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Vivek Ramaswamy faces ridicule over his ironic history fail

Ramaswamy has said he wants people to have to take a civics test if they want to vote before age 25. His debate performance showed he might struggle to pass it himself.


Vivek Ramaswamy, the ultraconservative businessman and political neophyte, earned comparisons to Donald Trump during Wednesday’s Republican presidential primary debate.

Most of these comparisons seemed to stem from his barbed attacks on fellow candidates, his adherence to extremist talking points and his grim portrayal of the United States as a modern-day hellscape. But one memorable moment showed another way Ramaswamy mirrors Trump: in his complete bungling of simple historical facts.

Ramaswamy had already garnered criticism for proposing a constitutional amendment that would require voters between the ages of 18 and 24 to pass a civics test before they can cast a ballot, unless they have service in the military or as a first responder. But would he be able to pass that test himself?

“The U.S. Constitution, it is the strongest guarantor of freedom in human history. That is what won us the American Revolution,” Ramaswamy claimed during the debate. 


As many American fifth graders will tell you, the Constitution wasn’t signed until four years after the American Revolution officially ended. And people on social media were quick to hammer Ramaswamy on that point. You can read some of the best replies here.

Some may say it’s nitpicking to criticize Ramaswamy on this. But is it too much to ask that someone who wants to change the Constitution to bar people from voting at least have elementary knowledge of how the document came to be? Or when? I think not.

Ramaswamy has spent the past few years proclaiming that there’s an intellectual rot being effectuated by American schools and colleges. But if there is a disease of anti-intellectualism and civic ignorance spreading in America, he sounded like patient zero Wednesday night. He also said things like “reverse racism is racism,” “fossil fuels are a requirement for human prosperity” and “there are two genders,” so he seems to struggle discerning fact from fiction on a host of issues.

Seeing the conservative movement’s loudest, proudest Boy Wonder fail to grasp basic constitutional history on a national stage was especially rich. It showed members of today’s Republican Party in a nutshell: overconfident and undereducated when it comes to their understanding of America’s past, yet insistent they deserve total control over America’s future.