J.D. Vance: Lesson of Virginia Is ‘Don’t Avoid the Culture War’

JD Vance, the venture capitalist and author of "Hillbilly Elegy", addresses a rally Thursd
AP Photo/Jeff Dean

J.D. Vance, author of Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis and Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate seat from Ohio, said the lesson of Virginia’s gubernatorial election is that Republicans must fight the “culture war” — particularly on matters involving children’s education, such as “transgender ideology,” “Critical Race Theory,” and “the masking debate.”

“Don’t avoid the culture war,” Vance said on Thursday’s edition of SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Daily with host Alex Marlow. “For so long, I think Republican officials have been worried that the culture war is their electoral enemy or at least a weakness for them, and yet, it turns out that a lot of our voters are voting around things like whether their kids are being indoctrinated in schools, and whether their kids are being told that there are 40 or 50 or 80 genders.”

He continued, “I really think that but for Glenn Youngkin being willing to lean into the culture war around Critical Race Theory, I don’t think he would have won. So we should take the lesson that if you actually want to win in this country, you have to defend your voters. You have to defend their values.”

“[Republicans] have been running away from the culture wars. It turns out the voters want us to fight the culture wars,” he added.

Vance observed how Democrats and the broader left regularly lie about “racism” to present themselves as defenders of supposedly beleaguered racial and ethnic minorities as part of their  pursuit of political power.

“What they’re saying is that — basically — racism is anything that doesn’t give the Democrats more power,” he remarked. “The reason they use that accusation is not because they care about minorities, it’s not because they care about racists — or whatever the topic of the day is — it’s because they recognize it is a useful strategy to give them more power. If we learn anything over the last couple of days, the best way to respond to that is to mock and make fun of them, ignore them, and not to be cowed by [them]”

Political elites have contempt for those they rule over, Vance noted. Americans, he added, are coming to realize that the bureaucratic and political classes often operate in bad faith.

“A lot of parents have sort of assumed that we’re living in a country where the leadership class — whether it’s in our local schools, our administrators, whether it’s our politicians — that they fundamentally care about us,” he said. “[Americans assumed that] they fundamentally are out for the best interests of us, and our kids, and what we’re all kind of waking up to is this extreme hostility — it’s like fundamental dislike –that a lot of leaders have for the citizens of their own country. 

Mask mandates imposed on children illustrate the government’s contempt for American citizens, Vance held. He said the use of “fear tactics” by government and allied institutions regarding the coronavirus is “disgusting.”

He said, “Nowhere is that more obvious to me than in the school debate — in the masking debate — and why do we continue to mask our children? We know that children are not at-risk for the virus. We know that the masks aren’t slowing the spread in their schools. We know that kids don’t pass on the coronavirus virus as much as adults do. So why do we continue to do this?”

He concluded, “It’s not because our leaders are misguided. It’s because our leaders don’t like us, and they feel empowered to exercise control over us. … They still can’t quite let go of the incredible power high that they’ve gotten from terrifying people over COVID.”


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