how Ronald Reagan was the greatest president in the history of The United States—well, I hope they know that Reagan granted all illegal immigrants amnesty.

One of the biggest concerns people my age have with Rubio is the idea he wants to deport all illegal immigrants back to their native country. Let me stop you right there: he isn't Trump, he doesn't want to do that. Despite what all the social media posts and photos are saying, Rubio is not against immigrants. What he is against is people jumping a border, not having any identification and having these people who are nowhere in the system running around.

What needs to be done first and foremost is to fix the wall between Mexico and the United States, and then get the people who have been here illegally to pay a fine and be granted a work permit—it's not amnesty, it's just getting everyone in the system so we are safer as a nation—and Rubio realizes that (as you can see here).

Are we seeing a new breed of Republicans on the horizon? Will Marco Rubio be to the Republican Party what Barack Obama was to the Democratic Party? I firmly believe so. The Republicans need someone like Rubio to lead them back into the White House, and the fresh-faced senator from Florida continues to gain momentum over heavyweights like Jeb Bush, Chris Christie and Lindsey Graham.

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To The Boy Who Will Love Me Next

If you can't understand these few things, leave before things get too involved
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To the boy that will love me next, I need you to know and understand things about me and my past. The things I have been though not only have shaped the person I’ve become, but also sometimes controls my life. In the past I’ve been used, abused, and taken for granted, and I want something real this time. The guys before you were just boys; they didn’t know how to treat me until it was too late. They didn’t understand how to love me, until I broke my own heart. Before you truly decide to love me I want you to understand these things.

When I tell you something, please listen.

I’m my own person, I want to be loved a certain way. If I ask you to come over and watch movies with me please do it, if I ask for you to leave me alone for a few hours because it’s a girl’s night please do it. I don’t just say things to hear my own voice, I say things to you because it’s important to my life and the way I want to be loved. I’m not a needy person when it comes to being loved and cared for, but I do ask for you to do the small things that I am say.

Forgive my past.

My past is not a pretty brick road, it is a highway that has a bunch of potholes and cracks in it. I have a lot of baggage, and most of it you won’t understand. But don’t let my past decided whether you want to love me or not. My past has helped form who I am today, but it does not define who I am. My past experiences might try and make an appearance every once in a while, but I will not go back to that person I once was, I will not return to all that hurt I once went though. When I say those things, I’m telling the complete and honest truth. I relive my past every day, somethings haunt me and somethings are good reminds. But for you to love me, I need you to accept my past, present and future.

I’m just another bro to the other guys.

I have always hung out with boys, I don’t fit in with the girl groups. I have 10 close girlfriends, but the majority of my friends are guy, but don’t let this scare you. If I wanted to be with one of my guy friends I would already be with him, and if you haven’t noticed I don’t want them because I’m with you. I will not lose my friendships with all my guy friends to be able to stay with you. I will not cut off ties because you don’t like my guy friends. I have lost too many buddies because of my ex-boyfriends and I promised myself I wouldn’t do that again. If you don’t like how many guy friends I have you can leave now. Don’t bother trying to date me if you can accept the fact I’m just another bro.

I might be a badass, but I actually have a big heart.

To a lot of people I come off to be a very crazy and wild girl. I will agree I can be crazy and wild, but I’m more than that. I’m independent, caring, responsible, understanding, forgiving, and so such more type of woman. Many people think that I’m a badass because I don’t take any negatively from anyone. Just like we learned when we were younger, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all.” Most people can’t do that in today’s world, so I stick up for myself and my friends. I don’t care what anyone thinks about me, or their option on how I live my life. The only thing I care about is being able to make myself happy. Even though I’m an independent woman, understand that I do have a big heart. Honesty when I truly care for someone I will do just about anything they ask, but don’t take advantage of this. Once you take advantage of this part of me, all respect will be lost for you.

I’m hard to love.

Sometimes I want to be cuddle and get attention, and sometimes I don’t want you to talk to me for a couple hours. Sometimes I want you to take me out for a nice meal, but sometimes I want a home cooked meal. Every day is different for me, sometimes I change my mind every hour. My mood swings are terrible on certain days, and on those days you should probably just ignore me. I’m not easy to love, so you’ll either be willing to find a way to love me, or you’ll walk out like so many others have.

I’m scared.

I’m scared to love someone again. I’ve been hurt, heartbroken, and beat to the ground in my past relationships. I want to believe you are different, I want to hope things will truly work out, but every relationship has always ended up the same way. I’m scared to trust someone, put my whole heart into them, just to be left and heartbroken again. I sick and tired of putting my whole body and soul into someone for them to just leave when it is convenient for them. If you want to love me, understand it won’t be easy for me to love you back.

When “I’m done.”

When I say “I’m done” I honestly don’t mean that I’m done. When I say that it means I need and want you to fight for me, show me why you want to be with me. I need you to prove that I’m worth it and there’s no one else but me. If I was truly done, I would just walk away, and not come back. So if I ever tell you, “I’m done,” tell me all the reasons why I’m truly not done.

For the boy who will love me next, the work is cut out for you, you just have to be willing to do it. I’m not like other girls, I am my own person, and I will need to be treated as such. For the boy that will love me next, don’t bother with me unless you really want to be with me. I don’t have time to waste on you if you aren’t going to try and make something out of us. To the boy who will love me next, the last thing I would like to say is good luck, I have faith in you.

Cover Image Credit: Danielle Balint

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Extreme Partisan Gerrymandering Is How We Got Extremist Abortion Bans

This is a pressing issue that is often swept under the rug.

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Several states have recently passed legislation restricting a mother's access to abortion, and several others are projected to do the same. Alabama has passed the most severe legislation by banning the majority of abortions, including cases of rape and incest, and abortion providers now face up to 99 years in prison for noncompliance. Georgia's governor has signed legislation banning most abortions after six weeks, with mother's facing prosecution for terminating their pregnancies after this date. A few other states, including Missouri and Louisiana, are in the process of approving similar legislation.

Nationwide outrage over this legislation has taken over many social media platforms, prompting political discourse across the aisle. Tomi Lahren, a conservative commentator well-known for her outspoken nature, even tweeted her disdain for the legislation:

"I will be attacked by fellow conservatives for saying this but so be it, this Alabama abortion ban is too restrictive. It doesn't save life, it simply forces women into more dangerous methods, other states or countries. You don't encourage life via blanket government mandate!" — Tomi Lahren

I side with the many men and women who are horrified at this decision for many reasons. Apart from Governor Kay Ivey's blurred understanding of what separation of church and state really mean when invoking God as a reason for her approval of the country's most restrictive abortion legislation, there are many reasons states have successfully passed such controversial legislation. One such reason is gerrymandering.

As someone who has grown up in the most gerrymandered state in the country, North Carolina, I have witnessed through much of my life the effects gerrymandering has on legislation. Gerrymandering describes the act of redrawing district lines to establish a political advantage for a party. This is a practice done by both Democrats and Republicans and through two primary methods, packing and cracking.

Packing attempts to condense members of an opposing party into few districts in order for the opposing party to dominate in the remaining districts. On the other end, cracking attempts to break apart an opposing party amongst districts in order to dilute the vote of their members by becoming outnumbered by members of the governing party.

Georgia's district lines are a perfect example of packing. Following the 2010 census, Republicans were able to redraw district lines and packed Democrats into as few districts as possible. This decision has led to extremely uncompetitive elections, with many candidates running unopposed because of the district's voter makeup. The impacts of gerrymandering in Georgia were evident during the last gubernatorial election between Brian Kemp (R) and Stacey Abrams (D).

Kemp won barely the election by around 55,000, at 50.8% of the popular vote, yet Republicans hold over sixty percent of the state's legislative seats. This demonstrates how districts can be determined to favor a political party in terms of representation, though not reflect the constituency of the state. This has allowed Republicans to hold the majority of state seats, which contributed to the approval of the abortion bill.

Voter suppression is a serious issue that is often swept under the rug because it allows those who have been in power to remain in power. While it is unfortunate it took this long for many to understand its implications, it is important that the same energy aimed at fighting this legislation is aimed at remedying the long-standing problem of gerrymandering that allows such unsavory legislation to pass.

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