How bad a politician is JD Vance? The anatomy of a failed campaign
Conservatives believe that the “American dream” of prosperity and upward social mobility is available to any American born into poverty. But statistics show that American society has less inter-economic class mobility than most so-called class-bound European societies. Americans born poor are more likely to die broke than poor Swedes or Germans. How do we know? The World Economic Forum has ranked social mobility in 82 countries on its Global Social Mobility Index. The United States was 27th. Behind most first world countries.
But despite the odds of not living a Horatio Alger, “pick up by your boots” life, there are some on the wrong side of the tracks who grab the brass ring. One such activist is JD Vance, who described his journey in best-selling memoir, “Hillbilly Elegy.” After high school in Middletown OH he enlisted in the Marines and served in Iraq. He then attended Ohio State University, graduating summa cum laude. And he finished his college career with a JD from Yale Law. At Yale, Amy Chua, a law professor and known as “Tiger Mom”, convinced Vance to write Hillbilly Elegy.
After law school, Vance earned money doing money for Peter Thiel’s venture capital firm, Mithril Capital. He returned to Ohio, where he continued to earn money. He also set out to fight the drug scourge ravaging rural Appalachia. And he decided to run for the US Senate to replace retired Rob Portman. And that’s where it started to go wrong.
In 2016, while still his own man with an appreciation for truth, he did a few comments about Trump during the presidential campaign of this shvantz. He said, “I’m a Never Trump guy” and “I never liked him.” He also tweeted “God what an idiot”. And called Trump “reprehensible”. And said, “I can’t vote for Trump, I can’t stomach this guy, I think he’s harmful.” He then dropped the gavel, “as someone who doesn’t like Trump, maybe I should hold my nose and vote for Hillary Clinton.
But change soon came when Vance decided to run for the Senate — and sought the approval of the harmful and reprehensible idiot. He backtracked on his criticism of Trump and crawled to Mar a Lago begging for absolution. In vain. Trump withheld his imprimatur. And Vance is currently vote in third place behind Steven Miller impersonator Josh Mandel and Ohio businessman Mike Gibbons.
When it comes to politics, Vance seems to have a death wish — or the worst political radar in the business. In response to Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, he said armchair warrior Steve Bannon, on his “War Room” podcast, that “I have to be honest with you, I don’t care what happens to Ukraine one way or another.” He was trying to draw attention to the southern border and stem the tide of fentanyl shipments. But in his clumsy attempt, he looked like a heartless bastard. As too many religious people do.
Raised as an evangelical Protestant, Vance changed his allegiance to Catholicism. However, no matter how many versions of Christianity he has wrapped himself in, he will not capture Christianity’s central message of concern and charity. According to him, the poor, the oppressed, the bombed and the displaced can fend for themselves.
After rambling attempts to retract his dismissive remarks, he readopted his callousness on the Tucker Carlson show. He told the host he’s had enough of Ukraine-obsessed Democrats and “garbage Republicans.” And in doing so, he asserts himself as a man devoid of modesty.
He thought demanding $3 to complete “President Trump’s wall” for every dollar of aid sent to Ukraine was a winning strategy – and a magnificent sucker opportunity. But he misinterpreted the play. A bench survey shows that support for aid to Ukraine is high, even among conservatives. Only seven percent of respondents say the United States is doing “too much” to help the ill-fated nation and its desperate people.
Vance doesn’t have much going for him politically, so when the Minnesota GOP picked him as the keynote speaker for their annual Lincoln Reagan Dinner, he must have been pleased. His pleasure will not have lasted a long time like, with nearly universal Republican opprobrium in the Midwest, the MN GOP vacated the honor and chose Matt Schlapp instead.
Vance not only pissed off the establishment GOP, he also rubbed his own the wrong way. They see him as a cynical sellout, lacking in empathy. And a man who blamed the hicks he was raised with for being agents of their own misfortune. Even his notorious misogyny and homophobia failed to win him “grassroots” support.
In athletics, we celebrate the injured athlete left in the dust, able to overcome their pain, to finish the race long after the winner has broken the tape. In politics, one wonders why the desperate candidate persists in the face of universal mockery. We shouldn’t be surprised. Thinking that you can do a job that you have no ability or training for requires an ego that does not allow for reflection and self-criticism. In Vance’s lizard brain, he clings to the belief that his ship doesn’t sink and that rats still have a haven.