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What Is Up with Vivek Ramaswamy?
He's taking Christian nationalism to a new level
I’ve known plenty Vivek Ramaswamys. The loud kid in law school who kisses up to the teacher, tries to answer every question, and rips pages out of library books. The orator in mock trial that is a little too polished to the point it lacks authenticity.
I used to think Ron DeSantis was the most dangerous politician in America. But now I think it’s Vivek.
Both men know that in order to beat Trump they must be more extreme than Trump. They have to be ALL IN. It’s a race to the bottom of the Republican party.
More culture wars, more religion, more nationalism.
Talk about everything you’ll destroy from federal government agencies like the Department of Education and especially how you’ll promote “America First” at the expense of its allies: less support for Israel, no support for Ukraine, and the list goes on.
This is Christian Nationalism on steroids and Vivek Ramaswamy is injecting as much as possible to the point he will eventually make even Barry Bonds look small.
Why Vivek Ramaswamy is the most dangerous U.S. politician today
I previously said that Ron DeSantis (or DeFascist) uses “Trump’s populism with fascist practicality.” Vivek does this too, but with more gravitas, energy, and salesmanship.
What we saw at the Republican debates was a candidate who had copied the entire Trump playbook and then multiplied its extremes tenfold.
Unlike Trump, Vivek had a message beyond “Make America Great Again.” It goes as follows:
1. God is real.
2. There are two genders.
3. Human flourishing requires fossil fuels.
4. Reverse racism is racism.
5. An open border is no border.
6. Parents determine the education of their children.
7. The nuclear family is the greatest form of governance known to mankind.
8. Capitalism lifts people up from poverty.
9. There are three branches of the U.S. government, not four.
10. The U.S. Constitution is the strongest guarantor of freedoms in history.
Perhaps Vivek forgot to read the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment? Or the Federalist Papers where multiple founding fathers made clear there needed to be separation between church and state?
Not even Trump made God a core part of his platform.
That’s nothing against God or religion. Everyone should be free to practice whatever religion they want (which is protected under the First Amendment). But once the state, and especially a potential President, starts pushing religion into political platforms and government affairs, we’re no longer assessing what’s best for the American people. We’re assessing what’s best from the perspective of a higher power.
Not everyone believes in God. And there are many variants of Gods for those that do. Forcing that belief on that class of people is not freedom. It’s subjugation.
And while many of the other nine points may seem innocuous, they are anything but.
“There are two genders” is a direct assault on anyone identifying as transexual.
“Human flourishing requires fossil fuels” rejects climate change.
“Reverse racism is racism” speaks to DeSantis-style book bans on any form of history or critical thought that might make someone in a more privileged class feel bad.
“An open border is no border” goes to Vivek’s extreme isolationism that makes even Trump seem like a foreign policy hawk. Remember, Vivek wants to basically abandon Ukraine and Israel on day one.
“Parents determine the education of their children” is really a way of saying, “If you want to ban more books, just let me know.”
“The nuclear family is the greatest form of governance known to mankind” gives permission to anyone fortunate enough to have one to discriminate against those - who through no fault of their own - don’t have one.
“Capitalism lifts people up from poverty” but we’re going to ignore the fact it lifts some up WAY MORE than others while not helping those who are left behind by the system.
“There are three branches of government, not four” is Vivek’s way of saying he will destroy most of the administrative (“deep”) state including the Department of Education, IRS, and FBI. And you thought Trump was going to drain the swamp? Vivek actually plans to delete federal agencies.
“The U.S. Constitution is the strongest guarantor of freedoms in history” can only be read in the way Vivek interprets the Constitution, which is through the eyes of the founders in 1790 who were all white men who owned property. Forget the parts about separating church and state though. He wants to ignore them on certain points like religion.
One of the best parts! Vivek wants to require anyone under the age of 25 to pass a civics exam before being able to vote.
The only problem was he already failed his own version.
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Vivek Ramaswamy is more dangerous than Trump because he combines Trump’s showmanship with DeSantis’s extreme policy ideas. How Vivek would actually govern is unclear since he has no record.
The man has not even voted consistently! Vivek couldn’t consistently vote for Presidents or other government officials, but he’d love for you to vote for him.
His inexperience and record (or lack thereof) are the least of my concerns with him, however.
Vivek is the more extreme version of Trump
It was only a matter of time before someone else came along that not only copied the Trump style but amplified it. Someone with the gift of gab. Someone who could sell ice to an unsuspecting Eskimo.
Don’t be that Eskimo.
Seriously consider the broader implications of everything he says.
While it may seem fine and good, for example, to suddenly stop the war in Ukraine. To end the bloodshed. You have to be a student of Putin’s history, and especially his actions since invading Georgia in 2008, to have an idea of what he will do next.
Notice how Vivek never goes into detail on what will happen after there’s a ceasefire in Ukraine. How the Ukrainians will move on with less land and no guarantee of everlasting peace. How Putin will feel months later when he realizes the international community probably wouldn’t be able to stop him from just taking Kyiv.
How do you think Yevgeny Prigozhin feels after recently agreeing to peace with Putin? In case you missed it, he’s dead.
This is the common theme for all of Vivek’s positions. He says many things that we may all want in theory (like ending the war in Ukraine). But upon digging deeper you find him evading the question, delivering a platitude, or simply giving a nonresponsive answer.
Other things he says are just completely anti-democratic and anti-American. Like not recognizing basic civil rights for LGBTQ people, or forcing religion down a secular nation’s throat.
Vivek thinks he can play the outsider card - as a businessman just like Trump - and sell a more extreme nationalist message. He wants a strong emotional response. And if we’re not careful, he might just get it.
What you can do to stop Vivek Ramaswamy and those like him
We should not have to relive the 20th century. It was a horrific century in terms of human suffering and it taught us many things.
The chief lesson being that nationalism and fascism release our darker angels. They can leave devastation in their wake if left unchecked.
So whether you are an American or not, it’s important that you strike down these political evils wherever they appear. For they impact far more than America. Many countries across Europe, for example, have growing nationalist and fascist movements. Look at what I witnessed earlier this year in Bulgaria, for example:
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Sometimes nationalism and fascism are hard to identify. It’s not always readily apparent in the language of people like Vivek.
But it’s there.
Vivek’s ambitions for wielding the power of the state to impose Christian nationalism orthodoxy and strip civil rights from certain classes of people are just two examples of the threat he poses.
Sure, it may be tempting to dismiss him as an overeager, pompous, and fake presidential candidate who has no shot at winning. But if there’s anything we learned from the Trump years, it’s that we should never underestimate anyone.
Especially someone spreading dangerous populist ideas aimed at undermining democracy.
In case you missed it
After Prigozhin, Do Westerners Still Crave Peace with Putin? Why Prigozhin’s death should stop appeasement once and for all.
Republicans Have a Trump Law and Order Problem. It may be too late to avoid “normalizing.”
The Trump Trials Must Be Televised. Trump should defend himself live to the world.