In the lead-up to the Republican National Committee’s first presidential debate in Milwaukee, the political landscape buzzes with rhetoric and strategy. With President Donald Trump yet to commit to the event, Vivek Ramaswamy, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur and GOP presidential nomination hopeful, finds himself in the spotlight alongside Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
A sensational leak hit the media on Thursday, containing a strategy and tactics memorandum for the Milwaukee debate produced by Axiom Strategies, a firm supporting DeSantis. Although quickly taken down, The New York Times captured its essence. It guides DeSantis in approaching the debate, from attacking Joe Biden to presenting positive visions. One proposed tactic was to brand Ramaswamy as “Fake Vivek” or “Vivek the Fake.”
Ramaswamy’s campaign spokeswoman, Tricia McLaughlin, responded to the leak: “If DeSantis struggles to use a spoon, I can’t imagine he is particularly agile with a sledgehammer.”
Given DeSantis’s occasional emulation of Trump, it’s intriguing to see such a tactic being proposed against Ramaswamy, especially considering Ramaswamy’s previous criticisms of “wokeism” in his book “Woke Inc.”, which predates DeSantis’s crusade against the movement.
1. God is real.
2. There are two genders.
3. Human flourishing requires fossil fuels.
4. Reverse racism is racism.
5. An open border is no border.
6. Parents determine the education of their children.
7. The nuclear family is the greatest form of governance known to… pic.twitter.com/O4LvE014gW
— Vivek Ramaswamy (@VivekGRamaswamy) August 17, 2023
Nonetheless, it’s Ramaswamy setting the narrative tone for the upcoming showdown. In a post on Thursday on X, formerly known as Twitter, he encapsulated “10 truths.” The list ranges from affirmations like “God is real” and “There are two genders” to more policy-centric claims such as the necessity of fossil fuels and the assertion that reverse racism is still racism.
Ep. 17 Vivek Ramaswamy is the youngest Republican presidential candidate ever. He's worth listening to. pic.twitter.com/9wGqptHdto
— Tucker Carlson (@TuckerCarlson) August 17, 2023
As DeSantis’s campaign plays on the nostalgia for Trump and a return to peaceful Thanksgiving dinners, Ramaswamy’s platform speaks directly to issues that have long resonated with conservative Americans. It’s clear from his recent campaign stops that he’s positioning himself as the voice of traditional values, emphasizing the importance of faith, patriotism, and hard work. Speaking at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum, Ramaswamy recounted his parents’ journey to America, stressing the importance of the American Dream and expressing concern for its future.
Imagine just being honest and being yourself as a strategy.
Unless you do that, you’ll always come across as inauthentic.
— Catturd ™ (@catturd2) August 17, 2023
But perhaps what stands out most about Ramaswamy is his diagnosis of America’s “national identity crisis.” He points out the shifting sands of American values, replacing traditional ideals with what he calls “new secular religions” like “wokeism” and “climate-ism.” For Ramaswamy, this represents a deeper void in American society that he’s eager to fill with a renewed vision of the nation’s identity.
With the debate approaching, hosted by Fox News’s Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum, all eyes are on these contenders. Will DeSantis lean into his proposed tactics or opt for a more substantive approach? How will Ramaswamy’s vision of America resonate with the broader GOP base?
New Hampshire 2024: Trump holds
39-point lead for Republican Nomination
Trump 50% (+39)
Hutchinson 1%@trafalgar_group | 1,036 LV | 08/14-16https://t.co/aGJODdTOEI pic.twitter.com/mp5wtYOGND
— InteractivePolls (@IAPolls2022) August 18, 2023
These questions will be answered soon, but one thing’s for sure: As America looks ahead, leaders like Ramaswamy offer a refreshing perspective rooted in traditional values while embracing the present challenges. And while political jabs and memorandums might create temporary ripples, the long-term vision will truly shape America’s future.