We Interrupt Your Regular Programing With GOP's Tech Clown Candidate

Every presidential cycle you get candidates who stand little chance of being the nominee, much less being elected president of the United States. Your Marianne Williamsons, Jim Webbs, Herman Cains, Rick Santorums, George Patakis, and Michael Bloombergs, if you will.

The Republican 2024 primary has a new entrant: biotech millionaire Vivek Ramaswamy.

Ramaswamy appeared on this week's CNN's "State Of The Union" with guest host Kaitlin Collins, where he used a lot of meaningless phrases and rambled on about the dangers of "woke."

Let's watch!

Collins pointed out the familiarity of a "a multimillionaire businessman running for president promising to shake up Washington." But the thing is that Vivek Ramaswamy is not just that. He is also a man desperately craving attention and fame, which is why he is a pundit fixture on Fox News.

When asked by Collins if he thinks he can win, based on the fact he's never held any elected office nor is a national figure, Ramaswamy performed that tech bro move where they speak fast and contradict themselves but hope no one notices.

RAMASWAMY: [...] I'm not running on my biography or my business credentials. I'm running on a vision for this country that I have articulated over the last several years. And a lot of the conservative base actually is familiar with me through the three books I have written, two of which are published [...]

So, you're NOT not running on your biography or credentials. Got it.

Collins noted that Ramaswamy plans to self-fund his campaign but asked what his limit to that would be. Ramaswamy never fully answers the question while giving a hint that he hopes his "self-funding" might be a bit less as others pitch in.

RAMASWAMY: That being said, I think a lot of businessmen or, history would teach, self-funders make the mistake of thinking that they can just use their own money as a substitute for getting the support of voters. To the contrary, this campaign is actually going to be lifted up by bottom-up grassroots donations. We're already off to a great start in the first few weeks on that front as well. So it'll be a combination of those things. [...]

Pretty sure that despite the Citizens United Supreme Court decision, donations do not equal votes ultimately. But Ramaswamy then tried to use his "self-funding" narrative to make himself seem unbeholden to anyone.

RAMASWAMY: [...]But what it did liberate me from is, many Republicans, what they do is, they ring the tin can, carry a hat in hand, and ask for donors for permission to run. I was allowed to skip that step because of not only my accomplishments, but the fact that I don't want to be beholden to a Republican donor class that's the normal gatekeeper in this process, one of the things I'm calling out.

That sounds cute and adorable, but it's total bullshit. Vivek Ramaswamy is an Ohio native and law school friend of Republican Sen. J.D. Vance. He started Strive Asset Management, which had the financial backing of the billionaire Peter Thiel and Vance’s venture capitalist firm. So while he claims to not be beholden to the "Republican donor class," he looks pretty darn beholden to a libertarian tech billionaire like Peter Thiel. That is not much better.

Collins, mentioning his opposition to "woke" and his "CEO of Anti-Woke Inc" nickname given to him by The New Yorker, asked a simple question.

COLLINS: Can you just define how you — how do you define woke?

Ramaswamy, in apparent panic at having to define "woke," made the same mistake Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis's lawyers did when they had to define the nebulous term in court.

RAMASWAMY: [...] Being woke refers to becoming alert to invisible societal injustices, generally based on genetically inherited characteristics like race, sex, and sexual orientation, and then being called upon to act on those injustices, using whatever potential legally means are necessary, including the market, to do it.

When you define it this way, seems kind of like a self-report that you're fine with doing nothing to fix societal injustices. Because that truth is too revealing, however, Ramaswamy created a strawman he could attack instead ... even if it contradicted his own definition.

RAMASWAMY: [...] Now, my criticism of this is, I think that it's inherently divisive to tell us that we're nothing more than the characteristics we inherit on the day we're born. That divides us on the basis of race and sex and sexual orientation. [...]

The only ones who ever seem to define people solely by their characteristics is conservatives. It's why every time a landmark electoral victory happens for Democrats, the Republicans trot out a superficial copy that misses the actual point. It's the Hershel Walker for Raphael Warnock, the Michael Steele for Barack Obama, or the Sarah Palin for Hillary Clinton. It's always the "try our store brand version of your popular thing" of politics.

Ramaswamy continued throwing out random meaningless phrases and buzzwords such as "unleash the American animal inside the heart of the American economy" and blaming the Silicon Valley Bank meltdown on "diversity initiatives" (which is bullshit) instead of a bunch of tech oligarchs self-inflicting a bank run — some very familiar to Ramaswamy, in fact.

And ultimately this is why Ramaswamy isn't a serious candidate.

He is as empty a suit as Marco Rubio without adopting the full Trump personality like DeSantis did. He's what would happen if you added Andrew Yang to Elon Musk and subtracted the quantum of personality either have and replaced it with more screaming about "wokeism," DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion), and ESG (environmental, social, and governance investing) programs.

This might be great in Elon Musk's Twitter universe but in real people's lives, it is meaningless.

Have a week.

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Michael Mora

Your friendly neighborhood Puerto Rican Political Freelance Writer for @wonkette. Pop Culture observer, Amateur Movie reviewer & Comics fan. Former Active Duty Marine. All opinions are mine only.


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