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Reblogged:Ramaswamy: An Intriguing GOP Candidate

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This morning, I was surprised to see one Vivek Ramaswamy listed as an author of a piece titled "Why I'm Running for President" at the Wall Street Journal. The name vaguely rang a bell, but a video about Nikki Haley embedded near the top threw me off for a moment. Was this just a mistitled piece by someone commenting on her candidacy?

But I scanned the first few paragraphs and found that this wasn't the case.

Impatiently, I scrolled down to see who this was and found:
Mr. Ramaswamy is a co-founder of Strive Asset Management and author, most recently, of Nation of Victims: Identity Politics, the Death of Merit, and the Path Back to Excellence and Woke, Inc.: Inside Corporate America's Social Justice Scam.
Oh! That Vivek Ramaswamy!

I had first learned of Ramaswamy through Alex Epstein's excellent Power Hour podcast some time last year, in an episode titled "Vivek Ramaswamy's Positive Alternative to 'ESG' Investing."

He's a hedge fund manager who is fighting the leftist takeover of American industry by offering a positive alternative, and may he do well by doing good, as the saying goes!

He speaks of two things you almost never hear about anymore: freedom and merit, and of hearkening back to our founding ideals, without pretending those ideals imply a theocracy.

As with many conservatives, I find that I am with him regarding many of the things he opposes. That said, it is with parts of his proposed agenda I am likely to take issue. Take what most conservatives call "regulatory overreach" as they concede the premise that the government ought to meddle in the economy:
Image by Gage Skidmore, via Wikimedia Commons, license.
We must revive merit in who gets to govern in America. Democracy depends on a simple principle: The people we elect to run the government must be the people who actually run the government. The next time unelected bureaucrats like Anthony Fauci or Merrick Garland reach beyond their legal scope, I commit to doing what the president is constitutionally empowered to do: fire them. I will repeal civil-service protections for federal employees, by executive order if necessary, and replace these managerial protections with sunset clauses. If the president can't hold his position for more than eight years, neither should most bureaucrats. I will call on Congress to repeal or amend the 1974 Impoundment Control Act and will stop funding agencies that waste money or have outlived their purpose. I will shut down agencies that can't be reformed and create new ones built from scratch to replace them.
It might be a tall order for one op-ed piece taken out of context of a more comprehensive agenda, but talk of democracy always concerns me, as does the use of executive orders. And while reining in bureaucrats would be an improvement over the status quo, what is Ramaswamy's overall view of regulation? Do we "need" some regulation? Or should it ultimately be abolished and, if so, how might that occur?

Those concerns aired, let me say that Ramaswamy is a breath of fresh air compared to any of the other current likely candidates. It will be interesting to see if he meets or exceeds that promise as time goes on and we learn about more of his political positions. (A "non-exhaustive list" is here.)

-- CAV

P.S. Shortly before posting, I recalled another prior encounter with Ramaswamy's work, in the form of a letter to the board of Chevron in his capacity as a hedge fund CEO that I blogged this past September.

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