Ramaswamy Has Smarm Appeal: Younger Voters Want Energy – The American Spectator

It isn’t news to anyone that our ruling class is geriatric — except maybe to them.

On the other end of the age spectrum, millennials and Gen Zers are beginning to work their way into society and, more importantly for this discussion, into voting booths and ballots. So, in an attempt to try and figure out the kinds of people who will be determining the politics of our country for the foreseeable future, pollsters have incessantly quizzed us youth while talking heads have subsequently analyzed and criticized their findings. (READ MORE: McConnell, It’s Time to Resign)

The fact is, the answer isn’t as complicated as all that — the youth of today, like the youth of every age before them, feel that the “adults” are out of touch. This explains why, during a night of bland candidates on a bland GOP primary debate stage, millennial Vivek Ramaswamy “grabbed the spotlight.”

The Gerontocracy Lacks Energy

The difference between Ramaswamy and Biden — or, frankly, any of our decrepit politicians — is stark. At this point, even Democrats will admit that Biden is a bit slow. Earlier this week, an AP-NORC poll found that the majority of Americans think “Biden is too old to be an effective president in a second term.” What the AP won’t say is that Biden aged out of that position, cognitively speaking, four years ago.

Biden is certainly the most prominent example of our mentally ailing elderly politicians, but he’s far from the only one. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) — the longest-serving female senator in American history — is 90 years old and hasn’t been able to fulfill her elected duties for years.

(It’s worth noting that the word “senator” has its roots in the Latin senex, meaning “old man.” Given that the average lifespan of the Founding Fathers was 66 years, it’s unlikely they ever envisioned a 90-year-old taking office when they named that body of Congress.)

The problem, of course, isn’t limited to Democrats; this week, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) froze for the second time during a press conference while — ironically — being asked whether he would consider running again in 2026. That episode has, of course, spawned the latest flurry of opinions calling for geriatric members of the government to perhaps reconsider their positions of power. (RELATED: Thanks a Lot, Mitch

There is no doubt that the United States, once a bustling country of opportunity, has embraced a doddering form of government: a “gerontocracy,” as Roger Kimball observes in the Spectator World. “It used to be said that America was a young country, naive perhaps, but bristling with youthful energy and optimism,” he writes. That age, Kimball believes, came to an abrupt end with John F. Kennedy’s assassination.

When Donald Trump burst onto the national stage, he did so with a gust of energy, promising to “Make America Great Again” and invoking a vision of an America many of us had heard of but never experienced. Trump’s rise can possibly be partly explained by the fact that younger generations — specifically Gen Z — are drawn to political extremes: They are increasingly describing themselves as “very liberal” or “very conservative.”

And there are plenty of reasons for the rising youth to be so drawn: Society has decayed rapidly, crime is rising exponentially, and the kindergartners being indoctrinated in public schools are the children of millennials. It’s also worth noting, however, that in the last eight years, Republicans have succeeded in putting some of the most energetic candidates on the national stage. Trump, for instance, has become known for his explosive energy — his rallies are the stuff of legends, and he’s only becoming more popular.

Lessons Learned From Ramaswamy

Ramaswamy has not mastered the Trump ethos — it is unlikely that anyone else will — but he has been able to echo it. When he stepped onto the GOP primary debate stage last week with his punchable grin and gleeful energy, his obnoxious little-brother attitude thrust him into the spotlight. He may be, as Mark Hamill dubbed him, “Ramasmarmy,” but he knows how to appeal to the younger generation.

In his closing statement at the GOP debate, Ramaswamy delivered what amounted to a high-energy battle cry that, while full of clichés, somehow worked:

This is our moment to revive those common ideals. God is real. There are two genders. Fossil fuels are a requirement for human prosperity. Reverse racism is racism. An open border is not a border. Parents determine the education of their children. The nuclear family is the greatest form of governance known to man. Capitalism lifts us up from poverty. There are three branches of government, not four. And the U.S. Constitution, it is the strongest guarantor of freedom in human history. That is what won us the American Revolution. That is what will win us the revolution of 2024.

Revolution. A word that has appealed to youth for centuries.

It’s unlikely that Ramaswamy will win the primary elections despite his growing popularity in Iowa — and, even if he did, he would still have to figure out how not to come across as obnoxious — but his campaign does have insightful lessons to offer anyone who cares to listen.

The younger generation is unlikely to vote on tax cuts or the national debt, as important as those topics may be. But they are interested, even entranced, by a vibe of energy. They, like every generation before them, want a revolution.

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