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Ramaswamy at Heritage: Do We Live in a Unified Nation?

State of the Union: The former GOP presidential candidate said that America is in “a 1776 moment.”
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Photo Credit: Anastasia Kaliabakos

The former presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy delivered a speech Wednesday at the Heritage Foundation to an audience of young professionals working in Washington, D.C. The lecture was part of the annual Capitol Hill Lecture Series co-hosted by The Fund for American Studies (TFAS) and the Office of Senator Rand Paul (R-KY).

Notable attendees included Senator Paul, who gave an introduction for Ramaswamy, President of TFAS Roger Ream, COO of TFAS Steve Slattery, and President of the Heritage Foundation Kevin Roberts. Over 300 Capitol Hill interns, an overflow crowd, attended the event.

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The central question Ramaswamy sought to address was whether one could consider America a united nation in 2024. 

“Are we actually one nation or not?” he asked. “If I had asked that question 20 years ago, when I was in high school, when I was in college, when I was many of your ages, that would have been a silly question to ask. Of course, we were one nation.”

Ramaswamy argued that today the answer may be more complex. In a society plagued by social and political divisions, Americans are finding it more difficult than ever to come together in all aspects of their lives. Such a predicament threatens the future security of our country, according to Ramaswamy, and necessitates action from America’s younger generation, whom he implored to follow in the steps of our Founding Fathers to lead America.

Ramaswamy argued that, in order to win future elections and motivate voters, Republicans must become less reactionary and establish a concrete vision that they could convey to and actualize for their supporters. 

“What is that vision? What is the country that we are running to?” he asked.

Ramaswamy concluded by saying that it is necessary for the next generation to not be intimidated by what others may think when expressing their ideas. 

“Part of respect is that you respect your neighbor enough to tell him what you actually think,” he said. “If you’re willing to step up and do that, then I’m confident that our country’s best days can actually still be ahead of us.”

*This piece has been updated.*