Presidential hopeful Vivek Ramaswamy detailed his vision for the administrative state at a New Hampshire town hall on July 20.
Mr. Ramaswamy appeared on stage at Saint Anselm College’s New Hampshire Institute of Politics to the strains of Jason Aldean’s “Try That in a Small Town.”
The music video for Mr. Aldean’s song was pulled from the air by Country Music Television over accusations of racism. The country singer has strenuously denied those allegations. Former President Donald J. Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis are among the politicians who have come to his defense.
Mr. Ramaswamy began by explaining why he chose the song.
“You want to understand the best measure of America’s health? Here’s what it is: it is the percentage of people who feel free to say what they actually think in public,” the biotech entrepreneur told the crowd.
“I respect—whether it’s a musical artist, whether it’s a parent, whether it’s a corporate executive who will say in public the things that you are otherwise supposed to keep to yourself.”
The candidate reiterated some of his past promises with respect to the administrative state—for example, instituting eight-year term limits for bureaucrats.
Yet, he went beyond that over the course of an in-depth speech that made ample use of org charts. He explained in specific terms how he intends to “shut down the administrative state and the bureaucracy that sucks the lifeblood out of our constitutional Republic.”
The Founders, he said, “fought a revolution to say that ‘We the People’ decide how to settle our political differences, for better or for worse.”
Mr. Ramaswamy argued that the sprawling administrative state has betrayed that revolutionary promise.
“I stand not on the side of reform. I stand on the side of American revolution,” he said, his fiery rhetoric recalling the title of a famous pamphlet by revolutionary Marxist Rosa Luxemburg, albeit from the opposite end of small-l liberalism.
Plans for Ending FBI, Department of Education
Mr. Ramaswamy argued that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is structurally anomalous, which enables it to “[escape] cabinet-level accountability.”
He pointed out that there’s no FBI-like independent investigative body between local prosecutors and local police, as there is between the Department of Justice and the U.S. Marshals.
“That is a formula for corruption,” the 2024 hopeful stated, arguing that the agency is vexed by waste, redundancy, and mission creep. Its mission creep only worsened after 9/11, he said.
Presenting a diagram outlining the dismantling of the FBI during his first year in office, Mr. Ramaswamy said he’d shift some of its employees to the U.S. Marshals, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and other agencies less “politicized” than the brainchild of J. Edgar Hoover….