Execrable Josh Hawley Backs J.D. Vance

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Republican Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri, an anti-capitalist trust-buster and an explicit nationalist (See embedded video ca. 5:15.), has weighed in on the crowded Republican primary for one of Ohio's U.S. Senate seats. He has endorsed J.D. Vance, most famous as author of Hillbilly Elegy.

This was surprising and disappointing to me: Although I never did regard Vance as an especially effective or consistent advocate for freedom, his book had at least placed much of the blame for the dysfunctional hillbilly/redneck culture of Appalachia and the South where it belonged: bad individual choices.

In case you have any doubt that Hawley is about the opposite of what a pro-freedom individual would want in the Republican party, I commend you to the embedded video below. Yaron Brook's comments will be helpful, but if you're pressed for time, you can start at the 5:15 mark, where Hawley calls for a "new nationalism" and aggressive trust-busting against "big tech" for "censoring" what he calls "conservatives." (Are there any of those left anymore?). Except for the particular excuse, the trust-busting garbage could have come straight from Representative Ocasio-Cortez's mouth.

But surely, Vance isn't that far gone! you might protest.

I am sorry to report not only that, but that he is arguably worse. And the only reason I say arguably is that I have an inexact measure of Hawley's lowness for the comparison.

Mona Charen has a longish must-read for anyone who might have had some regard for Vance after reading his book. I did, although I lost some respect for him when he took a gratuitous swipe at Ayn Rand towards the end.

After reporting that Vance had at first been anti-Trump, he apparently flip-flopped and has jumped into bed with the worst elements of that camp:
But a funny thing happened after the introduction of J.D. Vance, anti-Trump voice of the working class. He began to drift into the Trump camp. I don't know why or how, but Vance became not a voice for the voiceless but an echo of the loudmouth. Scroll through his Twitter feed and you will find retweets of Tucker Carlson, alarmist alerts about immigration, links to Vance's appearances on the podcasts of Seb Gorka, Dinesh D'Souza, and the like, and even retweets of Mike Cernovich. On February 16, he tweeted "I still can't believe the 45th president of the United States has no access to social media, and the left -- alleged opponents of corporate power -- is just totally fine with it." There's a lot along those lines. But the tweet that really made my heart sink was this one from February 12: "Someone should have asked Jeffrey Epstein, John Weaver, or Leon Black about the CRAZY CONSPIRACY that many powerful people were predators targeting children."

So now the brilliant author of Hillbilly Elegy, a man of judgment, nuance, and, one assumed, a moral center, is positioning himself as QAnon-adjacent. Please understand what that tweet conveys. By citing the cases of Jeffrey Epstein and John Weaver, one a convicted abuser of underage girls and the other an accused abuser of teenage boys, he is whitewashing the QAnon conspiracy. [links omitted]
QAnon-adjacent? No thanks!

-- CAV


Anonymous said...

Hey Gus:

I think Vance is doing this because Trump IS the Republican Party. The party no longer exists. All these individuals from Nikki Haley, JD Vance, even Rush Limbaugh had to position themselves as allies of Trump. Unfortunately, there's no way around it.

Bookish Babe

Gus Van Horn said...


They spent decades failing to stand up to the Democrats. It stands to reason that when someone imported a bunch of Democrat voters, they'd cave again.

The real question is this, I think: Did Trump destroy the Republican Party -- or did he merely expose the rot for all to see?