JD Vance wants relevance again, as corporate grifting seems not to have gone out of style. The progenitor of NY Times Trumpist interviews seems to want a Senate seat, but “there is no right-wing populist nationalist answer to the problems he claims to care about.”
When President Biden recently announced a deal with 130 countries to combat tax avoidance by multinational corporations, you probably didn’t connect the news to the poisonous impact that Donald Trump continues to wield over our politics.
But if Biden can pull this off, it could deal a big blow to one of the worst aspects of that Trumpian toxicity — the lingering lure of the former president’s right-wing nationalism.
That will be tough to pull off. But the deal is itself already a victory. In an unappreciated way, it points to a meaningful answer to Trumpian nationalist demagoguery by rehabilitating a sense of the possibilities of multilateralism as a response to many problems unleashed by globalization.
You see this right-wing nationalism when J.D. Vance, who’s running for Senate in Ohio, calls for higher taxes on multinationals, while declaring that global capitalism has been very good to the “elites and the ruling class” who “have plundered this country.”
James David Vance (born James Donald Bowman; August 2, 1984) is an American author, politician and venture capitalist. He is best known for his memoir Hillbilly Elegy, which attracted significant media attention during the 2016 election as a window into the impoverished white working class in rural America, with The New York Times calling it “one of the six best books to help understand Trump‘s win”. Others, however, have criticized the book for blaming the economic hardship of Appalachia on a white, working-class culture of poverty while ignoring the role of corporate practice and influence.
In early 2018, Vance was reported to have been considering a bid for U.S. Senate as a Republican running against Democrat Sherrod Brown, but declined to run. In April 2021, Vance expressed interest in running for the Ohio Senate seat being vacated by Republican Rob Portman.
Peter Thiel has given $10 million to Protect Ohio Values, a super PAC created in February 2021 to support Vance in running for the 2022 U.S. Senate election in Ohio. Robert Mercer also donated an undisclosed amount. Vance visited Mar-a-Lago to meet with former President Donald Trump, alongside Thiel, ahead of an official announcement. In May 2021, Vance launched an exploratory committee. In July 2021, he officially entered the race.