‘National Identity Crisis’: Anti-Woke Businessman Vivek Ramaswamy Launches 2024 White House Campaign

Vivek Ramaswamy speaking with attendees at the 2022 AmericaFest at the Phoenix Convention
Gage Skidmore/Flickr

Anti-woke businessman Vivek Ramaswamy has formally launched his 2024 presidential campaign on Tuesday evening with a video laying out what he says is a “national identity crisis” facing the nation and the need for a revival of “American exceptionalism.”


“We’re in the middle of a national identity crisis today,” Ramaswamy says in the video. “Our nation is hungry for a cause, for purpose, for meaning. The things that used to fill that void like faith, patriotism, hard work, and family have disappeared. We now embrace one secular religion after another, from Covid-ism to climate-ism and gender ideology to satisfy our deeper need for identity. Yet we cannot even answer the question of what it means to be an American in the year 2023. Today, the woke left preys on that vacuum. They tell you that your race, your gender, and your sexual orientation govern who you are and what you can achieve in life. If you question that orthodoxy, they call you a bigot, a homophobe, a climate denier, a racist. There is no greater damnation in modern America than to be called a racist. This is psychological slavery and that’s created a new culture of fear in our country that has completely replaced our culture of free speech in America.”

Vivek Ramaswamy, chairman and founder of Montes Archimedes Acquisition Corp., speaks during the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Dallas, Texas, on Friday, August 5, 2022. (Dylan Hollingsworth/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Ramaswamy, who is just 37 years old, has had a remarkable business career in his early life where he ran several investment firms before later writing a bestselling book Woke, Inc.: Inside Corporate America’s Social Justice Scam that exposed leftist woke tendencies of major companies. Ramaswamy appeared on Tucker Carlson Tonight on the Fox News Channel to roll out his bid along with the launch video.

“I remember in 1993 when I was in second grade and I heard Martin Luther King’s ‘I have a dream’ speech for the first time,” Ramaswamy says in his campaign announcement video. “That was the speech where he said, ‘I hope my four children grow up in a country where they are judged not on the color of their skin, but on the content of their character.’ That dream stuck with me. It meant something to me. I grew up in Ohio in the 90s as a skinny kid with nerdy glasses and a funny last name. My parents taught me if you’re going to stand out, then you might as well be outstanding. Achievement was my ticket to get ahead. I went on to found multibillion-dollar companies — and I did it while getting married, raising a family, and following my faith in God. And yes, I am a millennial. I was born in 1985. But the sad part is if I had been born 20 years later, I think my story would have been impossible.”

A 2016 report from Forbes estimated his net worth at around $600 million. Ramaswamy’s campaign website is Vivek2024.com.


Interestingly, his rollout is very ideas-focused and thematic — asking questions about what the ideals of Americans truly are. It’s something most other 2024 candidates, declared or potential, have been lacking either entirely or somewhat from their campaigns actual or prospective. This broad vision of what the country should be, and what principles bring the people together, combined with an outsider perspective that Ramaswamy brings to the race could be a lot like Dr. Ben Carson’s 2016 Republican campaign or Andrew Yang’s 2020 Democrat campaign — or it could go even further.

“If you ask me, the best measure of the health of American democracy is the percentage of people who actually feel free to say what they actually think in public,” Ramaswamy says in the rollout video. “Right now, we’re doing abysmally. That’s why today I’m announcing my run for president of the United States. This isn’t just a political campaign. This is a cultural movement to create a new dream for the next generation of Americans and this time around it isn’t just about money. It’s about the unapologetic pursuit of excellence in our country.”

Ramaswamy is set to barnstorm the campaign trail in New Hampshire on Wednesday, and then Iowa later in the week, right after his announcement. In his launch video, he continues exploring those broad ideas and themes as he lays out his vision for the country.

“It means you believe in merit, that you get ahead in this country not on the color of your skin but on the content of your character and your contributions,” Ramaswamy says. “It means you believe the people we elect to run the government are the ones who actually run the government, not federal bureaucrats who multiply themselves like a national cancer that’s now metastasizing to the private sector. It means that the best ideas win, instead of getting censored. It means you don’t have to choose between speaking your mind freely and putting food on the dinner table. It means you believe these ideals form the backbone of the greatest nation on earth that the rest of the world still looks up to as its example, not the Soviet Union in the last century and not Communist China in this one either. That is the new American dream. Ask yourself if you still believe in these ideals. I don’t care if you’re black or white, gay or straight, Democrat or Republican for that matter, are you on board with these basic principles? If you are, then we’re on the same team. I think most of you believe these things to be true. I think most of you think that your neighbors, your colleagues, and your classmates also believe these things to be true, but you can’t be sure anymore because you don’t feel free to talk about it.”

He ends the video by explaining that the “ruling party” in the United States is determined to divide Americans so they can continue to “accumulate more power for themselves.”

“Well you know what? I have a dream that we can be one people again, that our best days are actually, truly — not in some cheesy politician kind of way — but actually ahead of us,” Ramaswamy says. “We’ve obsessed so much over our diversity and our differences that we forgot all the ways we’re really just the same. We’re bound by a common set of ideals as Americans. I believe deep in my bones that those ideals still exist, and I’m running for president to revive them. E pluribus unum — from many, one. That is the dream that won the American Revolution. That is the dream that reunited us after the Civil War. That is the dream that won us two World Wars and the Cold War, and that is the dream that still gives hope to the free world. If we can revive that dream over fractious group identity then nobody in the world — not a nation, not a corporation, not a virus — is going to defeat us. That is what American exceptionalism is all about and that is what we need to revive in order to save this great nation.”


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