Tracking the phenomenal rise of Vivek Ramswamy in US politics

Vivek Ramaswamy…Well, the rise of this Indian-American entrepreneur has been unprecedented by all means in US politics. He was just a newcomer in politics, three months back, but in a short period, the Ohio-based entrepreneur — through his tall claims and hard-right polarising ideology – has made a mark leaving several leaders of his own party behind. Ramaswamy’s most bizarre ideas have been his reasoning for ending the Russia-Ukraine war, laying off three-fourths of the federal workforce — the one that got the largest traction lately — closing off the H1B visa program.

Where does he come from?

The Ohio entrepreneur was born in Kerala, and his parents migrated to the US. He holds graduation degree from Harvard and a law degree from Yale University. As an entrepreneur, Ramaswamy founded biotech firm Roivant Sciences in 2014 and investment firm Strive Asset Management in 2022. Also, giving a fair idea of his “anti-woke” agenda, Ramaswamy is the author of the book ‘Woke, Inc: Inside Corporate America’s Social Justice Scam’. The New Yorker even dubbed Ramaswamy as “the CEO of Anti-Woke Inc”.

As the New York Times called him, “Ramaswamy is lavishly wealthy and astoundingly confident”. So, he can easily fund his whole campaign. That is the reason he is carrying out such intense campaigning across the country. How, radical and divisive Ramaswamy’s politics is, can be understood as his statement, “We’ve celebrated our “diversity” so much that we forgot all the ways we’re really the same as Americans, bound by ideals that united a divided, headstrong group of people 250 years ago. I believe deep in my bones those ideals still exist. I’m running for President to revive them,”

A 'fevered hallucination': Latin America meets Vivek Ramaswamy - POLITICO

Vivek Ramaswamy from an intense grass-roots campaign (Photo: POLITICO)

Ramaswamy’s 10-point commandment

“TRUTH. 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,” Ramaswamy posted on X (formerly Twitter).

His pointers give a very clear idea, of what sort of politics, Ramaswamy is representing here. He is that “ultra-right”, “anti-woke” and “homophobic” GOP candidate, having the most resemblance with former President Donald Trump and his MAGA (Mae America Great Again) politics. By the way, if these traits are not there, how can someone even be a Republican in the first place…HA HA.

Stand on Russia-Ukraine War

Although, the whole Republican bloc has completely been against the US support to Ukraine, Ramaswamy in particular, has been one of the staunchest critiques of the Biden administration on the issue. While Donald Trump has claimed to end the conflict in “one day”, Ramaswamy has put forward the entire plan to do it. As per his idea, the conflict will end with Russia retaining the occupied areas in Donbas and Crimea (which it already has occupied), and Ukraine not joining NATO. However, Ramaswamy says he will put a condition for Moscow to end its military alliance with Beijing, for the deal to work out.

Now, I don’t need to say how “devoid of logic” the idea seems, as it will be like a complete US submission to its old Cold War rival. It also presents the US as an acutely unstable power, with drastic shifts in policy under two governments. Also, out of nowhere, Ramaswamy is assuming both Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping to act according to words like ‘promise’ and ‘agreements’. Well…if that had been the case, the whole geopolitics dynamics would have been very very different today.

CBS News poll finds Trump's big lead grows, as GOP voters dismiss indictments - CBS News

Here is how the GOP standings look like now with Trump having an unassailable lead (Photo: CBS News)

Some Bombarding Promises

What Ramaswamy is doing effectively, is following the ‘Big Lie’ theory, in other words, following his idol Trump. He is making so big promises that he is anyway getting the traction he needs. He goes a step further, in making people believe he is the only person who is raising those issues. Some of the most ‘game-changing’ promises of Ramaswamy are; stopping birthright citizenship, shutting down the “fourth branch of government”…the FBI, closing off the H1B visa program, raising the voter’s age (from 18 to 25), ending all affirmative action (kind of reservation you can say) and laying off 75 per cent of the federal workforce. Now, there is a significant section of Americans who think exactly the same way as Ramaswamy, and that’s why he has been able to grab so many eyeballs.

A lot of Americans are indeed of the opinion that the US should stay out of the Russia-Ukraine war, as they are well habituated to the episodes of Iraq and Afghanistan. His promise of coming harder than Trump against the ‘Mexican drug cartels’ will also appeal to many. Also, many Americans do think that giving citizenship to anyone simply born in the US is a bad idea and is being misused. Many might agree that the H1B visa system is, after all, a “lottery system”, and instead should be replaced with something more meritorious. However, it is pertinent to note here that Ramaswamy himself used the H1B visa 29 times for his own company. So, he is actually nothing more than a “big-mouthed politician” with no morality.

The ‘Chemistry’ of Ramaswamy-Trump

Well…despite how strange it may sound, if you have been following the US politics, it would not be a very unbelievable sort of thing. Ramaswamy has already dubbed Donald Trump as the “Best President of the 21st century”. He has continuously stated that Trump laid a very “strong foundation” for the country, adding that he can make the best use of it to take the country forward. However, it is pertinent to note that Ramaswamy too harshly criticised Trump during the ‘January 6’ episode. But, of late, he has dodged and refrained from getting into that, instead subtly supported the former President on the issue.

Also, this ‘love affair’ has not been one-sided. Donald Trump too has heaped praises on Vivek Ramaswamy. He has called the Indian-American rival as “smart, young guy and a very intelligent person who has a lot of talent and good energy”. Trump even said that Ramaswamy would make “a very good” Vice President along with him. In addition, he also advised him a word of caution, asking him to be “a bit more careful” with what he says. As far as I can guess, there is definitely some ‘back-room dealing’ behind all this chemistry. So, don’t be surprised, if Trump after being declared the GOP presidential candidate announces Ramaswamy as his running mate.

WATCH: Most Republicans Defend Trump but Not as Strongly as Indian-American Vivek Ramaswamy - News18

Donald Trump and Vivek Ramaswamy have spoken only good words for each other (Photo: News 18)

The GOP Standings

Well, we also need to take a look at where things stand in the Republican party currently. As of now, Mr Donald Trump is leading the GOP race by a far far margin, close to 60% of the support. The distant second place (very distant indeed) is still held by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis at around 12-13%. Now, some recent surveys have also put Vivek Ramaswamy at over 10% close to DeSantis. The surveys have pointed out that Ramaswamy is getting a major chunk of his support from the youth voters. So, even if he lags behind DeSantis, he is one of the most popular contenders ‘other than Trump’.

Other than them, former Vice President Mike Pence, former Governor Nikki Haley (another Indian origin) and a couple more candidates are also in the fray, however, they are much behind in the race. Meanwhile, it is no brainer that Trump is so much ahead that he is not even taking part in the GOP debates anymore. Although, another Biden-Trump face-off seems on the cards. But, unlike last time, it is going to be very difficult for Biden to compete against a ‘comeback-seeking’ Trump, who will make the most of the anti-incumbency wave and of course his own polarising extremist wave. With the poor ratings of President Biden, it seems the old ‘Trumpian days’ will soon be back in America.

Future of Ramaswamy

Political newcomer, who promises to bring a  revolution and is playing a long-shot game. There are two things, Vivek Ramaswamy is actually banking on here, his age and his wealth. He is just 38 years old. Even if Trump (77) wins, he can’t contest again after 2028. Ramaswamy is making sure that he presents himself as the strongest GOP leader with a much broader vision than others like DeSantis and Halley. Also, keeping his views almost like that of Trump, he is aiming to cash on the ‘Trump-fanbase’ too. So, if not in 2024 or even in 2028, Ramaswamy can very well achieve his objective somewhere in the future.

But…am I happy for another Indian-American leader’s rise to the top, this time in the US. NO. Why the hell should I? He is an American, who thinks American and prioritises American interests, and absolutely no harm in that. But, it is high time, we Indians stop rooting for some random politicians just because someone in their family, had some connection with India. No one can point out even one benefit that India got, from Rishi Sunak getting in 10 Downing Steet? I am not complaining here, but just pointing out the mistake that we make. Regarding Ramaswamy, he is a young leader writing in popularity. Although, I disagree with his ideology by 200% but all the best to him. (PS: I would be rooting for Michelle Obama once Democrats bring her into the fray).


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