Monday, December 11, 2023

Tucker Carlson’s Interview With Vivek Ramaswamy

This one has already reeled in over 29 million views since dropping on Twitter, er, X, late yesterday afternoon, and for good reason – Ramaswamy is a fascinating interview.

He’s clearly the most intelligent candidate in the presidential field in either party, and he probably has the most calculated, clear-eyed perspective on the problems facing the country. A lot of what he’s saying reflects a strategic mentality which is considerably above that of the more typical candidates in the GOP field like Mike Pence or Nikki Haley.

For example, Ramaswamy got himself in some hot water for saying something which might be true but isn’t good politics – namely, that what our goal vis-a-vis China and Taiwan ought to be that we achieve semiconductor independence from Taiwan as soon as possible so that we wouldn’t care whether China invades. Carlson gets him to explain his position, which had everybody on the political scene screaming, and he does a good job of that.

In fact, he makes outstanding points along a general theme, which is that from a strategic and national security perspective America is a bit like a donut – we project a great deal of power internationally, and we’re involved in all kinds of things which don’t really represent our national interests, and yet at our core we’re tremendously vulnerable. For all the money we’ve spent on our military we still don’t have a nuclear defense, so we’re wide open to an EMP attack or a missile strike, our border is completely unprotected (Ramaswamy doesn’t really get into that, but it’s obviously part of this discussion), we’ve done nothing to protect things like our power grid from various kinds of attacks and we don’t even supply our own critical needs for things like pharmaceuticals and components to weapons systems.

He’s saying that filling that hole in the donut is an emergency, but he’s also got a deeper message, which is that Americans have got to rediscover who we are and what makes us great. He’s talking about a return to the mentality of 1776, when a critical mass of people demanded to be citizens rather than subjects and showed an out-of-control government that they, rather than the ruling class, were sovereign. Ramaswamy’s message, and he talks about this in the interview, is that all of the strange, unrealistic thinking out there – the woke mentality, the various iterations of victimhood and so forth – comes from attempts to replace the American identity and structure (individualism/family/nation/God) with something novel, untested and unworkable, and misery has flowed from that.

He’s right on all counts.

Ramaswamy isn’t destined to become president, at least not in this cycle. Perhaps he can beat the odds, but we’d doubt it. But that isn’t to say he’s a flash in the pan. Frankly, if the Republican Party reoriented itself around his message it would profit greatly from it. And it wouldn’t be a bad idea at all if he was the next GOP chairman, not that we would expect it.