Looking Back on the Campaign, and Forward for the Country | Vivek Ramaswamy | EP 440

Looking Back on the Campaign, and Forward for the Country | Vivek Ramaswamy | EP 440

Tour update 2024 (00:00:00)

  • Jordan Peterson announces a new tour for 2024, starting in early February and running through June.
  • The tour will visit 51 cities in the US.
  • Peterson will discuss ideas from his forthcoming book, "We Who Wrestle with God," to be released in November 2024.

Coming up (00:00:43)

  • Peterson criticizes the rise of the managerial class, which he sees as sucking the lifeblood out of culture and country.
  • He believes that reforming this managerial class is not possible and that it must be "slayed."

Intro (00:01:07)

  • Peterson introduces Vivek Ramaswamy, who he has been talking to regularly throughout Ramaswamy's run for president on the Republican side.
  • Ramaswamy has dropped out of the presidential race but remains active as a political voice.
  • The discussion will cover Ramaswamy's political journey, including his views on the Deep State, Donald Trump, and the future of the Republican Party.

From business to politics, what prompted the change (00:02:29)

  • Vivek Ramaswamy, a businessman and founder of a biotech company, decided to enter politics to challenge the administrative state, which he saw as the root of many problems in society.
  • He believed that the unelected bureaucracy had too much political power and wanted to dismantle it to revive the ideals of the American Revolution.
  • Ramaswamy felt that he could have the biggest possible impact by leading the United States and rediscovering its national ideals.
  • Despite not becoming the next president, Ramaswamy learned a lot from his political journey and took away valuable experiences.
  • He plans to continue having a big impact in other ways in the future, although his original motivation was to become president.

Launching the campaign (00:06:34)

  • Assumed the message would resonate with many people.
  • Planned a big launch with a video and a thorough policy vision rollout.
  • Noticed the world continued as if the campaign had never launched.
  • Realized the first battle was to be seen as relevant in the race.
  • The media focused on Trump and Haley's campaigns, ignoring Ramaswamy's launch.
  • Media coverage was negative and often misrepresented his views.
  • Felt the media had a responsibility to present a fair and accurate portrayal of all candidates.
  • Believes the media's bias contributed to his campaign's challenges.

The surprising level of marketing necessary for politics (00:09:12)

  • Vivek Ramaswamy compares the importance of marketing in politics to that in commercial ventures.
  • He initially believed that having a well-prepared policy would be sufficient, but realized that getting into the conversation required significant sales and marketing efforts.
  • Unlike consumer products or media industries, Ramaswamy's background in drug development did not provide him with direct experience in consumer-facing marketing.
  • Even for entrepreneurs with consumer-facing experience, the importance of sales and marketing in politics is much greater than in commercial ventures.
  • The initial challenge was not just about amplifying the message but about getting people to know that he was running for president.

Dean Phillips, shut out of the system (00:12:30)

  • Dean Phillips, who ran against Biden in the Democratic primaries, faced similar challenges.
  • Phillips was completely shut out of the Democratic apparatus, with people being threatened with career consequences if they worked for him.
  • He also struggled to gain traction with alternative media, which tend to lean more towards the classic liberal-conservative spectrum.

Getting on the map: non-traditional media (00:13:24)

  • Adopted a strategy to reach people through non-traditional media since traditional media was ignoring him.
  • Engaged with everyone and anyone, from cable news to individuals on the street, recording and sharing conversations on social media.
  • Despite a small social media following at the start, some interactions gained significant attention and interest.
  • Unscripted and visually unpolished content sometimes worked in his favor, making it more appealing.
  • This approach helped the campaign gain momentum.

Appearing on The Don Lemon Show (00:15:00)

  • Vivek Ramaswamy was invited to appear on The Don Lemon Show as a Republican candidate.
  • During the interview, Don Lemon focused on a statement Ramaswamy made at the NRA meeting about black Americans' civil rights and the history of gun control in the US.
  • Ramaswamy provided a historical perspective on the topic, which caused Lemon to become agitated and distracted during the debate.
  • The tense exchange gained significant attention and was reported by the New York Times as a contributing factor to Don Lemon's subsequent firing from CNN.
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How to fight “gotcha journalism” and going viral (00:18:36)

  • Vivek Ramaswamy discusses his experiences with "gacha journalism," where mainstream media journalists attempt to provoke interviewees into saying something controversial.
  • He handles these interviews by remaining calm and not playing into the journalist's game, which can turn the situation in his favor.
  • Ramaswamy had several viral moments in alternative media and direct-to-consumer interactions, including a viral exchange on The Breakfast Club, where he defended his business accomplishments, and a viral exchange with Chuck Todd on Meet the Press, where he explained the science behind gender.
  • He also had viral interactions at events like the Iowa State Fair, where he engaged in respectful conversations with protesters and people who disagreed with him.
  • The common thread in these viral moments is Ramaswamy's ability to remain calm and engage in authentic conversations, even when faced with hostile or provocative situations.

Unexpected success and the problems it created (00:24:16)

  • Vivek Ramaswamy's campaign gained unexpected traction earlier than anticipated.
  • His surge in popularity caught the media's attention, making him a topic of discussion even when he wasn't present.
  • The corporate press felt one-upped by Ramaswamy's success, particularly because he bypassed traditional media gatekeepers and gained popularity through direct interactions with the public.
  • The media saw an opportunity to entrap Ramaswamy, possibly as a way to defend their relevance as the sole gatekeepers in politics.

Why the corporate media is “not yet irrelevant” (00:26:37)

  • The corporate media is still relevant and important, despite the rise of new media.
  • The corporate media can take statements from long-form conversations and present them in a different context, which can be damaging to the speaker.
  • This creates a disincentive for people to participate in long-form conversations, as they may be punished for doing so.
  • Vivek Ramaswamy surged in popularity during the summer of 2023, leading to his participation in the first Republican presidential debate.
  • He was the target of attacks from other candidates during the debate, but he enjoyed the experience.
  • Ramaswamy's lack of strategizing and his willingness to talk to everyone unfiltered contributed to his success in the campaign.

The Atlantic lied (00:29:58)

  • Vivek Ramaswamy had a conversation with a reporter from The Atlantic during a private flight, where they discussed his skepticism about the government's narrative on 9/11 and the importance of transparency regarding events like January 6th.
  • Ramaswamy clarified that his statements about federal agents on January 6th and 9/11 were misrepresented, and he emphasized the need for releasing all relevant information to the public.
  • The Atlantic published a snippet of the conversation, suggesting Ramaswamy fueled conspiracy theories about federal agents on 9/11 planes, despite his denial of such beliefs.
  • Ramaswamy criticized The Atlantic for refusing to release the full recording and questioned their integrity as arbiters of truth.
  • He believes the media's portrayal of his views was motivated by their unhappiness with his ability to bypass them and his defiance of their expectations for a Trumpian worldview.
  • Ramaswamy argues that the media has a responsibility to vet presidential candidates and ensure the public is not misled, criticizing their role in spreading disinformation and misinformation.
  • He advocates for a new generation of leaders, emphasizing individual responsibility, self-reliance, limited government intervention, and the importance of free speech and open debate for a healthy society.

Preparing for the first primary debate (00:43:15)

  • Vivek Ramaswamy found it easier to engage with Republicans than Democrats due to the greater freedom of expression.
  • He was impressed by the Republican candidates and the intellectual level of the debate, which he found liberating and enjoyable.
  • Ramaswamy entered the debate with disdain for the industrialization of politics and viewed the other candidates as products of that system.
  • His defensive reaction, involving attacks on opponents and a condescending attitude, may have been dangerous as he is still part of the political process.
  • Ramaswamy's paradoxical approach, including a shirtless video, further irritated the existing system and candidates, leading to an exaggerated negative response.
  • He believes that providing an unfiltered look behind the scenes of the debate process can be beneficial for understanding the dynamics at play.

Front and center, how the public responded (00:49:34)

  • Vivek Ramaswamy's approach to the presidential campaign was characterized by his unapologetic fighting spirit, which gained him fans but also alienated some potential supporters.
  • He recognized the need to showcase other dimensions of his leadership beyond his pugnacious style and emphasized the importance of in-person interactions with voters.
  • Despite extensive campaigning in Iowa, his campaign struggled to gain traction due to the limited reach of such events compared to other media platforms.
  • Ramaswamy acknowledges that he would have approached certain aspects of his campaign differently and expresses gratitude for the experience, which strengthened his family bonds and solidified his convictions.
  • He credits Tucker Carlson's advice for helping him navigate the challenges of the campaign and believes that the experience reinforced his convictions, leading to personal growth and a deeper understanding of his beliefs.
  • Despite not achieving his goal of becoming president, Ramaswamy feels a renewed sense of purpose and mission to serve the country and remains committed to contributing to the nation's well-being.

The archetype of a leader (00:58:50)

  • Vivek Ramaswamy acknowledges that his focus on fighting back against attacks may have overshadowed other aspects of his personality and message during his campaign.
  • Ramaswamy reflects on the difficulty of conveying multiple aspects of one's personality through the limited formats available in media and politics.
  • He emphasizes the importance of making a positive and large-scale impact, rather than focusing on small achievements.
  • Ramaswamy expresses his support for Trump and plans to actively campaign for him in the upcoming presidential election.
  • He believes that Trump's message of national pride and civic duty resonates with young people who are seeking purpose and meaning in their lives.
  • Ramaswamy is committed to making a positive impact and driving change through both the private and public sectors.
  • He supports Donald Trump because of his alignment with America First values and his potential to enact meaningful changes that resonate with Americans across the political spectrum.

The political industrial complex: reform or destroy? (01:11:04)

  • Vivek Ramaswamy believes the political industrial complex is a collusion between mid-level State actors who are not elected and do not face the electorate.
  • He thinks that Trump's appeal to some people is because they believe he can challenge this system.
  • Ramaswamy does not believe it is possible to reform the political industrial complex, but rather that it needs to be decimated.
  • He argues that the managerial class, which includes bureaucrats, political consultants, and corporate executives, is sucking the lifeblood out of culture and country.
  • Ramaswamy believes that a strong chief executive, such as a university president or the President of the United States, could potentially take on the political industrial complex and make a difference, but that it would require a willingness to break the system and start over.

A potential danger, the dragon which eats its own tail (01:15:44)

  • Vivek Ramaswamy cautions against the destructive potential of Trump's tendencies, comparing it to a threatening evil brother figure.
  • He criticizes both the left's desire to burn down institutions and the adoption of a similar dire prognosis by critical conservatives and libertarians.
  • Ramaswamy argues that the modern left is not genuinely interested in tearing down institutions but rather in weaponizing them for their own advantage.
  • He identifies a new strain of the left that infests and subverts institutions rather than directly tearing them down.
  • Ramaswamy emphasizes the need for conservative leadership to address the fundamental issues facing the country's institutions.
  • He advocates for pro-family, pro-patriotic, pro-America, and pro-West values.
  • Ramaswamy aims to clear the path for what is true and right by removing harmful influences, using Elon Musk's actions at Twitter as an example of successful institutional restoration.

Why Vivek endorses Donald Trump: “He actually cares about the country” (01:22:49)

  • Vivek Ramaswamy believes that Trump has learned from his first term and is ambitious for the country, making him a positive choice for a second term.
  • Contrary to media portrayals, Trump is open to considering different perspectives and arguments, as long as they align with his vision for America.
  • Ramaswamy highlights Trump's ability to think through arguments and make decisive policy decisions, but also sees his divisiveness as a threat to the country's integrity.
  • Ramaswamy argues that the media's portrayal of Trump is part of a "divide and conquer" strategy that benefits a small group of people and that any other Republican leader would have faced similar treatment.
  • The speaker believes that the conservative movement should focus on promoting its own affirmative values, such as sovereignty at the individual, family, nation, and God level, rather than solely opposing the other side.
  • The speaker sees an opportunity for conservatives to offer confused young people a clear identity based on subsidiarity and shared American values.
  • The speaker is inspired by Donald Trump's statement that "success will be our Vengeance" and believes that success can unify the country and serve as a unifying message against division.
  • The speaker emphasizes the importance of distributed responsibility as an antidote to tyranny and slavery and believes that conservatives should promote this principle as a call to adventure for young people.

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