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Vivek Ramaswamy isn’t a household name yet, but thanks to his bold ideas and early entry into the 2024 Republican presidential race, that could soon change. Since announcing his run for the White House last month, Ramaswamy has been making headlines with his decidedly non-establishment campaign agenda, which includes dismantling several federal agencies, including the FBI.
Ramaswamy spoke this past weekend at CPAC, the annual gathering of conservatives that is typically an important campaign stop for presidential candidates who hope to snag the Republican nomination. Donald Trump was there this year, as was Nikki Haley. Notable absences included Ron DeSantis and Mike Pence, who have yet to announce if they will be throwing their hats into the ring.
In looking to set himself apart from the rest of the field, Ramaswamy is willing to take on Trump and highlight what he sees as the former president’s weaknesses. Trump’s failure to repeal Executive Order 11246, an affirmative action policy signed by Lyndon B. Johnson back in 1965, is one area where Ramaswamy is hitting Trump hard, saying Trump “could have ended affirmative action with the stroke of a pen. He didn’t.”
He also thinks Trump could have done more to secure the southern border:
“He had a chance to use military force against the cartels — didn’t do it,” Ramaswamy said, adding that he planned to send the U.S. military to the southern border to stem the flow of migrants and rein in murderous drug cartels now flooding the country with fentanyl.
“I would prioritize … the use of the US military to secure our border,” he said “That includes using the military to decimate the cartels, the way you would treat terrorists like Soleimani or Bin Laden.”
Then there’s the FBI. Ramaswamy’s best shot at influencing the entire 2024 Republican field could be his determination to dismantle the FBI, a rogue agency that dogged Trump before and during his presidency and is currently Joe Biden’s favorite political cudgel. Ramaswamy told the crowd at CPAC:
“Today, I’m ready to announce the second government agency I will shut down in this country. We should have done it sixty years ago. It’s hurt Republicans and Democrats alike. We’re going to get it done; it’s finally time to shut down the FBI in America.”
This stance is a winner with conservative and independent voters, with polls showing an increasing number of Americans are distrustful of the FBI. Ramaswamy’s vow to burn the disgraced agency to the ground and start over may be the fanciful dream of a political newcomer, but it also taps into the distrust voters have for the federal government following years of lockdowns, face masks, and forced vaccines.
Another big target that is sure to win approval from conservatives is Ramaswamy’s vow to eliminate the Department of Education. The right has been calling for its closure basically since the day Jimmy Carter created it as a thank-you to the teachers’ unions for helping him win the White House in 1976. No Republican has pulled it off so far, but parents are mad and educators have a lot to answer for in the wake of COVID-related school closures and woke curricula. Governor Glenn Youngkin is proof that pro-student, pro-parent agendas win.
Vivek Ramaswamy may be a political neophyte, but he’s also a shrewd businessman and self-made man. The son of immigrants from India, he founded a pharmaceutical company and currently runs a wealth management firm. Politico dubbed him the “CEO of Anti-Woke, Inc.,” a sneering moniker that the publication likely doesn’t realize is appealing to a large swath of voters who have grown exceedingly tired of leftist antics.
Ramaswamy, too, recognizes the need to do things differently, recently telling crowds in Iowa, “We were taught that you satisfy a moral hunger by going to Ben and Jerry’s and ordering a cup of ice cream with some social justice sprinkles on top. But we’ve learned in the last couple of years that you cannot satisfy that moral hunger with fast food. And the good news is I think we’re getting hungry again. And I think there’s an opportunity to fill that hunger with something deeper.”