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Rubio’s no longer making fun of philosophy majors

As a presidential candidate, he said, "We need more welders and less philosophers."
Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio on the presidential debate stage in 2015. (Associated Press)
Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio on the presidential debate stage in 2015. (Associated Press)
Published Apr. 4, 2018
Updated Apr. 4, 2018

WASHINGTON – Sen. Marco Rubio has seen the wisdom of philosophy.

As a presidential candidate in 2015, he declared: "Welders make more money than philosophers. We need more welders and less philosophers."

But Rubio recently said he'd changed his mind and that he started reading the Stoics. "I've changed my view on philosophy. But not on welders. We need both!" he wrote last week Twitter.

Today, The Federalist called out Rubio's change of heart, while praising him for making it

"Maybe he actually listened to those of us who argued back in defense of philosophy. Or maybe Rubio is just another flip-flopping politician who was against philosophy before he was for it," wrote Robert Tracinski, who studied philosophy at the University of Chicago. "Whatever the case, he's right this time around. We do need philosophers, and what has happened in the past three years demonstrates all the more seriously why we need them."

He goes on:

"What philosophy does for a single person's life, it also does for the political life of a nation. If we want to make America great again, for example, we need to know what "greatness" is and how to achieve it. We need to know what government can do, ought to do, and shouldn't do. All of these questions have huge, life-and-death consequences.

"If a country adopts a philosophy that says the collective always takes precedence over the individual, so the state must be given total power, it ends up like North Korea. If a country adopts a philosophy that says the race and the nation are supremely important and foreigners are always the enemy, it ends up—well, it also ends up like North Korea. And if we believe those two philosophies are total opposites, we risk ending up like North Korea even as we think we're moving in the opposite direction."

Rubio responded on Twitter: