Marco Rubio for the common good -- and look who doesn't like it

In particular, Rubio—who has long staked a strong position on China—argued that the dictates of free-market dogma can sometimes get in the way of national defense. Most obviously, we can’t have free trade with an opposing country; we didn’t, after all, keep trading with Nazi Germany during World War Two. And so today, Rubio declared, it’s particularly foolish to rely on China for the rare earth elements that we need for our tools and weapons. Thus he applauded the Trump administration’s efforts to reopen rare-earth mines that had been closed during the Obama administration; the goal, of course, is always to have a reliable domestic supply on hand.

Then Rubio went even further, arguing that it should be our stated policy that a strong national defense means good jobs, at good wages, on the homefront. This is an idea with deep roots in American security thinking; it was Franklin D. Roosevelt, our commander-in-chief during World War Two, who declared in 1940 that American workers would build the “arsenal of democracy”; that is, we must be the leading nation making the wares of war, providing jobs for workers and strength for our warriors…

Once again, Rubio’s argument is apple-pie common sense: After all, Uncle Sam never could have maintained the national unity needed—for hot wars and cold wars—without taking positive steps, here at home, to include everyone into the effort. As our motto says, e pluribus unum (out of many, one); when national survival is at stake, oneness is vital. So if we want the population to fight, to work, and to win, then it must be a people’s war. As the posters for the famous Iwo Jima Bond Drive in World War Two declared, “Now All Together.”