U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio on Monday called on U.S. corporations to, for lack of a better phrase, put America first.
Speaking to the National Conservatism Conference in Orlando, the Florida Republican blasted corporate America for its wokeness, its seeking the protection of big government, and its failure to recognize its commitment to the country that allowed it to blossom.
“Today many of our most important corporations are run by people who consider themselves not citizens of America, but citizens of the world,” Rubio said. “They are the product of decades of anti-American indoctrination at our elite universities and they feel no obligation to America or its national interest.”
“I’m not here to tell you big business is the enemy. But I’m here to tell you big business is not our ally in the fight against socialism.”
Rubio, according to a copy of his speech released by his office, said the challenge confronting conservatives is taking “eternal principles and the lessons of the past” and applying them now to “chart the right course for our country and future.”
He began by ripping President Joe Biden from governing far differently than he promised to as a candidate.
Biden, said Rubio, has delivered little but “chaos and incompetence,” a “historic calamity” on the southern border, a “humiliating and deadly debacle” in Afghanistan, the “skyrocketing price of literally everything” – and done so as “an enthusiastic agent of division and polarization.”
The Democratic president pits Americans against each other not just on race and partisanship, but now by vaccination status, Rubio said.
“There is a reason candidate Joe Biden did not campaign on the agenda of President Joe Biden. The reason is that the overwhelming majority of Americans think that agenda is crazy,” Rubio continued. “These tactics and this agenda do not reflect the broad will of Americans. They reflect the long held fantasies of a small and radical, but powerful few.”
Rubio even had a number. He cited a recent study that declared it is the agenda “of about 8 percent of the country.”
That influential 8 percent, he added, “believe America is a systemically racist country, with a shameful history and an oppressive free-enterprise capitalist economy,” and are able to exercise “power beyond their numbers” since they control schools, universities, Big Tech and large corporations, the media, sports and the entertainment industry.
And they move this agenda with Marxist tactics, by dividing Americans along many fronts, by making “everything” – sports, art, culture, even a virus from China – political, and by persecuting and censoring any and all who disagree, the senator argued.
“For over a century these are the tactics used by Marxists to take over countless nations and societies all over the world. Now, these are the tactics being used to take over and destroy our country,” said Rubio.
A major problem now, however, is that “big business is all in” with this thinking, believing that siding with the Marxists will protect them, Rubio said.
“But eventually,” he added, “they all learn that for the Marxist there can be no organization or institution independent of the movement. Everyone, all must serve ‘the revolution.’”
Said Rubio, “We are confronted not by a transitory political movement. We’re confronted by a systematic effort to dismantle our culture, our society, our traditions, our economy, and our way of life.”
“Americans are looking for, and America needs, a conservative movement that defends our culture and values and promotes capitalism. But it must be a capitalism that creates jobs. American jobs that allow people to get married, own a home, raise a family in a safe neighborhood, retire with dignity and leave their children better off than themselves,” Rubio added.
“For many decades … what was good for corporate America, and good for our country, was usually the same thing. … But the world changed. And so did the economy,” Rubio said.
And one change, which was “most dangerous of all,” was that the Chinese Communist Party learned how to co-opt corporate America to further its own agenda.
“Reviving America’s corporate patriotism,” said Rubio, “that’s what we need to be focused on.”
One way to restore that is to incentivize corporate actions “that are good for America and are good for Americans,” Rubio said.
Step one: Getting wokeness out of the boardroom, and making companies legally liable for “pushing wasteful, anti-American nonsense.”
The nation, Rubio said, also needs a stock market that holds companies accountable for “pro-American goals, rather than left-wing social engineering, or globalist profiteering.”
As an example, companies should put being free of conflicts of interest over mandates for diversity.
“Instead of disclosing how compliant they are with a radical left environmental agenda, let’s have companies tell the public how much they are investing in hiring and training American workers, how many factories or facilities they are opening in America and disclosing when they decide to send American jobs or American factories to another country,” Rubio added.
“Not long ago, our politics were defined by a choice between conservatives and liberals, or between more government and less government, or higher taxes or less taxes. Not anymore,” he said.
“The dividing line in our politics now is between insanity and normal. Between lunacy and common sense. … [B]etween those who believe America is a great country but with problems that need to be fixed, and those who believe America is a terrible country that needs to be demolished and rebuilt as something different.”
“Our nation’s past isn’t perfect and our present is not without challenges. But our history is better than anyone else’s. And despite our problems, tens of millions of people would come here in a heartbeat if given the chance,” Rubio concluded. “But it is absolute lunacy to turn to socialism, the economic model of countries people risk their lives to flee on makeshift rafts.
“The real fight is about a small, radical, but incredibly powerful minority that wants to force everyone else to abandon a common sense that was built on 5,000 years of human history, to erase our culture and traditions, throw away our values, and walk away from a free enterprise economy that is still the envy of the world. … And the stakes couldn’t be higher.”
“Because if they succeed, the damage and the destruction it will cause will be nearly impossible to fix. And our country will be irreversibly transformed.”
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