Washington, DC – Yesterday, Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy, explicitly endorsed the great replacement theory – a white nationalist and antisemitic conspiracy theory that has inspired multiple deadly terrorist attacks over the last several years. Later in the day, Donald Trump participated in a live interview with Fox News’s Sean Hannity in front of an audience of supporters in Iowa, where Trump leaned into his description as a would-be dictator (including stating “we’re closing the border. After that, I’m not a dictator, okay?”). America’s Voice is urging Americans not to become numb to the ever-escalating and outrageous appeals to racism and violence.
- Vivek Ramaswamy endorsed great replacement theory: Ramaswamy wrote on X: “TRUTH #5: The Great Replacement Theory isn’t a grand “right-wing conspiracy theory,” it’s just basic immigration policy for the modern Democrat (sic) Party.” As Ramaswamy implies, this bigoted conspiracy falsely claims there is a plot by Democrats or “elites” to facilitate an invasion of non-white migrants to subvert American democracy and replace “real Americans.” He illustrates his tweet with a video of President Biden and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, whose family fled both communism in Cuba and nazism in Europe.
This is far from the first time Ramaswamy has employed this white nationalist conspiracy theory, but yesterday was the first time he has done so as explicitly. We should not brush this bigoted conspiratorial rhetoric off as typical campaign hyperbole, but see it as part of a dangerous worldview that courts mass political violence and is in opposition to democracy.
- Trump embraces “dictator” depiction, including toward migrants: In his interview with Trump, Hannity tried twice to help the former president out of the jarring description that he would rule as a dictator. Not known for his subtly Trump said, “He [Hannity] says, ‘You’re not going to be a dictator, are you?’ I said: ‘No, no, no. Other than Day One’” with a wink and smile. Trump cited the shorthand for his radical immigration agenda and its implementation as justification for his dictatorial rule. He said he would shut down the border on day one. “After that, I’m not a dictator,” he said.
Trump’s latest comments come after his rhetoric over the last few months has drawn widespread comparisons to Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini by mainstream reporters and ever more sinister immigration policy proposals aimed at creating massive camps, deporting millions, changing the constitutional definition of citizenship and employing law enforcement and National Guard from red states to enforce his policies in other states.
According to Zachary Mueller, Political Director of America’s Voice:
“These ideas used to be confined to dark and dangerous corners of the internet, but now Trump and Ramaswamy and other Republican leaders are making anti-semitic and anti-immigrant conspiracy theories the center of Republican politics. From senior Republican leaders in Congress to GOP presidential candidates on the campaign trail, these are not kooks making unsavory comments from a dark basement; these are people with real power mainstreaming these ideas to massive audiences. Yes, tonight, tomorrow and the day after, Ramaswamy and Trump will most assuredly employ bigoted conspiratorial rhetoric again that threatens the core promise of America as a multiracial democracy.
And that is exactly the point. We must urgently resist the normalization of the egregiously dangerous rhetoric coming from the highest parts of our political institutions. The embrace of a conspiratorial white nationalist vision for America is not a slip of the tongue or a gaff, it is a strategy to normalize the assault on our democracy, voting rights and citizenship. These leaders in the Republican Party have adopted a conspiracy inexorably intertwined with antisemitism and deadly mass political violence. They are spinning a narrative where non-white, permanent foreigners are the pawns delivering the existential threat to ‘real-Americans.’ And all of it takes us down the path towards a bigoted right-wing authoritarian state backed by their radicalized movement base.
Their strategy may well be designed to solicit reactive outrage, but their vision for America is outrageous – it’s a revolutionary vision to remake America through a white nationalist prism. They are telling us exactly who they are and what they will do with power. Their strategic, ongoing assault on institutions to move us towards authoritarianism cannot be met with a shrugging dismissal of nothing new to see here.”