Vivek in Iowa
If elected President, Vivek Ramaswamy would be historic. He would be the first Jesuit high school graduate elected to the highest office in the land. (See what I did there?)
Since this author and the candidate were both beneficiaries of a Jesuit high school education, I asked him how this influenced him. He gave me a fascinating answer.
The Jesuits speak of magis; Latin for more. Vivek said that he learned that magis means striving to do more and to be better. As a country, we have ideals but we will fall short. But both personally, and as a country, we continue to keep seeking perfection.
Vivek is not Christian, but he believes in God. He became pro-life at his Jesuit high school. One of the Jesuit’s precepts is to see God in all things. Vivek put it this way, “God resides in all of us.”
My other question was about a negative New York Times story about him this week. He said he’s not a whiner and was somewhat glad for the attention. He expects to take hits during the campaign as part of the vetting process.
The main thrust of the NYT piece was that the president doesn’t have the executive power to take certain actions such as abolishing the Department of Education. We know that. But that claim is shorthand for the direction Vivek would take.
He deviated from his stump speech after an impressive recitation of part of the Declaration of Independence by a group of young people. It was a brilliant impromptu riff. Vivek’s favorite president is Thomas Jefferson. No surprise there as they are both Renaissance men.
Jefferson’s original draft used the words “we hold these truths to be sacred and undeniable.” Ben Franklin changed it to “we hold these truths to be self-evident.” I know that this is accurate.
Vivek’s point was that what our country was founded on was not at all self-evident at the time. The rest of the world was mostly under authoritarian rule. We were a new beginning.
One of his themes was that the United States is still a relatively young country and that we are going through an adolescent identity crisis. To resolve that, we need to get back to our founding ideals such as individualism, free speech, God, family, and the common ideas that unite us. Currently, there is a void in our country that is created by people’s lack of belief in God. We were founded as one nation under God. God’s hand guides us. People want to believe in something bigger than themselves to put meaning into their lives. The Cults of Net Zero, tribalism, and transgenderism (my words, not his) are used by the Left to fill the void.
One of our country’s cornerstones is free speech. As he put it, “this is not a liberal arts college luxury. It is necessary for this country. It is a requirement for discovering the truth.”
Vivek made a number of points and I agreed with all of them. I’ve seen these ideas expressed at length on his Twitter feed and I refer you to it.
- Put an end to affirmative action.
- End illegal immigration.
- Abolish the Department of Education.
- An eight-year term limit on federal bureaucrats.
- Rein in the administrative state; the Fourth Branch of government
- Take on Communist China. Declare our independence from the ChiComs.
- Hold China accountable for COVID.
- Unshackle us from the climate cult.
- Pardon all political prisoners convicted of non-violent crimes, including Donald Trump.
- Shut down the FBI. It is still Hoover’s FBI.
- Reform the DoJ; make it enforce the law fairly.
- Reform the Federal Reserve; stabilize the dollar.
- Grow GDP to 4-5%; not the current 1%.
- Unleash American energy.
A smart friend of mine is of the opinion that in order for the GOP to win, it is necessary to get the votes of blue-collar voters. I agree. To do so, the candidate needs to persuade people in a tutorial manner without talking down to them. I saw that with my own eyes.
I sat next to a woman who, by appearance, could not be more different from me. She was a former atheist from California. She had a full complement of tattoos. She also had facial piercings. Unlike me, she is not a lawyer. She discovered Vivek via Glenn Beck’s show. We had a long and pleasant dialogue, and she agrees with Vivek down-the-line.
One final note. I invest in biotech stocks. This is very complicated stuff. It is also risky as there is a high failure rate. As a young man, Vivek founded Roivant Sciences. He made a fortune reportedly of $600 million before the age of 40. He’s already lent his campaign $10 million and he will spend more. Vivek’s business success at a young age is exceptionally impressive. It shows what can happen in America if one is smart, hardworking, and takes calculated risks. As the saying goes, only in America.
Vivek is the guy I want across the table from other world leaders, the Democrats and the media.
Image: Gage Skidmore