Vivek Ramaswamy, a 37-year-old entrepreneur and first-time political candidate running as a Republican for president, has mastered the art of delivering captivating stump speeches. During his recent campaign trail in New Hampshire, he consistently relied on several statements that garnered enthusiastic applause from his audiences. Let’s examine five of his most impactful lines and their implications.
“I will be the first presidential candidate to say I will end race-based affirmative action.”
While this claim is debatable, as Ben Carson campaigned on ending affirmative action in 2016, it resonates with the predominantly white crowds that Ramaswamy addresses. As the son of Indian immigrants, his stance aligns with his broader critique of group identity and the emphasis on diversity often championed by liberals. However, his proposed executive order to eliminate racial preferences raises complexities that go beyond his simplified portrayal.
“I will shut down the fourth branch of government, the administrative state. You cannot tame that beast. You must end it.”
Ramaswamy pledges to surpass former President Donald J. Trump’s efforts to “drain the swamp” by dismantling the “Deep State.” He asserts that he will achieve this unilaterally, using executive orders to eliminate Civil Service protections, impose term limits on federal positions, and dismantle agencies such as the Education Department, FBI, and IRS. His campaign revolves around the idea that elected officials should hold real power, criticizing the unelected bureaucracy he believes controls Washington. However, the practicality and consequences of such drastic actions remain subjects of debate.
“We will use our military to annihilate the Mexican drug cartels.”
During a visit to Keene, N.H., Ramaswamy contemplated utilizing a local precision-weapons plant to reinforce his proposal of military action against organized crime along the southern border in Mexico. Disregarding the fact that this would involve targeting a U.S. ally and neighbor, Ramaswamy echoes similar threats made by Trump that were never fulfilled. Some libertarian-minded voters may find this promise overly aggressive, raising concerns about its potential implications.
“How about a constitutional amendment to make the voting age 25, but you can still vote at 18 if you serve the country or pass the civics test my mother passed to become a citizen?”
While this proposal may not resonate with Generation Z, it appeals to older Republican primary voters who perceive a loss of civic engagement and purpose in the country. It may also find support among those who recognize the disproportionately Democratic-leaning youth vote. Ramaswamy’s suggestion seeks to redefine citizenship and restore a sense of duty and responsibility to the electoral process.
“Today we depend on our main enemy for our entire modern way of life. That is a problem. The Declaration of Independence that I will sign as your next president will be our Declaration of Independence from Communist China.”
Confronting China stands as Ramaswamy’s foremost foreign policy priority, even if it entails short-term hardships. He proposes restricting American businesses from expanding into Chinese markets unless Beijing meets certain demands, including improved intellectual property protections and an end to mandatory joint ventures with state-controlled enterprises. He acknowledges that reducing consumer dependence on China would be challenging and economically distressing. However, he believes it is a necessary sacrifice for citizens and a means to foster national unity.
Vivek Ramaswamy’s stump speeches are characterized by bold promises and provocative statements, designed to captivate his audiences and differentiate himself in the crowded political landscape. However, the feasibility and potential consequences of his proposals warrant careful consideration and further scrutiny.