In Vivek Ramaswamy's "ten commandments", he says:

There are three branches of the U.S. government, not four

What is the implied fourth branch in this context?

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    Related: politics.stackexchange.com/questions/72098/… Commented Aug 23, 2023 at 3:57
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    As a general rule of thumb, I find it useful to mentally discard all political statements that do not contain an "and here is how we are going to do it instead" rider.
    – xLeitix
    Commented Aug 23, 2023 at 13:43
  • I don't see anywhere that they are called "ten commandments". Also, from the article, ""There are only two genders" — the latter being a contentious claim by those on the Left." What? Commented Aug 24, 2023 at 0:53
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    Traditionally that term, or more commonly "fourth estate", is used to refer to the Press. That may not be what he meant though.
    – T.E.D.
    Commented Aug 24, 2023 at 1:57
  • NYTimes Fact-Checking Vivek Ramaswamy on the Campaign Trail
    – uhoh
    Commented Aug 27, 2023 at 3:22

1 Answer 1


Based on these two posts, Ramaswamy's implied fourth branch is the administrative state.

On X, formerly Twitter.

I will shut down the fourth branch of government, the administrative state. You cannot tame that beast. You must end it.

On Facebook.

TRUTH: You cannot tame the fourth branch of government. You must end it. I will shut down the administrative state.

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    (+1) Althoug that sounds as plausible as banning gravity over US land... and probably with similar side-effects.
    – Rekesoft
    Commented Aug 23, 2023 at 9:30
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    So he’s referring to the bureaucracy, the departments and agencies, per Dwight Waldo? But… that’s the executive branch… Commented Aug 23, 2023 at 11:10
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    @TimPederick - Congress delegates authority to the various executive departments. That delegation is in the form of goals with some restrictions. It is up to those departments to create regulations consistent with those laws, Conservatives frequently complain that those regulations, by liberals or progressives, go beyond the delegated authority or intent of Congress, In that sense (over-regulation), these unelected bureaucrats are running the country, effectively as a fourth branch of government.
    – Rick Smith
    Commented Aug 23, 2023 at 13:17
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    When a Presidential candidate (or actual POTUS) says they're going to do something, it often means they plan on working with Congress to implement that plan, unless it's something that can actually be implemented by EO.
    – Barmar
    Commented Aug 23, 2023 at 15:20
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    @Barmar sure, but with things such as tax rates and federal programs such as Obamacare that is more obvious to most people. A lot of people do not realize that the structure of the executive branch is not at the president's discretion but rather at congress's direction.
    – phoog
    Commented Aug 23, 2023 at 17:08

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