In the ever-evolving Republican Primary Race, two prominent “Indian Republicans” have taken the stage. Despite sharing several commonalities such as their Indian heritage, practicing Hinduism, and perhaps a shared affection for curry, their positions on the debate stage diverge. Vivek Ramaswamy’s rhetoric leans distinctly to the right, while Nimrata Randhawa (aka Nikki Haley), appears to gravitate towards the center. Ramaswamy spent the first debate only defending Trump while Randhawa only criticized him. These differing approaches have puzzled some pundits, especially since both candidates assured us that they had plans to get “tough” on China.
At first glance, this pledge to get tough on China might appear to be a unifying theme between the two Indian-American candidates. However, the devil is in the details. Curiously, neither candidate has been forthcoming about the specifics of their so-called plans to confront China. It’s a point of contention that raises eyebrows and invites deeper scrutiny.
Before we explore this any further, it’s worth acknowledging the paradoxical presence of two such prominent “Indian Republicans” at the highest levels of the current Republican Party. The majority of Republican voters and politicians do not mirror the background and life experiences of individuals like Ramaswamy and Randhawa. Their identity as practicing Hindus, amidst a predominantly Christian Republican demographic, adds an extra layer of complexity to their presence on the political stage. So while the vast majority of Republican voters go to church on Sunday morning and listen to the gospel of Jesus Christ, Vivek and Nimrata are burning spices and praying to enough false gods to fill the Superdome, and we’re all supposed to just be okay with that.
However, the critical issue at hand is how these Indian Republicans conduct themselves. Vivek Ramaswamy’s entry into politics is marked by his controversial financial history, including involvement in a pump-and-dump scheme on essential medications. His past partnership with the fraud convict Martin Shkreli (aka the Pharma Bro), raises profound ethical and moral questions, particularly regarding the impact on vulnerable individuals, including those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. In light of this backdrop, Ramaswamy’s candidacy takes on a different complexion. While he may position himself as an advocate for conservative values, his past actions demonstrate the principles, ethics, and moral responsibility that might be more at home in the Democratic Party.
Vivek Ramaswamy’s approach to the Republican nomination is nothing short of strange. He has somehow tried to position himself as a candidate who supports Trump, embraces his legacy, and supports all his policies while also trying to defeat him. The paradox is palpable: he praises Trump as the best President of all time and a beacon of conservative values, while simultaneously running against him and asserting that Trump’s presidency was lacking. His pledge to “get tough on China” echoes this apparent duality. While it’s a unifying theme on the surface, the absence of concrete details regarding his strategy raises questions about his true intentions.
Nimrata Randhawa, on the other hand, has a long history in American politics. Former Governor of South Carolina, and then serving as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations during the Trump administration, her background has long been a subject of scrutiny. Her many ethics controversies have been gone over with a fine-toothed comb in the press for a decade now, so I won’t bore you with them all again here, but suffice it to say, she has her skeletons. Her transformation here into a centrist figure, spouting policy positions more in line with Hillary Clinton than Donald Trump–notably separating herself from her Indian counterpart, Ramaswamy–is seen by many as a strategic move to increase the Indian Republicans’ chances of securing a place in the next Trump administration; Trump will need to reach out to the centrists as a concession to the RINOs, the conventional wisdom says, and Randhawa is one of their favorites. This strategic pivot raises questions about whether they are actually advocating for the interests of the United States at all or if they have an underlying agenda that benefits India.
As the “Indian Republicans” seek a foothold in the American political landscape, their influence, if realized, could significantly impact foreign policy, particularly in relation to China. What appears as a vocal commitment to getting tough on China may, in fact, be part of a broader strategy masterminded by influential figures within the Indian community, possibly including Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself or in partnership with prominent Indian billionaires and business leaders.
In this strategic approach, the “Indian Republicans” may serve as conduits for advancing India’s interests within the American political arena. Their shared Indian heritage, familial ties to the Indian community, and Hindu faith might naturally align them with this calculated plan, where fostering favorable Indo-Chinese relations becomes a priority.
In the realm of international relations, striking a balance between safeguarding American interests and promoting India’s standing as a regional power is at the heart of this deliberate effort. While the “Indian Republicans” might publicly adopt an assertive stance against China, the true measure of their influence would be in their ability to navigate the nuanced Indo-Chinese landscape while advancing India’s strategic, economic, and diplomatic objectives.
For both Ramaswamy and Randhawa, their campaigns and potential roles within a second Trump administration may have broad-reaching implications for U.S. foreign policy and national security. While they might publicly advocate for policies that appear “tough on China,” their primary focus would almost certainly be on initiatives that strengthen India’s position on the world stage, creating advantageous economic, strategic, and diplomatic alliances that significantly bolster India’s interests, while necessarily weakening America’s standing and undermining our own interests.
The calculated plan of these Indian Republicans aligns with the broader strategy of Indian foreign policy and economic growth. It may involve positioning India as a crucial player in countering China’s global influence, leading to enhanced trade relationships, strategic partnerships, and shared diplomatic endeavors between the U.S. and India. This approach, engineered by influential Indian figures and business leaders, can reshape the foreign policy landscape and directly impact American interests.
The influence of the “Indian Republicans” on U.S. foreign policy, particularly regarding China, is part of a calculated plan that seeks to promote India’s interests while maintaining a façade of toughness on China. The collaboration between these politicians and influential Indian entities underscores the strategic and complex nature of modern American politics and international relations.