Special to USAfrica magazine (Houston) and USAfricaonline.com, the first Africa-owned, US-based newspaper published on the Internet.
Politics and its competitive twists can make some politicians say foolish things. Or, things that are not really helpful.
It’s also understandable that a lot of people drift off their strategy once the kleig lights are turned on, and the clash over who gets the ticket begins….
There are some who, perennially, talk like programmed automatons, reeling out all manner of things.
Again, only a few hours ago, we saw a familiar man, on national television who fits that profile, mannerism and picture. He was one of the Republican presidential aspirants at the debate in Miami, Florida, on November 8, 2023. He is the 38-year-old successful businessman, Vivek Ramaswamy.
On the question pertaining Ukraine, Ramaswamy’s response stunned many people around the world: “It has celebrated a Nazi in its ranks. A comedian in cargo pants. The man called Zelenskyy. Doing it in their own ranks…. This is a country that has banned 11 opposition parties. It has consolidated all media into one state, TV media arm — that is not democratic. It has threatened not to hold elections this year unless the US forks over more money — that is not democratic.” Zelenskyy, a Nazi?
He took a very sexist, misdirected attack to the former United Nations Ambassador of the United States who also served as Gov. of South Carolina, Nikki Haley, when debating the handling of the business and politics of International relations, especially as regards China and Russia. he asked:
“Do you want a leader from a different generation who’s going to put this country first, or do you want Dick Cheney in 3-inch heels?”
It did not fly.
Ramaswamy’s arguments and positions on some of the contemporary and challenging politics among nations are fundamentally idealistic, reckless, and in many cases, expose his lack of the necessary understanding of how to engage and optimize the interests of the United States in a rapidly changing world. Essentially, he continues to espouse isolationist poutings that are unrealistic to the current and future dynamics of fundamental interests of the United States. relationships.
At the same debate in Miami, Ramaswamy was called “scum” by Haley after he made this reference to Haley’s daughter during the discussion regarding U.S-based companies in which China’s government has access to and control of data of companies/apps with relationships, and their parent/related corporations located in China. He turned towards Haley and said in a very dramatic moment during the debate “In the last debate, she made fun of me for actually joining TikTok while her own daughter was actually using the app for a long time. So you might want to take care of your family first!” Ramaswamy earned a sharp rebuke from Mrs. Haley who roared “Leave my daughter out of your voice.. .You’re just scum.”
Ramaswamy, a tech-savvy politician, makes the case for a new generation of leaders to take over from the likes of President Joe Biden, whom he considers not adequate for the challenges of these times. In fact, Ramaswamy strongly reminded Haley that “The next generation of Americans are using it” That’s the TikTok mega-app.
The hi-pitch, aggressive voice, young, ambitious politician reminds me of the fact that it was this same Ramaswamy that another Republican aspirant, former Governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie, during the debate in August 2023 pointed to and said: “I’ve had enough already tonight of a guy who sounds like ChatGPT standing up here.”
Ramaswamy needs to unlearn and unhook himself from the routine, extremist nonsense to be seen as having the capacities and gravitas for the big league of the presidency.
Overall, I thought it was a disastrous outing for Ramaswamy. He’s brilliant but I think he’s auditioning for a different role rather than trying to become the President of the United States.
— Dr. Chido Nwangwu, author of the forthcoming book, MLK, Mandela & Achebe: Power, Leadership and Identity., is the Founder of the first African-owned, U.S-based newspaper on the internet, USAfricaonline.com, and established USAfrica in 1992 in Houston. He has appeared as an analyst on CNN, ALJazeera, SKYnews, and served as an adviser on Africa business to Houston’s former Mayor Lee Brown. Follow him on X @Chido247