Vivek Ramaswamy and Andrew Yang have a lot in common.
Their most notable similarity lies in their presidential aspirations, however they share similar upbringings as well. Both grew up the children of Asian immigrants in smaller cities. Both came from modest means and went on to become fabulously successful in business and tech. While they have vastly different policy preferences, the two men share a common thread in their worldviews. It likely stems from their upbringings, both of which prove the continued vitality of the American Dream.
However, this worldview represents a more nefarious similarity between the two men, according to the left-wing New York Times opinion columnist Charles Blow. For Blow, Ramaswamy is “the latest in a line of politically problematic tech bros” following in Yang’s footsteps. Their great sin is running on platforms that question progressive orthodoxy on “issues of diversity and equity.” (RELATED: JOHN STOSSEL: Is The World Ready For President Ramaswamy?)
For Blow, any nuanced opposition to his agenda is tantamount to white supremacy. Ramaswamy takes bold stances on race even by conservative standards. He vowed to end affirmative action by executive order if elected — the first Republican candidate to ever do so. Alternatively, Yang is far to the left of Ramaswamy on race issues by any reasonable standard. While Blow admits he was impressed by how Yang was open to reparations, he nevertheless finds him hostile to diversity. He cites heinous statements ranging from a joke about how Asians are good at math to critiquing the Democratic Party’s decision to make South Carolina the first primary in the 2024 election cycle as a slap in face to white Midwesterners — truly bone chilling remarks.
I will end affirmative action in America. Affirmative action started because of the government: Johnson’s executive order 11246. It’s telling that I’m the *only GOP candidate* in history who has committed to repealing it. If it started by executive order, I’ll end it the same way https://t.co/RyQ5bfEitp
— Vivek Ramaswamy (@VivekGRamaswamy) March 4, 2023
What does @marwilliamson think of the DNC shifting the early state calendar? Now on https://t.co/PjWTwI7FIz the newly announced Democratic presidential candidate joins us to talk fighting for the working class in rural states, the current state of the Democratic Party, her… pic.twitter.com/vZZWNB4HJD
— Andrew Yang🧢⬆️🇺🇸 (@AndrewYang) March 9, 2023
Such a willful lack of nuance shows how Blow is guided purely by ideology in pursuit of an agenda very few would support if he laid all his cards on the table. To people who think like Blow, any deviation from official dogma — no matter how slight — is equally transgressive. All must think and act exactly the same because the goal is equity, for all to receive and achieve the same.
Thus, equal achievement is the crux of the equity agenda. Men like Yang and Ramaswamy — those who start from humble beginnings and rise to the top of the American meritocracy — are the inherent enemy to proponents of equity. Talent and perseverance should not lead to better outcomes. After all, some people are less talented than others and some are unwilling or unable to work hard. A truly just society cannot be realized until men like Yang and Ramaswamy subordinate their exceptionalism entirely to the pursuit of equity. (RELATED: US News Releases New Law School Rankings After Boycott Over ‘Equity’ Concerns)
Racialists add an additional element to this line of thought. They would have us believe that virtues such as hard work and objectivity are merely “white traits” insidiously fostered throughout American history to perpetuate white supremacy. They are exceedingly hostile to minorities who succeed on merit because it shreds this narrative to pieces. Yang and Ramaswamy’s life experiences show that true merit transcends race in America, so it is no wonder that their political philosophies incorporate at least some hostility to the idea that all should be forcibly equalized to atone for America’s past sins.
Thus, Blow is partly right — Ramaswamy and Yang do have a minimally common attitude of “anti-wokeness.” It is not however, as Blow contends, because they are demagogues “pandering to voters who want to wish away the complexities of our nation’s story.” It is precisely the opposite. Blow is the one who ignores the “complexities” of American history to disingenuously focus on only the bad moments. Ramaswamy and Yang on the other hand realize that America is not wholly defined by these moments, but the moral progress that grew out of them along the way — their upbringings and successes are the proof. (RELATED: Vivek Ramaswamy Promises To Pardon People Convicted In ‘Politicized Prosecutions’ In Latest Shot At FBI)
Yet if Blow had his way, it would be the end of America as we know it. America was founded on the idea that individuals have the right to pursue their own notion of the good life for themselves and their families. Blow’s vision would sacrifice that timeless ideal on the altar of equity. His tyrannical worldview would suppress all achievement — except for the ruling elite who, of course, would be responsible for the paternalistic care of all minorities. All differences in thought, taste, and talent — true diversity — would be strangled in pursuit of a bland, lifeless equality that neutralizes the ability of individuals to create or inspire.
However, despite the best attempts of arsonists like Blow, Yang and Ramaswamy show that well-meaning Republicans and Democrats can disagree on policy but still find some common ground on what it means to be American.