Throughout a week-long bus tour to promote his new book ‘An American Son’, Senator Marco Rubio was greeted with big, enthusiastic crowds across Florida.
But Rubio also drew plenty of hecklers, if hecklers are the right word to describe activists associated with the progressive advocacy group Florida Watch Action. Several of its activists slipped altered copies of Rubio’s book to the Senator for him to sign.
That’s a reasonable, almost cute, form of political protest.
What is not reasonable, what is not cute, is that these altered copies describe Rubio as a “traitor.“
Marco Rubio is many, many things. But “traitor” is not one of them.
Traitor is one of those dangerous words that should not be so lightly bantered about.
“Marco Rubio betryaed Hispanics by opposing Sonia Sotomayor’s nomination to be the first Hispanic Supreme Court Justice,” writes Susannah Randolph, leader of Florida Watch Action. “He betrayed the middle class, voting against funding our schools. He is a traitor to women for voting against continuing the Violence Against Women Act, and he is betraying seniors with his opposition to Social Security and Medicare and his support for ending Medicare as we know it. With his actions, he’s betrayed all Floridians.“
Even if you agree with all of that, it’s a giant leap to connect betrayal and disagreement with treason.
Again, Marco Rubio is a lot of things — he did vote against the issues and people Randolph outlines — but accusing him of being a traitor is such hyperbole it distracts from the argument Randolph is making.
Actually, the use of the word “traitor” in our political discourse is one of those terms responsible activists and politicians should avoid. It’s akin to using crosshairs in a fundraising appeal or labeling someone a Nazi simply because you disagree with them.
Watch the video from Florida Action Watch and decide for yourself whether its actions are a bit much.