And Now There Are Three…

Mark Lewis, The 2024 presidential race will start to heat up very quickly, indeed, the talk is already moving towards the front burner.  On the Democratic side, the nomination is Biden’s, if he wants it; the fact that he hasn’t announced yet has created some questions (Breitbart headline, 2/22:  “2024:  Joe No Show? Delayed Decision Causing ‘Doubt’”), but Biden will almost surely run again, and there are no Democrats strong enough to challenge him.

The Republicans now have three candidates:   Donald Trump, Nikki Haley, and multi-millionaire entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, who, on Tucker Carlson’s February 21 show, announced his intention to run for the highest office in the land.   Others have expressed possible intentions to run (Chris Sununu, Larry Hogan, Asa Hutchinson, Tim Scott; the list will grow).  Everybody is waiting on Ron DeSantis, and he mustn’t delay too long because massive fundraising is necessary and that has to begin fairly early.  If DeSantis is serious, he is going to have to commit soon.

But, in this article, let me just home in on the three who have recently been garnering some attention.

1.  Nikki Haley.   She apparently got a bump in polls (up to 6%. Wow…) after she announced, and she will probably get Mitch McConnell, Mitt Romney, Lindsey Graham, and all the other RINOs to support her.  But you and I are going to select the Republican nominee and we aren’t going to choose her.  Let’s move on.

2.  Donald Trump.   Trump continues to show up everywhere, saying mostly correct things in diverse ways.  He is still the odds-on favorite to gain the Republican nomination.  We all know he has turned a lot of people off, not all of them Democrats, Independents, and RINOs.  His lust for power is a bit off-putting; I don’t especially trust anybody who wants power as badly as Trump does, even if he is on our side.  The big question with The Donald, of course, is, can he win another general election?  That is extremely problematic.  Do the American people really want a choice between Biden and Trump again?  Well, they are going to get Biden on the Democratic ticket, that’s almost certain.   Will the Republican faithful offer Trump as the alternative?  I suspect most Americans, frankly, would like two other options, but may not get them.

3. Vivek Ramaswamy.  I want to spend a little more of this article introducing Vivek Ramaswamy.  Though, currently, he has absolutely no chance of being nominated, he has thrown his hat into the ring, and thus is at least worth a look-see.  I had never heard of the guy until February 21.  I read a little about him.  Here are a few things I dug up.

He wants to run on an “anti-Woke” platform. He criticizes the Democrats’ focus on diversity and denounces the Left’s policies on Covid-19 and climate change.  He is right on target with the division the Left is causing in America:  “They tell you that your race, your gender, and your sexual orientation govern who you are, what you can achieve, and what you’re allowed to think.”  I couldn’t have said it better myself.  One point for Vivek.

He also wants to restrict Big Tech companies’ ability to control platforms that limit free speech.  It needs to be done but it might take some government power, which chills me a bit. He has (or wants to have) a plan “dismantling” affirmative action, which is plaguing “every sphere of American life,” and, as noted, he apparently opposes the “new climate religion.”  Another few points for Vivek.

Interestingly, Ramaswamy also said that the United States needs a “total decoupling from China,” a country which he believes is a greater threat to America than the Soviet Union was during the Cold War.  That adds multiple points to Vivek’s total.   He did say that economic separation from China wouldn’t be easy, which is doubtless an understatement, given how many Americans shop at Wal-Mart.  But, “some sacrifice of short-term conveniences” is necessary to accomplish long-term goals.  That is often true.  It is also the argument Biden is making about oil, natural gas, fossil fuels, and the move to renewables.  Whether the American people are willing to sacrifice in the “short-term” by breaking our dependence on China remains to be seen.  But, it is a valid argument and I think he is right about it.   Another point for Vivek.

My “points” in Vivek’s favor here are not, in any way, intended to be anywhere near an endorsement.  What he said on Carlson’s show, and the limited quotes I’ve given above, all sound very good.  But I know nothing else about the man, and he is a long way from the Republican nomination, to say the least.  Just from what I’ve heard/read so far from Ramaswamy, he is head and shoulders above Haley, and he doesn’t have Trump’s baggage.  At worst, he is an interesting character, and we’ll just have to wait and see if he gets any traction in the Republican race.

Who’s next to jump on the Republican pile?