Mother Jones illustration; Win McNamee/Getty; Kirby Lee/AP

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In his closing statement at last night’s GOP presidential debate, Vivek Ramaswamy rattled off a list of his “10 campaign commandments”:

  1. God is real.
  2. There are two genders.
  3. Human flourishing requires fossil fuels.
  4. Reverse racism is racism.
  5. An open border is no border.
  6. Parents determine the education of their children.
  7. The nuclear family is the greatest form of governance known to mankind.
  8. Capitalism lifts people up from poverty.
  9. There are three branches of the U.S. government, not four.
  10. The U.S. Constitution is the strongest guarantor of freedoms in history.

Sound familiar?

It appears, at least to me, that Ramaswamy decided to proclaim the opposite of each of the statements that are displayed on the most common “In This House, We Believe” yard signs commonly found in Democratic neighborhoods. “I just wrote down things that are true,” Ramaswamy told the Atlantic. “It took me about 15 minutes.” Maybe. But I’m convinced that this was a deliberate mockery. (I tried calling Ramaswamy’s press secretary for comment, but her voicemail was full.)

Some of these are stretches, but bear with me. In Ramaswamy’s world, “Science is real” becomes “God is real.” Commandment number 4 is the inverse of “Black Lives Matter”; number 5 is the response to “No human is illegal”; the supremacy of the nuclear family counters “Love is love”; “There are two genders” responds to “women’s rights are human rights”; “Human flourishing requires fossil fuels” answers “Water is life”; and the Constitution’s protection of freedoms negates the assertion that “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Commandments 6, 8, and 9 round out the list to a healthy 10.

Even if they don’t all fit perfectly, the overall tone matches too well to be a coincidence, right?

Kirby Lee/AP

The Biblical bent of Ramaswamy’s commandments is interesting, given that he is a monotheistic Hindu attempting to court Christian voters. But Ramaswamy’s make him seem less like Moses than like a suburban homeowner—and no less cringe. 


For ease, here are the two lists beside one another, lined up to show the pairings:

We Believe poster: Science is real. Ramaswamy commandment: God is real. 

 We Believe poster: Black Lives Matter. Ramaswamy commandment: Reverse racism is racism.

We Believe posterNo human is illegal. Ramaswamy commandment: An open border is no border. 

We Believe posterWater is life. Ramaswamy commandment: Human flourishing requires fossil fuels.

We Believe posterWomen’s rights are human rights. Ramaswamy commandment: There are two genders.

We Believe posterLove is love. Ramaswamy commandment: The nuclear family is the greatest form of governance known to mankind. 

We Believe poster: Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. Ramaswamy commandment: The U.S. Constitution is the strongest guarantor of freedoms in history.

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LESS DREADING, MORE DOING

This is the rubber-meets-road moment: the early days in our first fundraising drive since we took a big swing and merged with CIR to bring fearless investigative reporting to the internet, radio, video, and everywhere else that people need an antidote to lies and propaganda.

Donations have started slow, and we hope that explaining, level-headedly, why your support really is everything for our reporting will make a difference. Learn more in “Less Dreading, More Doing,” or in this 2:28 video about our merger (that literally just won an award), and please pitch in if you can right now.

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