Trump Is a Wartime Leader

Editor’s Note: After taking himself out the race for the Republican nominee for President, Vivek Ramaswamy endorsed former President Donald Trump. Ramaswamy understands, as do few other Republicans, that we are in a war. As he says, you can’t win a war if you don’t know you are in one. Nor can you win a war without a commander in chief. By Ramaswamy’s lights, Trump fits the bill. Trump understands that the war is between those who love America, which is a regime based on merit, and those who loathe her and want to usher in a regime based on group quotas. If there is one thing Americans know about Trump it is that he is unequivocally, unapologetically pro-American. Trump believes that the American culture is exceptional, and that’s the way he wants to keep it. To that end, both  Trump and Ramaswamy believe that we should get rid of birthright citizenship and print ballots only in English. Years ago, Trump identified group quotas (woke) as the problem of our time. Trump himself is a walking, talking rejection of group quotas.

The following essay is adapted from remarks delivered at the campaign event in New Hampshire on January 16 in which Ramaswamy endorsed Donald Trump for president of the United States. It has been edited for clarity.

We are in the middle of a war in this country. That’s what this is. It’s not a war between black and white. It’s not a war between Democrat and Republican, even in a deeper sense. It is between the permanent state and the everyday citizen—between those of us who love the United States of America and a fringe minority who hate this country and what we stand for. Right now, we need a commander in chief who will lead us to victory in this war.

You have to know you’re in a war to win one. You can’t win one if you’re asleep at the switch or have your head stuck in the sand like most Republicans. It is a 1776 moment right now. That’s where we live right now.

What does it mean to be a Republican today? It means we believe in the ideals of 1776—ideals like freedom and merit and the pursuit of excellence; that you get ahead in this country not on the color of your skin, but on the content of your character and your contributions. End affirmative action. End DEI. We are done with the nonsense. Send it back home.

It means you believe in the rule of law. And I say this as the kid of legal immigrants to this country: That means your first act of entering this country cannot break the law, and that is why we need to use our military to secure our own southern border in this country. That’s what it means to stand for the rule of law in the United States of America.

It means the people we elect to run the government need to be the ones who actually run the government, not the shadow government in the deep state that runs the show today. Donald Trump is going to get in there this time around and actually shut down that deep state. That’s how we win this war in this country.

The way we’re actually going to do this in the long run is with secure elections: single day voting on election day as a national holiday, with paper ballots; government issued ID to match the voter file; and English as the sole language that appears on a ballot. I’m confident Donald Trump will be the one to get us there. 

This is how we get our country back. These are the ideals of the American Revolution, and we do have some enemies that we need to defeat on the other side. But we have challenges to address in our own party right here at home. If you want somebody who’s going to force you to use your driver’s license to exercise the right to use the internet, Trump is not your man. There’s another candidate in this race who will do that for you. It’s Nikki Haley. If you want to cut Social Security, you want to cut Medicare, you want to cut veterans’ benefits so we can fork over more money to Ukraine so some kleptocrat can buy a bigger house, vote for Nikki Haley.

But if you want an agenda that puts Americans first—that says that the moral obligation of your leaders is to the citizens of this country, not another one—there’s not a better choice left in this race than Donald J. Trump. 

We’re not working with a lot of time here. If our kids are in high school before we get this right, we won’t have a country left. We’ve been celebrating our diversity and our differences for so long that we forgot all of the ways that we are the same as Americans, bound by that common set of ideals that set this country into motion. We believe those ideals still exist. E pluribus unum: from many one. 

We can only revive those ideals by speaking the truth at every step of the way. There are two genders in this country, period. That is the truth. Fossil fuels are a requirement for human prosperity; drill, frack, burn coal, embrace nuclear energy. Reverse racism is racism. An open border is not a border. Parents determine the education of their children. The nuclear family is the greatest form of governance known to mankind. Capitalism lifts us up from poverty. There are three branches of government in the United States, not four. And the U.S. Constitution is the strongest and greatest guarantor of freedom in human history.

That is the truth. We fight for the truth. We stand up for the truth. That is what won us the American Revolution. That is what reunited us after the Civil War. That is what won us two world wars and the Cold War. That is what still gives hope to the free world. If we can revive that dream over group identity and victimhood and grievance, then nobody in the world—not a nation, not a corporation, not a virus, not China—is going to defeat us. That is what American exceptionalism is all about. That is what we are going to revive to, yes, make America great again. May God bless our United States of America.

Vivek Ramaswamy was a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination in the 2024 primary.