All hail King (president) Ramaswamy. Long live the king!
You’re forgiven if you’re hesitant to offer such unmerited praise to the newest Republican 2024 presidential candidate, and you’re doubly absolved if you haven’t heard of Vivek Ramaswamy in the first place. Practically no one in American political circles recognized the Ramaswamy name two weeks ago before he announced his run for president and it remains to be seen if anyone will think much about Vivek two months from now.
Such is always the case for proverbial “outsider” flash-in-the-pan candidates, the ones who pop up every cycle and generate temporary buzz while change-hungry American voters search the heavens and their own hearts to determine whether Ramaswamy – or anyone from outside the swamp’s political fiefdom – is the answer to their prayers for a new kind of politician who speaks truth to power and follows it up with grit.
Ramaswamy in particular has drummed up a bit more excitement than most “normal” dreamers largely because his message resonates from outside the standard platform of “reformer” unknowns who portend to know more about fixing the broken system than anyone currently serving in Congress or at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
We’ll see how it plays out, but for now the articulate and obviously brainy Ramaswamy is attracting more than his share of notoriety for a man so little recognized. In a piece titled “Vivek Ramaswamy, presidential hopeful and anti-ESG crusader: U.S. should ‘abandon climate religion’”, Ramsey Touchberry reported at The Washington Times recently:
“Vivek Ramaswamy’s 2024 bid for president might be a long shot but the wealthy ‘anti-woke’ entrepreneur is expected to invigorate national debate around the precept of investing based on environmental, social, and corporate governance or ESG.
“The financial strategy, which Republicans call ‘woke capitalism’ because it makes climate change and social issues a priority, has been thrust into the culture-war spotlight with conservatives combatting ESG-embracing Wall Street institutions…
“‘We’re in the middle of a national identity crisis. Faith, patriotism and hard work have disappeared,’ Mr. Ramaswamy said in a campaign video. ‘Wokism, climatism and gender ideology have replaced them.’”
Mention “anti-woke” in conservative circles and chances are you’ll draw looks of appreciation. Constitution-loving traditional Americans are so sick of the left’s burn-it-all-down-and-build-back-based-on-ESG secular crusade that we’re craving a boat-rocker who’s got the guts to challenge it.
Is Ramaswamy that guy? Or is there something fishy about this whole scenario?
Many politicos have suggested Ramaswamy is this year’s version of 2020 Democrat Andrew Yang, an Asian-American from California who managed to attract a handful of adherents to his unique non-political perspective and kook-fringe proposal to provide a universal basic income for every American. Yang was a curiosity for sure, but come on, how could he hope to take on much less defeat the Democrat party establishment – and the Bernie bros at the same moment?
Because of Ramaswamy’s finance background and shot-in-the-dark presidential candidacy, the comparisons to Yang seem somewhat natural. But thinking about it, in terms of politics, Ramaswamy is more like everyone’s favorite (not!) Secretary of Transportation, Pete Buttigieg, then he is to anyone else in recent times. Ramaswamy’s and Butt’s issue beliefs couldn’t be more opposite, but still there are parallels. Read on.
Pete Buttigieg paved the way for some no-name presidential candidates to travel, rather easily, the road from virtual unknown to within a stone’s throw of the seat of power while also paving a potential path for an even bigger, better and more credible future run.
In other words, Donald Trump didn’t set the standard for ambitious outsider candidates to skip the lowest rungs on the political stepladder – it was a gay former mayor from a mid-sized midwestern city who risked absolutely nothing by launching an impossible presidential run in a year without a clear party frontrunner and a weak field – that being the Democrats in 2020.
Who would’ve ever thought? It wasn’t Donald Trump who sets today’s “outsider” example, it was Pete Butt!
In contrast, Trump had several inherent advantages before he ever tossed his MAGA hat into the presidential ring. He’d been a household name for well over three decades in America – first as a real estate developer who gained notoriety for revitalizing the dilapidated Atlantic City shoreline, then as a tabloid celebrity, one who often was spotted with a beautiful woman on his arm (yes, some he was married to, some he wasn’t).
Say what you want about Trump, but the man’s a master at building a brand. The Trump name became synonymous with luxury, but he always accompanied his sales pitches with a healthy dose of good ol’ fashioned Americana. The gigantic American flags flying over his golf course and hotel/resort properties signified where he stood on patriotism.
Plus, Trump had hinted at running for president for twenty years before actually giving it a go, which allowed the well-known face to further insert himself into the political conversation as a serious and knowledgeable contender, but also to portray his run as something other than naked ambition. He could easily say something like, “I didn’t want to run for president, I felt I had to.” By the time Trump did officially announce in 2015, Barack Obama, Joe Biden and the Democrats had successfully destroyed much of what we used to think of as American exceptionalism.
Therefore, Trump was his own “White Knight” candidate, twenty years in the making.
He was also rich. We’re not talking Bill Gates or Jeff Bezos rich, but still wealthy enough to self-fund much of his campaign if he chose to and also to lend credence to his outsider bid as being serious and a legitimate threat to the GOP establishment. Whereas conventional politicians spend much of their time on the rubber chicken circuit begging affluent guys and gals for campaign cash, Trump could forego that – at least for a time – and consider his fortune well spent.
Trump likely figured he needed something new and different to add an exclamation point to his extraordinary life and career. What else could he possibly accomplish in media and real estate development that he hadn’t already done? Why not run for – and win – the presidency and spend your golden years making America great again?
There are still traces of Trump’s drive to finish his life with something notable – a return to the presidency – in his 2024 campaign. The question is whether he can pull it off using many of the same tactics he employed in his first outsider effort.
Trump was no novice. Pete Buttigieg, on the other hand, was a no-name to well over ninety-nine percent of the American population when he somehow reasoned he would run for the White House. Armed with nothing other than choirboy good looks and an unmatched ability to spin political problems in his favor, Pete began drawing invitations to establishment media talk shows where he sat in stark divergence to the aged and broken-down leaders in the Democrat presidential primary race.
What appearance and demographics obsessed liberal Democrat voter wouldn’t like Pete Butt? He was young and therefore seen as having “fresh ideas” and a different perspective than the old guard like Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, even if his spiel sounded more like the same warmed-over socialism that the ancient pols were spouting. Heck, they were the ones who’d made the mess in the first place, right?
Ramaswamy’s bid mirrors Pete Butt’s in noticeable ways. Ramaswamy is either trying to gain a foothold on a future political run or to attract the eventual Republican nominee’s attention to appoint him to a cabinet post – just like the South Bend former mayor did in 2020. Buttigieg’s status as the first openly homosexual viable presidential candidate from either party parlayed into a pretty good winning bet – being tapped by know-nothing corrupt empty suit Joe Biden to lead the Department of Transportation, where, as everyone knows, nothing can ever go wrong!
Over two years into his tenure, Buttigieg’s proved a disaster from his lack of experience, ideological incompatibility with the job – and because he’s a selfish loser who disdains accountability. Some are even hinting that Butt’s the new Kamala Harris in senile Joe Biden’s administration. Ouch!
Is Ramaswamy hoping for some similar measure of patronage from the eventual Republican nominee this year? If asked he’d no doubt deny it, but Vivek would be in better position for consideration from a President Trump 2.0 then someone like Nikki Haley would be.
Vivek is also from Ohio, and there’s a pretty important U.S. senate election in the Buckeye State next year. By running for president now, could Ramaswamy simply be laying a high-profile foundation for a move into the upper chamber to join another young conservative populist from Ohio, J.D. Vance?
Time will reveal how far Vivek Ramaswamy’s upstart presidential campaign takes him, and could possibly expose what the virtual unknown’s real motivations were for trying something so far-fetched. Mounting a presidential quest instantly gets one noticed on the national scene and could lead to something much bigger. If you don’t believe it, just ask Pete Buttigieg.
Joe Biden economy
Biden cognitive decline
January 6 Committee
Build Back Better
Marjorie Taylor Green
2024 presidential election