Vivek Ramaswamy Is Scum. You Should Still Say His Name Correctly.
Donna Brazile, former chair of the Democratic National Committee, was a guest this week on Bill Maher’s “Real Time,” presumably because someone else slightly more relevant had to cancel at the last minute. I have only so many more years left on this earth so I don’t waste much time watching Maher, who recently shared a mutual love fest with that weasel Ted Cruz
“Vivek just needs to shut the hell up and go home,” Brazile said. “I’m tired of him.” Nikki Haley correctly classified Ramaswamy as “scum,” but I still think that in polite society, you don’t use someone’s first name unless they’ve given you permission. Brazile and Ramaswamy aren’t friends or colleagues.
She also mispronounced Ramaswamy’s first name as “Vih-VEK,” and Maher, suddenly possessing a convenient political correctness, reminded her that the correct pronunciation is “Vih-VAKE,” like all the rakes he walks into when debating Haley. People often mispronounce names. It’s not malicious. However, if you dismiss the correct pronunciation as if that level of respect is beneath you, you just look like a jerk. At least Ramaswamy’s found more innovative ways of being an asshole.
“Well, whatever,” Brazile responded, before repeating her perfectly normal name. “I’m Donna. Is it Vivek Ramaswama? Ramaswamy?”
Maher helped her with the correct pronunciation for “Ramaswamy,” and Brazile said, with obvious sarcasm, “Thank you so much, I learn so much when I come on this show … Vih-VAKE? Vivek needs to go home!”
“Vivek needs to go home!” is hardly trenchant political commentary even when Brazile managed to say his name right. Maher agreed that Ramaswamy sucks, but added, “I just feel like there’s something wrong with everybody refusing to learn to say his name. I just feel there’s a little racism there.”
Tricia McLaughlin, Ramaswamy’s communications director and senior adviser, told the Daily Mail, “Reverse racism is racism.” (No, technically the reverse of racism is anti-racism or maybe Bizarro Racism.) “If that were a white Republican they would be fired and torn to shreds on cable TV. Donna will probably get an ‘atta boy’ from her colleagues. Gross.”
This is typical right-wing grievance rhetoric, which insists that liberals get away with all manner of offense. Many white Republicans have deliberately mispronounced Vice President Kamala Harris’s name. During one of Trump’s 2020 hate rallies, mow former Senator David Perdue from Georgia referred to his then-colleague as “Ka-MAL-a (sic), Ka-MAL-a or Kamala, Kamala, Ka-mala, -mala, -mala, I don’t know, whatever.” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis calls the vice president “kuh-MALL-uh” instead of “COMMA-la.” This is obviously intentional. Saying Harris’s name correctly is easier than walking in heels, although it seems DeSantis can’t do either one.
Brazile has worked on an impressive number of failed Democratic presidential campaigns — Walter Mondale in 1984, Michael Dukakis in 1988 before she was fired for making people think about George H.W. Bush’s sex life, and Al Gore in 2000. Nonetheless, she’s a well-educated person and shouldn’t realistically struggle to pronounce a politician’s name. That’s her whole job, whatever it is now.
Vivek Ramaswamy is a Twitter troll masquerading as a presidential candidate. However, you don’t need to resort to school bully tactics regarding his name. There are so many better ways to drag him.
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