Can Vivek Make Libertarians Gaga for MAGA?

by | Nov 9, 2023 | Opinion

By Austin Petersen

Vivek Ramaswamy’s standout performance in the first Republican presidential debate was the first time that I, as a libertarian Republican, had considered him as a viable candidate. Since then he’s called for firing a million federal employees, avoiding World War 3, shutting down the Deep State, drilling, fracking, burning coal, embracing nuclear, and massively scaling back foreign aid.

These are all priorities that any believer in limited government can get behind. Despite this it’s common for Vivek’s critics to claim that he’s just telling us what we want to hear. I get that, and I’m sure I’ve thought that about certain politicians, but the problem with that accusation is that since most people aren’t libertarian Republicans, it’s RARE to hear a politician actually telling me what I want to hear. And since people like myself are a minority view, there’s no actual incentive for a politician to tell me what I want to hear. If that were the case, he’d be saying something much blander, something that had a wider reach to appeal to the masses. 

Vivek’s rhetoric is aspirational and aimed at pointing the way towards a brighter future. Personally I’m tired of the doom-mongering from so many on the right. Even if all of the negative things we believe about our current situation are true… just what exactly are we planning on doing about it? Give up? Turn over our country to those who hate us and want us dead? Escape into the woods and hope they don’t come for us there? How’d that work out for Randy Weaver? 

No, we need to have a plan to secure our future for ourselves and for our posterity. Our civilization grows strong when old men plant trees under whose branches they will never sit. Vivek’s optimistic view of the American future is one that is sorely needed in right wing circles, and it’s refreshing to think that we have people in the Republican Party who are not only willing to fight to destroy the current regime, but who have a plan with what to replace it with. Who else running has called to abolish the FBI and to deregulate machine guns? Only Vivek. 

I do have some disagreements with the young Ramaswamy. I think it was a cowardly and elitist take for him to on one hand cancel Bud Light, sending their blue collar employees to the unemployment line, and then step in to defend Harvard students from losing job opportunities after they supported the terror attacks on October 7th. Right wing populism is oftentimes poorly defended by our elites (ironically enough), and this was a big miss for him. I understand the desire to not engage in cancel culture, but strategically we should cynically wield that blade against our opponents and decry its use against ourselves.

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Hypocrisy is the point. The double standard is the point. Hoist them by their own petard. There’s nothing anti libertarian in suggesting people should be held responsible for their poor behavior, so long as it’s not the government being used to crackdown on free speech. 

It’s too early to say who Trump might pick for his vice presidential pick, or to say that Trump is guaranteed to be the nominee himself at all, though that seems extremely likely at this point. I’ve been so impressed by Ramasawamy that despite the fact that I’ve never been a MAGA guy per se, I will for the first time ever put on a MAGA hat if Trump picks him as his VP. What about you? Do you agree or disagree? Drop a comment below and let me know your thoughts on Vivek Ramaswamy.

Austin Petersen is a former Libertarian presidential candidate turned Republican and the host of the Wake Up America show every Monday-Friday from 7-9am central which you can stream live on Rumble, or listen to on Spotify or iTunes. He resides in Jefferson City, Missouri with his wife Stephanie and their two presidential French Bulldogs, Calvin and George.

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