Vivek Ramaswamy’s viral take on the threat to arrest Trump
Vivek Ramaswamy, the businessman turned presidential candidate, has posted a not-quite-3-minute-long video in which he attacks DA Alvin Bragg’s efforts to use lawfare to kneecap Donald Trump in the upcoming presidential election. Ramaswamy’s video has 3 million views on Twitter as of this post, and the numbers are going up—and no wonder. He says what we all fear: That the possible indictment of Donald Trump marks America’s official passage from a constitutional republic to a banana republic.
This is about principle, not a person. This is about our country, not one man. The silence from the rest of the GOP field is deafening. pic.twitter.com/Jqi9o2d0wR— Vivek Ramaswamy (@VivekGRamaswamy) March 18, 2023
I continue to find Ramaswamy an interesting candidate, not just because he has a totally cool last name (which he does), but also because he speaks clearly, without political platitudes, about core American issues. Most conservative candidates don’t do this. Even Trump was incapable of doing so because that’s simply not how he thinks. He’s a pragmatic doer—and his second term could have been awesome—but he really never latched onto what makes America’s political system unique.
Surprisingly, Mike Pence also spoke out against the potential arrest, although he failed to articulate the principles at issue. It was all about feelings and political priorities and what the “American people want to see”:
“It just feels like a politically charged prosecution here. And I, for my part, I just feel like it’s just not what the American people want to see,” Pence said when asked about the potential arrest during a Sunday appearance on ABC News’ “This Week.”
“I’m taken aback at the idea of indicting a former president of the United States, at a time when there’s a crime wave in New York City, that – the fact that the Manhattan D.A. thinks that indicting President Trump is his top priority.”
In other words, Pence reduced principles to mindless platitudes but, again, at least he said something.
Unsurprisingly, Nikki Haley who is, like Ramaswamy, a declared candidate, has been silent, no doubt delighted to see a political rival potentially wiped off the board. Pragmatism will always override principle with this lady.
The most remarked-upon silence when it comes to Trump’s possible arrest is Ron DeSantis. While he has not declared his candidacy, everyone assumes DeSantis will run.
There are two ways to view his silence. The first is that he, like Haley, is happy to see a potential rival wiped from the board.
The second view of his silence, though, is that he’s aware that Trump may have jumped the gun with this one. According to a Business Insider report from Saturday, Trump’s own defense attorney, Susan Necheles, said that her legal team hadn’t heard anything from Melvin Bragg about an arrest, leaving her team “reading tea leaves.”
And indeed, the situation has changed since Trump’s tweets about an impending arrest. In another article, Business Insider, which seems to have an inside track, reported that the Manhattan DA’s office is claiming that the indictment is “on hold” pending testimony before the grand jury from an unidentified witness. It appears that this witness is so overwhelmingly important that nothing can be done without his or her input.
DeSantis may have decided that, with a possible indictment still up in the air, the wise mind keeps his mouth shut. He’s not one to rush his fences. But still, I would have liked to have seen from him the same full-throated statement Ramaswamy made, which is that using any sort of lawfare to deprive the American people of their right to decide upon their leaders is unconstitutional and poses a profound risk to our American experiment.
Image: Vivek Ramaswamy. Twitter screen grab.