37-year-old American entrepreneur, Vivek Ramaswamy, has become only the third Republican to throw his hat into an increasingly crowded ring of presidential candidates. He has only been preceded by former president Donald Trump, and former United Nations ambassador, Nikki Haley.
Mr. Ramaswamy is a millionaire entrepreneur, head of an asset management firm, and the author of the books, Nation of Victims and Woke. He announced his intentions to become president of the United States on February 21, 2023, with an appearance on Fox News. Mr. Ramaswamy claimed he wanted to blaze the trail for “a cultural movement to create a new American dream based on the pursuit of excellence.”
The first obstacle in his path will be that of his inexperience in the political arena. This greenness is especially glaring when compared to the seasoned candidates from his party. When asked about this and his relatively young age, Ramaswamy says,
“We’re in the middle of this national identity crisis, where if you ask most people my age, really any age — what does it mean to be an American today? — you get a blank stare in response. And I think that is the vacuum at the heart of our national soul,” He told CNN’s Kaitlan Collins on “State of the Union.”
The Indian American has been especially vocal about restoring the American identity and unifying the people in spite of diversity. Ramaswamy was once quoted telling CNN that America has “celebrated its diversity so much that we forgot the ways we are really just the same.” He earlier said the following words:
“The opportunity for the GOP is not just to complain about wokeness, or gender ideology, or climate ideology, but actually to go upstream and fill that black hole with a vision of American national identity that runs so deep that it dilutes these agenda to irrelevance and actually unifies us as a country.”
He stands against the policy of ESG initiatives (Environment, Social and Corporate Government), by which a business’ social and environmental impact is measured.
Mr Ramaswamy has also found fault with affirmative action policies, which allowed factors like gender, race, ethnicity et cetera to serve as admission criteria.
Another point of call if he moves into the Oval Office will be to limit the United States’ economic dependency on China.
Ramaswamy has quickly garnered support due to his vision and unique circumstances. One of them is his Indian American peer, Vikram Mansharamani. Mr. Mansharamani, a fellow Republican, who ran for the senatorship seat of New Hampshire, described Ramaswamy as “being very impressive, thoughtful and articulate.” He insists that they both have views that will “unify rather than separate” the American people. Vikram Mansharamani believes that, instead of playing identity politics, Americans should build on what they have in common.
The Indian American community is also excited about the prospect of seeing two of their own participating at the highest level of American politics. The past three election cycles have seen a sharp increase in political participation from the community. Mrs. Nikki Haley and Mr Vivek Ramaswamy are both Indian Americans. This is something the community can be proud of.
Democrat Shekar Narasimhan does not feel too confident in Ramaswamy’s views, but he also agreed that his participation was a welcome development for the Indian American community. He says,
“If our children see Americans with a name like Ramaswamy run, and a Khanna or Krishnamoorthi can win, that’s a good thing,” Mr Narasimhan says.
However, a considerable number of Republicans predict a three-horse race between Donald Trump, Nikki Haley and Vivek Ramaswamy. They would prefer not to forge alliances in the face of uncertainty.
Still, some remain skeptical of what a businessman-turned-politician has to offer to the American people.
Hotelier Danny Gaekwad, who had been a major financier for the Republican party, opines that Ramaswamy would have remained largely unknown if he had not declared his candidacy early enough. Although he admires the businessman’s courage, Gaekwad believes there needs to be a strategy attached to his campaign, a strategy, according to him, that has “something for the Indian American people”.