I was introduced to Vivek Ramaswamy by the great Butler County, Ohio treasurer Nancy Nix. You might ask what makes her great; well, she has the books balanced in Butler County, where we all live, Vivek, Nancy, and about 400,000 other residents, and we are operating financially at a surplus. Not a small town, but she and others like her serve Butler County as a fine example of good government, proving that it is possible. She knew some of the things I have been doing, and she certainly knew Vivek as he was a very wealthy ex-CEO of biotech firms who wrote a book called Woke, Inc. He was the featured speaker that night at the Middletown GOP office, which I had attended to hear what he had to say. Nancy thought Vivek and I might have an interesting conversation. That’s when I learned that Vivek had been in attendance at a big campaign rally that I had organized a year and a half earlier where he had an epiphany to change his life, quit his job, and write this book. Because at that rally which was saturated with political correctness, he saw a very good friend of mine, a CEO who at significant risk, came out publically in favor of Trump, and Vivek thought that was pretty cool. It inspired him, so he sat down and wrote Woke, Inc for the next year and a half. I accepted a warm handshake from Vivek and got along well with him for the rest of that evening, enjoying the early preview of his book that wasn’t due to come out for a few more months. I made no mention of my own book, but the more he spoke that night, the more I realized that something weird was going on in Butler County. After all, J.D. Vance was from Middletown who wrote the Hillbilly Elegy who practically lived in my backyard. Now Vivek was a multimillionaire investor and biotech wiz who had decided to turn against woke culture and spill the secrets of that inner sanctum, and of course, my various projects. That’s a lot of exciting debate for a relatively small part of the world in southern Ohio.
Vivek’s book came out on August 17th, and I immediately read it a few times. I love the book, there are many things I could debate, but in essence, it’s a great book with a mass-market appeal that I want to cheerlead on as much as possible. The more people who read it, the more people will understand what kind of fight we are in to balance out the needs of government with the needs of capitalism and the corporate alliance that has drifted away from America and merged with the Davos crowd of international conspirators. I will likely read Woke, Inc. several more times because it is written at a high level and is filled with great information. But the more I read it, the more I felt that my book, ironically comes out on August 28th, just a few days after Vivek’s contains the answers to many of the questions posed in Woke, Inc. I found it incredibly ironic that two people from roughly the same area with different backgrounds would independently identify essentially the same problem and attack it almost like a question then answer. For instance, a couple of the chapters from Vivek’s book, most notably “The Rise of the Managerial Class,” were the very aspects I was targeting in my book, The Gunfighter’s Guide to Business as a way to contend with. Ultimately, what was driving woke culture was fear, and I intended to teach people not to be afraid. Once fear was conquered, many of the mechanisms mentioned in Vivek’s book would be eliminated. But here were two people who independently arrived at a driving need and only shared a few chance meetings in getting there. How inspired Vivek was from the event I hosted, I don’t think, will ever be measured. But the irony was not lost on me.
Where my mind has gone, however, is based on my background, not so much as a business manager and poker player with investor house money, but from my own experience at managing fear by taking away the option of people being able to scare you. So I took my experiences as a gunfighter, for sport, as a foundation for approaching woke culture, just the latest rendition of socialism and Marxism. Where I planned to give a review of Woke, Inc., which I’m sure I will at some point, I couldn’t stop thinking about how his book almost ended with a segway into The Gunfighter’s Guide to Business. Yet mine is targeted to influence leaders, not necessarily a mass public. That would be the case for most of my stuff. But in all these explorations into an epistemological philosophy, you have to start with identifying the problem, which Vivek did. While I could tell that Vivek was working out some things in his approach, he comes from a background in India where ideas of capitalism were romanticized as a way to opportunity. In Vivek’s world, arranged marriages were very much a real thing. My approach was to strip away the façade of the progressive era and set my book in the Old West, a period of American history that most people can agree on and have some relationship from which to build. We live, after all, in a time when wokeness is seeking to erase our history, so we forget who we are. Where toxic masculinity is illustrated so that Western civilization’s fall can be ignited without challengers, the danger is very much real. So I set my scope there and then used that platform to teach people how to be all those great things again to attack this new “Managerial Class” that Vivek spent much of his book talking about.
I did enjoy Vivek’s book a lot. If I didn’t have the experiences, I mentioned I would still feel that way. One thing I talk a lot about in The Gunfighter’s Guide to Business is the value in “ghosting it,” and if something I did a year and a half ago inspired such a brilliant mind like Vivek’s, that makes me happy to hear. I would suspect that Vivek, a big-time insider, had been thinking about these topics for a long time before he took his plunge into independence. Reading his book, it sounds like he is making a platform for a political campaign for the future, where he wants to fix these kinds of woke problems as a legislator. That’s all great; it takes all sorts of people independently to make things happen, which is evident in some of the writing coming out of Butler County, Ohio. Nobody was talking to each other, yet here come all these exciting ideas to contribute to a social need that has been brewing for a long time. I tend not to spend much time thinking about that kind of thing. Whatever divine intervention is doing its magic, I welcome. My goal is to do what I can every day to make the world a better place in whatever way possible. And in that regard, I am proud of Vivek. He could have chosen a cushy life and easily become a billionaire by just riding the coaster into the station, especially for a guy like him, charismatic and full of energy. But if I had any part in inspiring him to write Woke, Inc. with a political rally, well, I can say that his book inspired me of just how vital the themes in The Gunfighter’s Guide to Business are for a hungry public looking for answers. In that way, the world may just be finding a way to step out of the smoke and into a prosperous new tomorrow.