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Northern Star

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

Vivek Ramaswamy is not the young president America needs

(AP Photo/Morry Gash)
Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy speaks during a Republican presidential primary debate hosted by FOX News Channel, on Aug. 23, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

Businessman Vivek Ramaswamy, one of the many Republican candidates running for the 2024 presidency, calls for a young voice to help lead the U.S. forward, but he just isn’t the person for the job. 

The 38-year-old candidate took to the stage and formally introduced himself to the country during the republican primary debate. Ramaswamy introduced himself by quoting former President Barack Obama, calling himself “a skinny kid with a funny last name,” just as Obama did when he delivered the keynote address for the 2004 Democratic National Convention

Ramaswamy, a millennial, proclaims that it is time for a new generation to lead the country forward and out of the darkness. 

“For a long time, we’ve had professional politicians in the Republican Party who have been running from something. Now is our moment to start running to something, to our vision of what it means to be an American today,” Ramaswamy said. “If you have a broken car, you don’t turn over the key to the people who broke it again. You hand it over to a new generation to actually fix the problem.” 

He isn’t wrong, it is time to let a new, younger generation with fresh ideas take the reins; However, many of his policies and beliefs are outdated. Ramaswamy’s views on inflation, energy, the voting age, former President Trump, the war in Ukraine, the public school system and climate change are alarming. 

First, the entrepreneur’s solution to much of the inflation the country is experiencing, particularly with gasoline, is drilling for oil, fracking, burning coal and embracing nuclear energy. 

Embracing nuclear energy is an excellent start to finding other sources of energy. In terms of greenhouse admissions, nuclear energy is one of the best when attempting to combat climate change, according to the World Nuclear Association.

As far as burning coal, drilling and fracking it is common knowledge that those options can worsen the effects of climate change. However, Ramaswamy doesn’t care about global warming. 

“The climate change agenda is a hoax,” Ramaswamy said during the Republican primary debate

Even with all the evidence of global warming – record heat waves, the ocean reaching 101-degrees off the Florida coast and a tropical storm in california for the first time in 84 years – and despite what the majority of his generation and the generations after him believe, he still refuses to support policy that combats climate change which is evident through his ideas to lower the price of gas. 

Additionally, with former President Trump dominating recent news, Ramaswamy aims to pardon Trump if given the chance, stating that he believes the former president is the greatest president of the 21st century – red flag. 

Furthermore, Ramaswamy takes a strong stance against helping Ukraine against the Russian invasion. Instead, he wants to focus on our southern border. 

“I think that this is disastrous that we are protecting against an invasion against somebody else’s border when we should use those same military resources to prevent the invasion of our own southern border of our own United States of America,” Ramaswamy said. 

Regardless of beliefs on immigration from the U.S.-Mexico border, it is still important to help other countries. Protecting the homeland is and should be a priority, but how can the United States of America stand for freedom if it doesn’t stand up for the freedom of others? 

Additionally, Ramaswamy would like to raise the national voting age from 18 to 25, unless an individual has served in the military or as a first responder for at least six months or passes a civics test. The republican candidate announced his plan when campaigning in Iowa over the summer. 

Increasing the voting age at all would require a constitutional amendment. As it stands, the 26th amendment of the U.S. Constitution gives citizens who are 18 years or older the right to vote. 

Raising the voting age to 25 is a great way to eliminate most young voters – interesting. 

Last, but certainly not least, Ramaswamy has a severely alarming stance on public education. 

“Let’s shut down the head of the snake – the Department of Education – and take that 80 billion dollars, put it in the hands of parents across this country,” Ramaswamy said. “This is the civil rights issue of this time, allowing any parent to choose where they send their kids to school. End the teacher’s unions at the local level to allow public schools to compete.” 

For starters, shutting down the Department of Education will not benefit anyone. Getting rid of a department whose sole purpose is to oversee education across the country will only push the U.S. further into a decline. 

Additionally, we know what it looks like to have schools compete, we see it at the college level. This cannot happen at the K-12 levels. 

In theory, allowing parents to choose where their students go to school is a good idea, but Ramaswamy’s way of going about it could do more harm than good to the schools themselves. 

In Illinois, schools are mainly funded by property taxes. When an individual pays their property tax, a portion of that money is given to the school in the district they reside in. 

If middle and elementary schools begin to compete, then the schools on the wealthier side of town will benefit greatly, as most parents will want to send their children there. The schools on a poorer side of town will cease to exist and all the teachers, custodians, aides and cafeteria workers will lose their jobs. Thus hurting that entire community. 

If schools are able to compete in the way Ramaswamy explains, then the schools that come out on top will increase their tuition, similarly to what is seen at the university level of education. The inflation of higher education is a whole separate issue that does not need to happen at the K-12 levels. 

Ramaswamy does hold at least one belief that aligns with that of his generation – the mental health crisis and its effect on violent crime. 

“Just over the same period that we have closed mental health institutions, we have seen a spike in violent crime,” Ramaswamy said. 

Ramaswamy believes that we need to do more than just provide medication, but a deeper issue that should be handled from a faith-based approach. 

It is strange that Ramasamy would admit to the mental health epidemic that the U.S. is undoubtedly experiencing, but not the climate change crisis that the international world is experiencing. 

Ramaswamy is a member of a new generation, but he isn’t the voice to carry the U.S. forward. Unfortunately, his outdated ideals could do just the opposite. 

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