J. D. Vance

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Vance in 2021
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We are, whether we like it or not, the party of lower-income, lower-education white people, and I have been saying for a long time that we need to offer those people SOMETHING (and hell, maybe even expand our appeal to working-class black people in the process) or a demagogue would. We are now at that point. Trump is the fruit of the party's collective neglect.
—Vance in 2016[1]
I go back and forth between thinking Trump is a cynical asshole like Nixon who wouldn't be that bad (and might even prove useful) or that he's America's Hitler. How's that for discouraging?
—Vance in 2016[1]
I think Trump is going to run again in 2024. I think that what Trump should do, if I was giving him one piece of advice: Fire every single midlevel bureaucrat, every civil servant in the administrative state, replace them with our people. And when the courts stop you, stand before the country, and say, 'The chief justice has made his ruling. Now let him enforce it.'
—Vance in 2022, openly advocating a coup[2]

James David "J.D." Vance (1984–) is an author and Republican candidate for United States Senate for Ohio in 2022. He became famous in 2016 for his book Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis. Unsurprisingly, as a GOP candidate, he has some rather interesting views. Specifically, he's become very interested in birth rates among the "ruling classes".[3]

Controversies surrounding his book[edit]

Hillbilly Elegy describes his lifestyle while growing up in the Cincinnati, Ohio suburbs, which is obviously the most hillbilly place one can grow up.[4] It was very successful when it came out, especially in media circles, but even then there were warning signs of the lunacy that was to come. Vance portrays the working class as ultimately to blame for their own difficulties in life, saying that they have "the feeling that our choices don’t matter," and suggests that they "buy giant TVs and iPads" instead of working to better themselves.[5] A particularly prescient article in Jacobin by Bob Hutton views the book as a part of a tradition of elitist victim blaming such as in the boot-straps theme of the works of Horatio Alger and the infamous The Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua.[6] Despite his posturing about his special insights into the reasons why Trump won white working-class voters, he really just repeated the same old conservative mantra that poor people are lazy, and he provided hints of the wingnuttery that was to come.

Lunacy in his 2022 Senate run[edit]

The first warning sign in J.D. Vance's run for Senate that he was going to be veering very, very far into wingnut territory with a sudden swerve from being a critic of former-President Trump.[7] He switched from his earlier establishment conservativism (though he still retains the support of many of them) to a new right-wing populism in a competition with his fellow wingnut former Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel.[8] Among the various actions that he has taken in his race to the right was his defense of Holocaust denier Nick Fuentes while calling liberals "degenerate."[9] It is left up to the reader what to think about these comments.

Vance's elitism reemerged in his comments about giving proxy votes to parents for their children, in which he insulted "the childless left" and in particular Kamala Harris, Pete Buttigieg, Cory Booker, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez as "childless cat ladies" whose childfree status was interfering with a "a healthy ruling class."[10][11] That a GOP candidate feels the need to say nonsense like this reflects the continuing popularity of The Bell Curve-like thought in the party.

During his run, he revealed on a far-right podcast with Jack Murphy, he revealed his more extreme views:[12][13]

  • Millions of government workers should be fired regardless of the law, comparing it to post-World War II de-Nazification, or the purge of Baathists following the downfall of Saddam Hussein, referring to it as "de-wokeification"
  • He compared the current United States to the late republican period of Rome before it became an Empire, indicating that he believes that Democrats are evil, and anti-democratic actions need to be taken to stop them so that we can have Emperor Trump. It's no wonder since apparently Curtis Yarvin of the Neoreactionary Movement apparently got his ear.[14]

See Also[edit]

  • Mo Brooks: Another insane candidate running for Senate in 2022, but with a lesser chance of winning.
  • John Kasich: For a much more reasonable Ohio Republican

References[edit]