Vivek Ramaswamy Calls For 'Libertarian-Nationalist Alliance'

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by Tyler Durden
Sunday, May 26, 2024 - 06:35 PM

Authored by Nathan Worcester via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

In remarks at the Libertarian National Convention, Trump surrogate and former Libertarian Party voter Vivek Ramaswamy called for the men and women in attendance to ally with the “America First” wing of the Republican Party.

I believe the future of this country depends on a libertarian-nationalist alliance,” the entrepreneur said. The crowd mostly booed in response.

The call for tactical cooperation came after Mr. Ramaswamy outlined his skepticism with both Democrats and what he characterized as “the establishment wing of the Republican Party,” criticizing Republican support for the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), among other policies.

Entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy speaks during a Team Trump South Carolina press conference at AGY Aiken LLC in Aiken, S.C., on Feb. 21, 2024. (Madalina Vasiliu/The Epoch Times)

He also said that independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who spoke earlier that day to the convention, was “in no sense a libertarian,” citing his past support for “punish[ing]” skeptics of the mainstream scientific narrative on climate change.

In his opening comments and a subsequent debate with the Libertarians’ vice presidential nominee, Clint Russell, Mr. Ramaswamy suggested that the current political moment offered an opportunity for libertarian ideals to influence the future of former President Donald J. Trump’s “America First” movement.

“I have had extensive conversations with Donald Trump about libertarian objectives,” the entrepreneur said.

In New Hampshire, after Mr. Ramaswamy left the race, President Trump stressed his opposition to central-bank digital currencies, adding that “Vivek [also] wanted this.”

Yet, President Trump’s warm response to new support from another past presidential hopeful, Nikki Haley, has some wondering whether Ms. Haley’s more neoconservative politics would significantly influence a future Trump administration.

“You know, we had a nasty campaign, it was pretty nasty, but she’s a very capable person, and I’m sure she’s going to be on our team in some form absolutely,” President Trump said in an interview after his rally in the Bronx on May 22.

President Trump will also be speaking at the Libertarian National Convention.

In his remarks in D.C., Mr. Ramaswamy also criticized what he described as two other possible future paths for “America First,” aside from a more libertarian or constitutionalist vision.

One was neoconservatism, “the way of Dick Cheney.” The other, he said, was “what they would call industrial policy, but what increasingly looks and smells like a right-wing version of the nanny state.”

He reiterated his criticism of industrial policy during his debate with Mr. Russell, which was moderated by comedian Dave Smith.

Yet, when defending his views on China—an area of meaningful disagreement between many Republicans and many libertarians—the businessman and investor leaned on concerns about Chinese domination of America’s defense-industrial base while indicating that some would disagree that such a sector is necessary at all.

When asked about legislators’ intensified worries about TikTok, Mr. Ramaswamy also hewed to the GOP-friendly view.

“Why do you think there was this push to ban TikTok? Do you think it’s really because, as they say, it’s partially owned by a Chinese subsidiary. Or is it because of, let’s say, a different foreign nation?” Mr. Smith asked.

It was a clear reference to Israel and the Israel lobby, the frequent target of Mr. Smith and many other libertarian commentators as the nation’s war with Hamas rages.

The Wall Street Journal’s Georgia Wells wrote that pro-Palestine content on the app “helped galvanize lawmakers to want to take action” after years of comparative indifference.

Mr. Ramaswamy, known for his comments on the U.S.-Israel relationship while on the campaign trail, laughed before reframing the question.

“I think you’re talking about a foreign nation beginning in Silicon Valley, actually. It’s Facebook lobbying is the reason we passed that bill,” he said.

“He’s not entirely wrong,” Mr. Smith interjected as the former candidate kept talking.