Changing History in 140 Characters: The Marco Rubio Tweet That Set Twitter on Fire

When it comes to campaigning in the era of social media, lighting can strike the same place (or more importantly, in the same faux pas manner) an infinite number of times. It seems like a candidate’s public relations staff can put out an unlimited amount of “political” sounding rhetoric that is in reality only 140 characters of utter nonsense.

No campaign has been immune to this, and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio‘s (R-Fla.) campaign became the latest victim in a long succession of social media disasters:

While there is no guarantee that Rubio himself wrote this tweet, the mere fact that it has stayed up for public viewing for hours brings into question their entire campaign’s ability to filter social media and stay on message.

Within the Republican Party, Rubio is seen even by his primary opponents as a champion of personal freedom and liberty. And while the intention of this tweet was almost certainly to promote these values, it comes at the expense of ignoring over 200 years of our collective history — especially the periods of Manifest Destiny and Pacific Expansionism.

It is still important for candidates to have a faithful view of the history that got America to where it is today.
David Yee, IVN Independent Author
Even as late as 1946, the United States tried to significantly expand its territory by attempting to coerce the Danish government into selling Greenland to settle WWII debts — a sale that might have taken place had Cold War influences not already started to shape European politics into a role of being “in-between” the super powers.

This isn’t to say that candidates need to constantly tip-toe around every issue of American history where abuses have been committed, or even constantly apologize for America’s past. But it is still important for candidates to have a faithful view of the history that got America to where it is today.

The freedoms that most Americans enjoy today do not come from an unbroken line of history extending back to the creation of the Bill of Rights. Instead, many of our freedoms come from trial and error, abuses, and preservation — and at times, the forcible enfranchisement of rights on a specific group.

The political process is the embodiment of this very reality. Even the Founding Fathers knew that there could always be room for improvement and change. This is why they gave us a process to ensure that the Constitution would never be a stagnate document of outdated principles.

Candidates should be proud of our history. However, reminiscing about the way things never were is only a recipe for political disaster.