America Is in a National Identity Crisis: Vivek Ramaswamy

Presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy, the first millennial ever to run for U.S. President, believes that the country is experiencing a national identity crisis and aims to lead the nation out of it, drawing inspiration from Ronald Reagan’s leadership in 1980. His solution: present an alternative vision of America that counters the “woke agenda.”

A revival of civic pride, purpose, and significance among young individuals, according to Ramaswamy, constitutes a critical requirement for the country’s future.

“I am running to lead this country, as Reagan did in 1980, out of our last national identity crisis. That is what I aim to do in 2024,” he said in a recent interview on EpochTV’s American Thought Leaders.

“I don’t think we’re going to get to the next level by just pointing out the poison,” the 37-year-old Republican primary candidate said.

Ramaswamy aims to fill what he calls “the vacuum at the heart of our national soul” with a vision of American national identity “so deep that it dilutes the woke agenda, the woke poison, to irrelevance.”

In one of his more controversial proposals, Ramaswamy would introduce a constitutional amendment that raises the voting age to 25. However, he would extend exemptions for those who have served in the military, the police or a first responder role, or have successfully completed a civics test akin to the one taken by immigrants seeking naturalization.

“I got a lot of pushback on this,” Ramaswamy said. “I’ve still yet to hear a good reason why it’s a bad idea for an 18 year-old to know something about the Constitution before they vote … Or even if they don’t know that, then at least to have served the country.”

His underlying rationale is that such a measure would cultivate a better-informed electorate and engender a heightened sense of ownership and responsibility among young voters. Ramaswamy candidly acknowledged the resistance he has encountered with this proposal, yet he underlined the necessity for ambitious ideas to reestablish civic identity.

Liam Cosgrove | Jan Jekielek