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Fighting False Idols and a National Identity Crisis: Vivek Ramaswamy's Plan to Win the Presidency

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In 2016, businessman Donald Trump entered politics as an outsider and shocked the world by winning the presidency. Now, Vivek Ramaswamy hopes to follow a similar script and achieve the same result in 2024. 

The new GOP presidential candidate shares a business success story as an entrepreneur worth millions. Ramaswamy was born in America to immigrant parents from India. "They taught me something pretty interesting, which is that if you're going to be the odd man out, if you're going to stand out, you might as well be outstanding," Ramaswamy tells CBN News. 

He followed that exact advice which took him from high school valedictorian to Harvard to Yale Law School and ultimately into major success in both the biotech and pharmaceutical industries. 

As for his faith, Ramaswamy is Hindu although he attended a Jesuit high school. "There is a moral foundation for equality and America's vision of equality starts with that moral foundation," he says. "I think we should be unapologetic about reviving yes, those Judeo-Christian values, values that I happen to share through my Hindu faith as well, but revive those as the cornerstone of American identity to family, faith, patriotism. These are become four letter words..."

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"When Moses went to the mountaintop, by the time he came down, they'd already built the golden calf. The Israelites are wandering in the desert. What was it internally inside each of them that wanted to go back and be ruled by pharaoh? I think that is the moment we live in today in America, where we too, are lost. We have an entire populace that is so hungry to bend the knee, so hungry to worship these false idols of climate-ism, or covidism, or wokeism, or gender ideology," he said.  

Those issues are his bread and butter because when Ramaswamy hits the campaign trail, he focuses on one constant theme. "I think we're in the middle of a national identity crisis in this country," Ramaswamy tells CBN News. 

He blames the progressive left, saying it's created a morally bankrupt vacuum. "They prey on that vacuum, telling you that your identity is based on your race, and your sexuality, and then what you can achieve in life is based on your genetics, I reject that vision." 

Based on that, one of his policies would include rescinding affirmative action programs. "I believe in trickle down culture," he says. "Once you get rid of government-spawned affirmative action, government-spawned racism, it's really a form of de facto racism, that then affects all parts of our culture all the way down." 

Ramaswamy also believes it's time to end what he calls the new toxic climate religion, a theme he hammers home on the campaign trail. "The climate religion has nothing to do with the climate and everything to do with the equity agenda, the global equity agenda of shackling the United States while letting the rest of the world catch up so we may apologize for our sins," he explained. 

He also wants to dismantle the federal administrative state, which he says really runs the country. He has ideas on how to do it. "Apply eight-year sunset clauses to anybody who works in the federal bureaucracy to say that if I, as the president can't work for the government for more than eight years, neither should most bureaucrats."   

His claim to fame centers on railing against liberal progressive ideology, summed up in his best-selling book, Woke, Inc.: Inside Corporate America's Social Justice Scam

Specifically, Ramaswamy believes it's time to go after big business that embraces the government move toward pushing the environmental, social and governance movement or ESG as it's known. 

"Go after those cases where the government is itself using private companies to do through the back door what government could not get done through the front door under the Constitution," Ramaswamy tells CBN News. "That's what we see in the case of so-called big tech censorship. I don't even call it that anymore. I call it what it is: government tech censorship." 

It's not yet clear how much his message might resonate. But GOP strategist Erick Erickson says, "Ramaswamy has the potential to build a coalition that transcends traditional Republican coalition-building with his focus on ESG and, in particular, a battle against the cloistered mind of the left." 

Others say, he could actually help Donald Trump win the nomination, especially if Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis gets in the race. The two men share similar visions with both—going after woke culture and corporations. "I don't know what his joining the race does except peeling a few votes away from DeSantis," says David Sacks, founding chief operating officer of Paypal. 

As for Trump's candidacy, Ramaswamy sees the need to move on for the sake of national unity. "A lot of people think he doesn't care about national unity," Ramaswamy says. "I know him. I believe he cares deeply about national unity actually, but the question is, can he deliver it? If he was going to deliver it, I think we wouldn't be where we are today. We're fractious. We're deeply divided. There is now calls even from one wing of the Republican Party from Marjorie Taylor Greene for a national divorce, I reject that vision."   

Ramaswamy wants to unite the country and believes that a 37-year-old new generation candidate like himself can be the one to do it. He maintains he brings a full understanding of the issues and is not just a talking points candidate, but can he really win? He says it's a two-step process. 

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"2023, let it be the year of the what and the why," he tells CBN News. "Forget about the question of the who. We Republicans sometimes obsess too much about the who. Ask ourselves, 'What do we stand for? Why do we stand for it?' Let's define that this year. Then next year, as people start to go to the polls. the question is who is the best standard bearer for that vision." 

That will be up to GOP Primary voters who will deliver their answer in due time.  

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