Bill Maxwell: Marco Rubio's clever command of myth
Sunday op-ed column in the Tampa Bay Times from Bill Maxwell on the power of myth in politics with U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio the most recent example:
"...I give Rubio and his publisher credit for being good, if not cynical, students of U.S. politics and social behavior. He cleverly titled his memoir An American Son. He comprehends the power of the word "American," itself a mythic and archetypal term that is hard to dismiss or denigrate.
In addition to "American," Rubio cleverly uses the term "son," an allusion to birthright and inheritance. It gives him a natural way to discuss his Cuban roots and a cunning way to turn exile into American heroism.
The 41-year-old junior senator has made himself the protagonist, the shining star, of an instant American myth. Forget that the major event of the narrative — told in the autobiography on Rubio's Senate website — never happened. Rubio claims that his parents, Mario and Oriales Rubio, had fled Cuba after Fidel Castro installed communist rule. Immigration records show that Rubio's parents came to the United States in 1956...."