ANI Photo | Here’s how Ramaswamy is trying to stand outside the queue from others in US Presidential race

Indian-American entrepreneur and Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy — aiming to distinguish himself from the other contenders, his unique selling point (USP) — is leaning into “economic populist messaging”, The Hill reported.
While campaigning, he is talking about “revolution” and labelling his opponents “super Political Action Committees (PAC) puppets.” He is applauding small-dollar donations and calling his campaign a “grassroots uprising.” The entrepreneur is also criticising the mainstream media while praising the anti-establishment figures on both the right and left.
Parts of Ramaswamy’s rhetoric echo that of insurgent figures across the political spectrum, including former President Trump and Senator Bernie Sanders.
However, as the young tech investor aims to shake up the GOP primary, the “progressives” want no association with him, as they see him as “Trumpian” in style and substance and denounce any crossover between his campaign and their favourite figures on the left, as per The Hill.
“Revolution over reform,” Ramaswamy, a 38-year-old biotech entrepreneur, wrote on X (Formerly Twitter) this week, aiming to inspire a groundswell of support from the outside.
Many of his critics call him “offensive” and view his campaign as a grift taking parts of both parties’ populist streaks as he sees fit.
“He’s a fake populist using revolutionary language to cover for a largely billionaire-friendly agenda,” Krystal Ball, host of the podcast ‘Breaking Points’ and author of ‘The Populist’s Guide to 2020’ told The Hill. “He does not want to get money out of politics.”
“He does want to protect fossil fuel profits. And he would keep the war machine churning in China and Mexico,” she added.
Ramaswamy also came under fire for using the word “hoax” in the same sentence as climate change during the Fox News debate in August and is socially conservative on issues like transgender rights and affirmative action. He most recently caught the ire of civil rights leaders for characterizing Rep Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), a Black congresswoman and Squad member, as a “modern grand wizard” of the KKK — a comment he did not retract, The Hill reported.
But, while his policy positions and personal gripes about “woke” identity politics are indeed objectionable to Democrats, Ramaswamy does overlap with the left when it comes to certain areas of campaign strategy, such as his broad critique of the country’s establishment class.
“He is a shape-shifter with no conviction whatsoever,” said Nina Turner, a top surrogate and former co-chairwoman of Sanders’s 2020 campaign. “The type of revolution he is calling for is one towards … bigotry and hatred,” The Hill quoted her as saying.
Bernie Sanders, whose presidential campaigns are synonymous with the word revolution, effectively criticized decades of centrism by pointing out politicians’ ties to corporations.
The senator’s embrace of small contributions was part of a larger rejection of super PACs spending millions of dollars to influence policy in Washington. Many progressives have won down-ballot with that approach.
“People like myself or Senator Sanders or anybody else that’s considered a leader on the progressive left, members of the Squad and others, are really just calling for wholesale systemic changes that will help lift material conditions,” said Turner. “Even for people who may not even believe in the change we’re calling for.”
As it became a powerful mobilizing tool on the left, according to the progressives it was Trump who, in their eyes, cynically was able to rally enough people around those grievances to make it worth replicating on the right. The Liberals see Ramaswamy’s use of grassroots messaging as equally brazen and prefer to link him to the former president than the progressive movement’s parallel appeal.
“Trump is really the one who first rolled out this rhetorical style on the right, and I see Vivek as taking his inspiration from Trump and trying to copy his political formula,” said Ball.
Peter Daou, a prominent activist and critic who has been outspoken against President Biden and ‘centrist Democrats’, said that Ramaswamy’s language is “not particularly innovative”. But it does come with a very specific warning for the party in power looking to remain in the White House.
“I see it as typical populist language, but from the right,” he said.
Free-flowing talk about a revolution and emphasis on the need to form a “multiethnic working-class” coalition come with their own challenges for Democrats, especially when the Trump wing also uses such tactics effectively for their side, The Hill cited some ‘progressives’. 
The fact that Biden doesn’t speak that way, and is not offering a similar rhetorical counter, could be problematic if faced with another populist opponent, some on the left argue.
Notably, the Biden administration is filled with Democrats who are “less outspoken” about political uprisings, insurgencies and movement politics and govern in a more traditional way. Some Democrats have expressed concerns about that when faced with rivals like Trump and Ramaswamy as a newer face, according to The Hill.
“It’s going to cost Democrats not being willing to shake up the system. Or even talking about it,” said Daou. “‘More of the same’ or ‘let’s finish the job’ is weak,” he said.
Interestingly, Trump and Ramaswamy have praised each other at various junctures of the campaign. On Tuesday, Trump said he’d be open to considering the millennial businessman as a running mate should he win the nomination for the third time.
“I tell you, I think he’d be very good,” Trump told host Glenn Beck, who had referred to him tongue-in-cheek as “Vice President Ramaswamy”, The Hill reported.
However, there is no such admiration on the left. Progressives have not so much as even hinted that he’s brought needed attention to their long-standing crusade against money in politics and the power of grassroots movements. They’re careful not to prop up a figure that they see as ideologically similar to Trump, but without an existing base, as per The Hill.
“Ramaswamy is a slick politician posing as an outsider, but I’ll always take yes for an answer,” said Cenk Uygur, host of ‘The Young Turks’. “If he is running with no corporate PAC money, then that’s commendable. If he actually wants to end the private financing of elections, which is just legalized bribery, then great.”
“But I don’t trust him at all because everything else he says is contradictory, and the rest of his policies support corporate rule,” The Hill quoted him as saying.
Meanwhile, Ramaswamy had shot up sharply in GOP primary polls, standing tied with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis at the second position. However, both candidates lag hugely behind former President Donald Trump who leads with 56 per cent, as per The Hill.
In another poll by RealClearPolitics, Trump is far out in front of the 2024 GOP race with 53.6 per cent support, followed by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis at 13.5 per cent, and Ramaswamy at 7.3 per cent, New York Post reported.
The next US presidential election is scheduled to be held on November 5, 2024.

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