On Tuesday, Tucker Carlson, host of the Tucker Carlson Tonight show on Fox News Channel (FNC), interviewed entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy. He is the author of two books - Woke, Inc.: Inside Corporate America's Social Justice Scam, which was published in August 2021, and Nation of Victims: Identity Politics, the Death of Merit, and the Path Back to Excellence, published September 2022. Ramaswamy declared his candidacy for president during the interview.
TUCKER CARLSON: It's a question that entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswami has spent a great deal of time thinking about through two books as well as in his latest venture, which he joins us tonight to tell us about. Vic, thanks so much for coming on.
VIVEK RAMASWAMY: Thank you, Tucker.
TUCKER CARLSON: So it does seem like Don Lemon, you know, just a cable host, but this is a perfect illustration of where identity politics wind up when you stray from universal principles that bind us all under the same rules.
VIVEK RAMASWAMY: Exactly. I mean, we are in the middle of this national identity crisis, Tucker, where we have celebrated our diversity and our differences for so long that we forgot all of the ways we're really just the same as Americans, bound by a common set of ideals that set this nation into motion 250 years ago.
And that's why I'm proud to say tonight that I am running for United States President to revive those ideals in this country. Those basic rules of the road meritocracy, the idea that you get ahead in this country not on the color of your skin but on the content of your character.
The idea that you are allowed to speak freely, yes. To be wrong sometimes, as long as your neighbor gets the same courtesy in return. The idea that the people who we elect to run the government, by the way, are the people who actually run the government.
Basic rules of the road, these are the things that bind us together. You and I have different shades of melon, and you know what I say? So what? That's not beautiful. That is not our strength. Our diversity is meaningless if there's nothing greater that binds us together across that diversity.
And the reason that I'm running for president is to revive those ideals. And I believe, deep in bones, they still exist, that most Americans still believe in them. But we need to rediscover that. And the only way we can do it is by start to start talking openly again.
TUCKER CARLSON: So I'm not going to ask any political questions because, given my calls, the midterms, I don't understand American politics. I'm not going to ask you what. You do in Iowa. Whatever other people can do that, give us the bullet points of what you're going to tell audiences as you embark from here on this campaign.
VIVEK RAMASWAMY: I think we need to put merit back into America in every sphere of our lives. Merit in who gets into this country. Let's start with that. Okay? I think more people like my parents can be a good thing for this country.
But people whose first act of entering this country as a law-breaking one, we should say a hard no to that. Not just who gets in but also who gets ahead. Decimating affirmative action. It has been a national cancer.
One of my top priorities will be to end affirmative action in every sphere of American life, and it's not just meritocracy. And who gets ahead.
TUCKER CARLSON: Ending affirmative government of actions. I mean, our whole government is based on that idea.
VIVEK RAMASWAMY: Well, the funny thing, Tucker, is this would be an easy thing for President to do. Lyndon Johnson issued an executive order that requires anyone who does business with the US government that covers over 20% of the US workforce to adopt race-based quota systems.
Any Republican president since Lyndon Johnson could have taken a pen and crossed that out. We haven't done it yet. I think that's the kind of courage we're going to need to muster to go after these sacred cows from woke religion in the form of affirmative action to this new climate religion, which is completely shackling the American economy and culture.
We need to take the most sacred cows of these alternative secular religions, and I'm sorry to say this, take them to the slaughterhouse because that's what it's going to take for this national revival, where we stop apologizing for what it means to be American.
All for putting America first. But in order to put America first, we have first to rediscover what America is. And to me, those are these basic rules of the road that set this nation into motion, from meritocracy to free speech to self-governance over aristocracy.
The people who we elect actually make them run the government rather than this cancerous federal bureaucracy. That's going to be the heart of my message. And I'll tell you this we don't have an option anymore, okay?
We face these external threats, like the rise of China, which I think has got to be our top foreign policy threat, that we've got to respond to, not pointless wars somewhere else. That's going to require some sacrifice.
It's going to require a declaration of independence from China, complete decoupling. And that's not going to be easy. It's going to require some inconvenience buying cheap stuff for that many years. You know what?
We got addicted to it. That's going to require some sacrifice, but I think we can make those sacrifices if we know what we are sacrificing for. And that's what I want to see the GOP do. Answer the question of what it means to be an American today.
If we give an answer to that question, we dilute this woke agenda and these secular religions to irrelevance. Yes, I've been complaining about them for the last three years. Yes, there's a role for identifying the problem, but if we want to deliver a solution, we're going to need to rediscover that national identity that we all share.
And if we do that, I still think, honest, deep in my bones, that our best days, not in some Cheesy politician kind of way, but actually, truly, I think our best days can be ahead of us, but it's going to take that revival to make it happen.
TUCKER CARLSON: I hope you'll come back often because you are one of the great talkers we've ever had. But very quickly, you identified China as the primary concern of the American foreign policy. You don't think it's the war in Eastern Europe?
Absolutely correct. And I think that look, foreign policy is all about prioritization, okay? We got to wake up to the fact that China is violating our sovereignty. And the reason is if that had been a Russian spy balloon, we'd have shot it down instantly and ratcheted up sanctions.
Why didn't we do that for China? The answer is simple. We depend on them for our modern way of life. Okay? This economic codependent relationship has to end. And the only other priority I'd add is actually if you're going to use the military for something, use it to decimate the cartels south of the border in a failed Narco state that's now actually killing people on American soil with fentanyl.
That's what a good use of a military looks like is actually protecting American soil and American interests, not a pointless war somewhere else. And I think that the heart of this goes to reviving that national identity.
What does it mean to be American? Then you know what you need to defend. And that's where our domestic policy vision and this cultural vision is inextricably linked. It's tied to our foreign policy vision, too.
And that's why I'm running for president because I think that needs to be at the top of the GOP's agenda. I think it needs to be at the top of this country's agenda. And I'm running for president to make it happen.
TUCKER CARLSON: That is so far from the current agenda that it'll be fascinating to see you wade into this race, and we appreciate your announcing tonight here.
Thank you, Tucker.
TUCKER CARLSON: Ramaswamy, thank you very much.
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