Love him or hate him, Vivek’s interview with Tucker Carlson was fascinating

Love him or hate him, Vivek Ramaswamy is an interesting person and a different voice in the Republican presidential primary campaign season. This doesn’t mean concerns about him aren’t legitimate, especially when it comes to possible ties to George Soros. If Soros is the real power, we’re looking at yet another Manchurian candidate, this one on the right not (like Obama) on the left. Still, Vivek is gaining support, so I sat down and listened to his interview with Tucker…and there was a lot to like.

The interview opens with Vivek saying that the government lied about 9/11 to protect the Saudis. For many people, that’s a big “duh—of course, it did,” so that point did not interest me much. What was more interesting was Vivek’s point about the modern government’s ugly paternalism, which sees the elite believe that we, the little people, just aren’t capable of handling information or governing ourselves:

I think that there’s a bipartisan consensus in this country right now that we, the people, we can’t handle the truth.

It’s like Jack Nicholson at the end of the movie, right? “You can’t handle the truth. … You need me on that wall.” My view, my basic view in this campaign is no, we don’t need you on that wall and, yes, we can handle the truth.

COVID-19, what was the origin? What did we know about the vaccines before we mandated them? What did we know about Hunter Biden’s dealings before we systematically suppressed that story? What do we know about the truth of what happened on January 6th? What do we know about that Nashville shooter manifesto, the transgender individual who shot up a bunch of people in a Christian School?

[snip]

What makes us human beings, not animals, is the belief that we can believe in something bigger than ourselves, and that we can handle the truth from those who are in power. And I think that’s the moment we live in today and it was the moment the American Revolution that we, the people, can be trusted. And I think we now live in a moment where the government, and not just the government, but a broader establishment in our country believes that citizens of this nation cannot be trusted with the truth.

From there, Vivek talked about the paternalism that drives the elite (and, frankly, that may make sense when you consider dangerously infantile Americans who never outgrow childish things, whether clothes or Disneyland). This is a stifling and dangerous attitude, he says, that characterized all forms of government before the American Revolution. Moreover, this paternalism, he says, explains the heavy-handed bipartisanship in D.C. regarding hiding facts from the people.

Vivek also spoke intelligently about the coming economic collapse. He explained that we live with a “deeply inverted yield curve,” with short-term yields on bonds better than long-term ones. This has consistently presaged a major recession. Biden’s boasts about low unemployment numbers are irrelevant when the deeper economic structure is in shambles, and the numbers don’t account for people who have dropped out of the job market. Moreover, Department of Education-financed school systems have failed those who try to work.

On the subject of Ukraine, Vivek said that the donor class is driving policy. He also made an interesting point that the Budapest Memorandum of 1994, which requires us to support Ukraine, needs to be balanced against James Baker’s commitment in 1990 that NATO wouldn’t extend beyond Germany. In other words, America keeps only those promises it wants to.

Vivek is deeply worried that the war is driving Russia closer to China, which is very dangerous for America. That brought up Taiwan—and Vivek has been attacked for saying he wouldn’t send American troops there.

Image: Vivek Ramaswamy. Twitter screen grab.

Of course, what he said was more nuanced. He explained that we are completely dependent on Taiwan’s semiconductor industry and must disentangle ourselves from it. China has its eye on Taiwan in part because of that industry because, if it controls Taiwan, it then controls America.

Beyond that, says Vivek, if we gain independence from Taiwan, we don’t need to have boots on the ground in Taiwan because it’s not in our national interest. And that’s fascinating because Vivek is repudiating the Wilson Doctrine, first announced in 1917. That doctrine holds that it’s up to America to make the world safe for democracy. Vivek and Trump have a different take: It’s up to America to make the world safe for America. Democracy abroad goes a long way, but it’s not the be-it-and-end-all.

Speaking of which, Vivek frightened Israel supporters when he said he doesn’t think Israel should be getting more economic support than its neighbors. I’m a passionate Israel supporter (my parents were in the IDF in 1948), so Israel’s survival matters to me, but Vivek’s point was an interesting one: Expand the Abraham Accords, which enhance Israel’s safety without needing more American money. I’d like to assume that he would also stop rewarding Palestinians for bad behavior and end Biden’s financing of Iran.

There’s a lot more in the interview, and it’s worth hearing. You don’t have to agree with Vivek, but he’s thinking deeply about issues important to Americans and has opinions grounded in facts and rational analysis. I also continue to like his ten truths:

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