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Anti-Woke Candidate: Indian American Vivek Ramaswamy Announces 2024 Presidential Bid

Anti-Woke Candidate: Indian American Vivek Ramaswamy Announces 2024 Presidential Bid

  • The entrepreneur and conservative author joins the GOP race with Donald Trump and Nikki Haley.

It seems to be an Indian American season in the Republican party. Just days after Nikki Haley announced her presidential bid, another Indian American has thrown his hat in the ring for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024. Entrepreneur and conservative author Vivek Ramaswamy, filed papers with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) yesterday (Feb. 21). The 37-year-old political neophyte “rocketed to conservative fame by opposing socially responsible investing in the corporate world, including a trip to Iowa last month,” according to a Politico report. He joins the GOP race with former President Donald Trump and former South Carolina Governor and former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., Nikki Haley. 

“We are in the middle of a national identity crisis,” he declared in an online video launching his campaign. “Faith, patriotism & family are disappearing. We embrace one secular religion after another – from wokeism to climatism – to satisfy our deeper need for meaning. Yet we cannot even answer what it means to be an American.

Despite filing papers with the FEC as a Republican, Politico notes that Ramaswamy’s announcement video “made no mention of the party itself — an indication that he hopes to frame his candidacy as outside the conventional political framework.” 

In an earlier profile, Daniel Lippman of Politico said that the young entrepreneur, recently described by the New Yorker as the “CEO of Anti-Woke Inc., ants to pull off what Donald Trump did in 2016: enter the race with an entrepreneurial spirit, unorthodox ideas, and few expectations, and end up developing a major following that will carry him to the presidency — even if it seems like a long shot at the moment.” However, as Lippman noted, Ramaswamy “doesn’t necessarily want to run on his businessman track record. Instead, he is planning to launch an ideas-based campaign focused on revitalizing the American spirit and bringing back a culture of merit into society.”

Ramaswamy earlier passed on running for an open U.S. Senate seat as a Republican in 2022, and was being “considered a potential outside-of-the-box challenger to Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown’s 2024 reelection campaign,” the report added. 

He emerged on the national stage after publishing his book “Woke, Inc.: Inside Corporate America’s Social Justice Scam,” which criticizes political correctness and identity politics in the corporate world. 

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In a January interview with The Epoch Times’ American Thought Leaders program, he lamented values that used to be meaningful, such as “patriotism, hard work, family, and faith, have slowly receded from modern life,” leaving what he calls “a black hole of identity in the younger generation of Americans that allowed woke ideologies to creep in.” He told the publication that his “diagnosis at the end of ‘Woke, Inc.’ and in ‘Nation of Victims’ that an entire generation is hungry for a cause, for purpose and meaning at this point in our national history,” he said. “We need to fill that identity vacuum with something based on the shared pursuit of excellence as part of what it means to be American,” he added. “But the path getting from A to B is a complicated one, running through some uncomfortable terrain.”

The son of Indian immigrants — his father a General Electric engineer and his mother a geriatric psychiatrist — Ramaswamy was born in Cincinnati. He attended Harvard as an undergrad and then Yale Law. He made his name first by becoming a successful biotech entrepreneur and developing medicines, including five drugs that became FDA-approved. 

Last year, he founded an anti-ESG investment firm in Columbus called Strive Asset Management. The company has received financial backing from Peter Thiel, the conservative Silicon Valley billionaire and J.D. Vance, a former investment manager who was elected to the U.S. Senate in November as a Republican.

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