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(7,744 posts)
Fri Aug 25, 2023, 03:51 AM Aug 2023

Ramaswamy is trying to outsmart white power. It won't last

Ramaswamy is playing a familiar role in a very old American story – that of the nonwhite man who says things that white men are not supposed to say, making it OK for them to say them, thus ensuring his political irrelevance – until the next time white men need a nonwhite man to repeat the pattern.

If you listen carefully, you can hear Ramaswamy trying to sound like Donald Trump. His rhetoric involves conspiracy theories, stupendously false claims, and winks and nods to racists and revanchists. It’s in the hope that GOP voters who are concerned about Trump’s baggage might come over to his side. But in the end, they won’t need him. They have what they want.


But that was only the clearest example. Like Donald Trump’s rhetoric, Vivek Ramaswamy’s usually features elements of anti-Black dog whistling and conspiratorial innuendo. These flatter the listener into believing that they’re both too sophisticated to accept the conventional wisdom of a democracy that’s growing more diverse. While everyone else feels forced to talk in terms of “political correctness,” they are free to speak the plain truth.


Ramaswamy isn’t stupid. He can sense the deep desire among “white Christian inhabitants” – or, as I have called them, “Realamericans” – for the “subservient” to adopt their way of thinking. He can sense their desire to hear someone who looks like him tell them what they want to hear.

So he’s giving it to them.

But in the process of telling Realamericans that they are right, and that non-Realamericans are wrong, he’s making it OK for Trump to keep being what he’s become, “the symbol of white Christian entitlement and power.” And the more he validates Donald Trump, the less these Realamericans are going to need Ramaswamy. He’s served his function. Now he’s done.


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