Sometimes, coincidences in the universe look suspiciously like some purposeful irony. Especially when a liar gets hit with truth.
It has so often been the case that politicians— especially fringe politicians— have sorely needed to be hit around the head by some serious truth. Too long have we allowed disinformation and conspiracy theories to permeate the information space and corrupt our political discourse. So it came with great joy that this literally happened to a snake oil salesman of a GOP presidential nominee.
Vivek Ramaswamy is the new boy on the block, gathering momentum in a Trump-absent field. He has a certain charisma and a silvery tongue but is not averse to spreading controversial and dubious claims.
Take for example one of my favored topics, the Ukraine war. Like many of the more anti-establishment Republicans, he takes a pro-Putin, pro-appeasement approach to ending the war. In explaining why he was not in support of Ukraine, he recently said:
Because it does not advance American interests. And as the US president, I’m not running for any other role other than looking out for the interests of Americans. However, my plan to end the Ukraine wall actually be probably better for Ukraine. At least it comes out with its sovereignty intact. Which is not the plan they’re on right now. You mark my words, the way this war ends right now, without the US actually stepping in and saying were not going to find any more of it is going to be some post-Zelenskyy warlord takes over with a couple hundred billion dollars of American military equipment just like what happened after the Soviets invaded Afghanistan. And you see how far that got?
I probably don’t need to point out that Ukraine is not in any way, shape, or form analogous to Afghanistan. That, with a functioning democracy (absent an invading Russian dictator’s army), Ukraine will see a peaceful transfer of power to a subsequent leader. That there are no tribal theocratic warlords waiting to take over.
His appeasement positioning was evident prior to and at the recent GOP nominee debate. As Foreign Policy reported:
“We are driving Russia further into China’s hands,” he said. Prior to the debate, Ramaswamy had called for the United States to allow Russia to retain control of some of the parts of Ukraine it has occupied militarily, in exchange for Moscow cutting ties with China.
His position seemed eerily similar to that of the Heritage Foundation, which has been advising candidates on geopolitical positioning. As noted in a recent OnlySky piece, the Heritage Foundation has financial links to Viktor Orban’s authoritarian Hungarian government and thus Putin’s Russia.
Nikki Haley, a fellow nominee at the debate who served as the US ambassador to the United Nations under Trump, fired back at Ramaswamy: “You have no foreign-policy experience, and it shows.”
Ramaswamy recently ran into hot water when he took on an ill-advised interview with Mehdi Hasan, known for doing his homework and writing an excellent book on how to win exchanges such as this one. It’s worth a watch:
He was also called out on lies by CNN’s Caitlin Collins:
Sometimes the universe smiles down on those of us who cherish truth over disinformation on the back of vested interests and dark money. At a recent event, it seems like truth got some delicious revenge:
Now don’t get me wrong: I am well aware that the universe has no agency. But if the universe was ultimately good, this is what it might look like.