Candidate version of JD Vance using the same dog whistles he once ridiculed as “moral disaster”
The last time I spoke with JD Vance, he was leading the good life of an elite West Coast venture capitalist in Silicon Valley. He was a baby-faced investor from South Ohio basking in the unexpected sensation of his newly released bestseller. Everyone had to get her hands on her memoir for what they might explain about a former reality TV star’s inexplicable presidential appeal. Vance’s book on his self-proclaimed hillbilly roots promised information about Why a poor man, because of his demographic luck, fainted before a billionaire celebrity who would not have died in the Appalachians.
At the time, I was writing for a newspaper in a blue-collar Ohio town whose glory days as a manufacturing mecca – like Vance’s hollowed out hometown near Cincy – were long gone. So I invited the author to get in touch with an audience in Ohio who might relate to his story. He called from his office in San Francisco, and we talked for over an hour. Recently I went back to look at the transcript of this conversation to make sure it was the same Vance who now wants to be the next US Senator from Ohio.
The Senate nominee looks and looks like the JD Vance I interviewed, except for the full Midwestern beard he wears, but something is very different. The appearing Vance – the all The FOX show that gets it – masquerades as a Trump sidekick and far-right culture warrior. Who the hell is this guy and what did he do with the thoughtful conservative I interviewed who lambasted another charlatan for pulling off a similar scam to become president?
The 37-year-old returned to Ohio, bought a sprawling, million-dollar estate in an upscale neighborhood of Queen City, and decided to boost his profile with a failed national office candidacy. To that end, however, the 2021 version of Vance crept into the infamous Mar-a-Lago insurgency, partnered with big donors on the shores, and rebranded himself as a right-wing grievance peddler. . This character jumped straight into the far-right’s malicious attack mode, possessing the “degenerate liberals”, mocking the “childless party” (what ??) denigrating desperate immigrants as drug traffickers ” dirty ”threatening to invade Ohio, dismissing critical race theory as“ crap ”parents don’t want in their schools, defending a white supremacist banned from Twitter for inciting violence and, of course, brushing aside the measures rescue efforts during a burgeoning pandemic as “nefarious efforts to control our lives.”
Candidate Vance felt that: “Obesity is a much bigger public health crisis than Covid,” and asked sardonically, “Should we demand that no one be allowed to eat fried chicken? He repeated the madness of right-wing Republicans that COVID “isn’t the only bad thing” and “people don’t trust (life-saving) vaccines because our public health authorities are understood, reasonably, as political hacks that don’t. know what they are doing. Furthermore, he added, touching on more than 600,000 Americans dead, “what about basic bodily freedom?”
Seriously, who is this guy and why is he adopting the horrific burn-and-burn tactics of the scare mongers and scapegoats that 2016 Vance denounced as divisive and dangerous? At the time, he told me, “Trump voters can be encouraged to see their compatriots as fellow citizens and that is good. Or they may be made to see them as scapegoats for all their problems and [that’s] the reason I’m so against Donald Trump. It [Trump] is pulling “a significant portion of the white working class” in a “more racist direction,” Vance concluded.
“He changes the political conversation in a way that makes it less likely that people will think blacks and Mexicans are compatriots” and instead “think of these people” as to blame for all that is wrong with America White. “Racism is definitely part of the Trump phenomenon,” Vance said. “The Dukes David of the world…[are] absolutely a part of the Trump movement. And I think to his great discredit, Trump hasn’t disowned these people as strongly as he should. I truly believe Trump bears a lot of blame… we are witnessing an unprecedented level of racial resentment and racialized rhetoric in this  election.”
But candidate Vance blows the same dog whistles he once disowned from a candidate he ridiculed as “moral disaster.” Trump’s personal conduct alone, Vance said, “would have been so offensive to my [Appalachian] grandma that she would have hated that… there is no way she voted for him. Vance said he was disappointed with religious leaders “who apologized very much for Trump’s behavior … if Barack Obama, who obviously is an incredible family man, if he had fathered five children by three women … there would be a lot of religious conservatives all over him… ”
“I don’t think it’s totally forbidden to say that we should force our presidents to uphold a certain moral standard … and it’s just astonishing to me that we haven’t done the same for Donald Trump,” Vance told me. This was before Trump was elected and the serial corruption, deception, dishonor and damage began. Before his first impeachment for trying to rig the 2020 election in return for foreign aid and his second impeachment for instigating an insurgency against his own government to steal an election he lost.
It was also before JD Vance shot a 180 on his old self. The young writer I spoke to over four years ago was different. He was genuine, not afraid to berate his community for their “lack of agency” and “a feeling that you have little control over your life and a willingness to blame everyone except yourself”. It was personal for Vance, whose mother was in the same rut. “I don’t blame mom for the way she lived her life. I don’t blame her for the addiction. I don’t blame her for the way she sometimes treated me and my sister. What I would blame for mom is if she stopped trying.
This JD Vance had nothing to do with the Ohio Senate candidate who blamed everyone today. This The actor degrades everyone MAGA supporters love to hate – from the wealthy, educated elitists (like himself) to the mainstream media, Brown immigrants and Black Lives Matter protesters. So which JD Vance is the real deal, and which one is running a goofy scam as a bogus extremist to claim an open Senate seat in Ohio?
You know. Ohio voters can spot the fake one and a half miles away.
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