It’s hard to say what JD Vance believes
JD Vance wrote his memoir “Hillbilly Elegy” in 2016. He may have published too soon, as Vance seems to have changed a lot since then. In fact, the Republican Senate candidate is a pure contradiction: he is an Ivy League law school graduate and a Silicon Valley venture capitalist who sees the “elites” as the source of the problems. from America. There’s just one catch: Vance himself is a member of the walking and talking elite. After reading Vance’s memoir in 2016 and seeing Vance in 2022, I wonder what the man who wrote Hillbilly Elegy really believes in.
Compared to today, Hillbilly Elegy 2016 author and media darling JD Vance was a different figure – he was a shaved, seasoned Silicon Valley venture capitalist and strongly opposed to Donald Trump. After the 2016 election, Vance’s book was sold as a key to understanding how and why Trump and the Republican Party easily won states like Ohio – states that had chosen Barack Obama and the Democratic Party in 2008 and 2012. .
Now step into the new and improved JD Vance, the Vance 2.0 – a bearded Trump apologist, hostile to the “degenerate liberals” he tweets, and running as the Republican candidate for the Ohio Senate seat. This new Vance is seeking Trump’s approval, and the votes from Ohio Republicans arrive in May.
So what does JD Vance actually believe? It’s hard to say. Vance is a mess of contradictions. His positions on the “elites,” big tech, and Trump all seem confused.
First, despite what Vance 2.0 might have you believe, JD Vance is one of the establishment elite. He attended the (very prestigious) Yale Law School and spent years working as a venture capitalist in San Francisco after a time as a corporate lawyer. Now Vance has turned into a social media foot soldier, tweeting his critique of “elite dogma” (among many other hyperbole).
Vance enjoys criticizing the wealthy, coastal, and Ivy League-educated elites for their elitism – and apparently hopes no one notices he’s a wealthy member of the elite, from Connecticut to California, educated by the Ivy League. . As David Brooks observed, Vance adapted to the “era of populist rage” like other members of the Republican elite, such as Senators Ted Cruz (Princeton, Harvard Law) and Josh Hawley ( Stanford, Yale Law).
Next, Vance claims to oppose the influence of big tech after working in Silicon Valley. With Arizona Senate candidate Blake Masters (Stanford, Stanford Law), Vance wrote editorials in The New York Post, arguing that Facebook and its CEO Mark Zuckerberg are meddling in the elections.
Irony? Vance and Masters are both backed by Silicon Valley titan Peter Thiel (also Stanford, Stanford Law), the billionaire co-founder of PayPal and top Facebook investor – who currently sits on Facebook’s board. Thiel donated $ 10 million to super PACs supporting Vance and Masters. Vance even invited people to donate $ 10,800 for the privilege of having dinner with him and Mr. Thiel. Vance and Masters may jointly write to criticize Facebook and Zuckerberg, but they may be following the new playbook for Ivy League populists: criticizing big tech publicly and cashing in tech money privately.
Finally, Vance embraced Trump once it became politically necessary for him, just as he criticized Trump in 2016 when he thought it was politically advantageous. Indeed, Vance had called the candidate of the Trump era “reprehensible” and “cultural heroine.” Now Vance has deleted all of his old anti-Trump tweets and replaced them with a simultaneous effort to attack liberals and flatter Trump (and even Trump’s children) at every turn – an attempt that would be almost comical, if not. was sad.
Meet JD Vance, the Ivy League venture capitalist who tried to reinvent himself by fighting the people against the elite. The Hillbilly Elegy author has gone from writing an insightful memoir to social media rants.
We Ohioans must demand the integrity of our senators and elected officials. Before considering their political opinions or political suggestions, we must require candidates to show us their good character, reliability and moral leadership capacity. It’s hard to know what JD Vance really believes in, so it’s hard to trust him as a candidate.
What version would Ohio get in a Senator Vance? It’s easy to see Vance as a mercenary of Peter Thiel – an Ivy League populist by chance. It’s harder to see him as an independent and effective leader for Ohioans.
Max Potluri grew up in Madeira and is currently a third year student at Columbia Law School. He received a bachelor’s degree from Stanford University.