Decoding | Republican War in Ohio

(New York) Across Ohio, viewers have seen dozens of ads in recent months that are reminiscent of the derogatory swear words JD Vance used to denigrate Donald Trump in 2016: “idiot,” “reprehensible, and “toxic” among others.

Posted at 7:00 am

Richard Hetu

Richard Hetu
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Who is JD Vance? In 2016, this former Marine, graduate of the prestigious Yale University and venture capitalist Hillbilly Elegant, his memoir about his chaotic childhood in Appalachia and the crisis of working-class white America, which Netflix turned into a movie. On Tuesday, he will be one of the candidates in the Republican primary, which is likely to determine the potential winner of the Ohio Senate election in November.

And for all the bad things he said about Donald Trump ahead of the 2016 presidential election, he recently received Trump’s endorsement on April 15. “He’s the guy who said stupid things about me,” the ex-president admitted at a recent meeting in Ohio alongside Vance. “But you know what? Everyone else did too. In fact, if I held to that standard, I don’t think I would have ever supported anyone in the country.”

I want to pick someone who will win, and this man will win.

Donald Trump on JD Vance

The choice of Donald Trump, who plunged Republicans into a brotherly war, will thus far be the single most important measure of the ex-president’s influence within his party. Before he got the support of the man he today considers the “best president of” [sa] life,” JD Vance followed in several polls on former Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel, who enjoys the support of Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and former House National Security Adviser Blanche Michael Flynn, among others. According to at least two recent polls. he now leads the race.

A “new right”

But Ohio’s Republican primary could also be a breakthrough for what some are calling America’s “new right.” A nationalist right that flirts with authoritarianism, one of its main backers is billionaire Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal and early investor in Facebook.


PHOTOGRAPH REBECCA BLACKWELL, ASSOCIATED PRESS ARCHIVE

Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal

Thiel poured more than $10 million into two political action committees to support the candidacy of two of his former employees in the Senate. One of them, Blake Masters, is trying to take the seat of Arizona Senator Mark Kelly from the Democrats. The other, JD Vance, wants to replace Republican Rob Portman, who has announced his retirement, in the Senate.

The three men – Thiel, Masters and Vance – have a common friend, Curtis Yarvin, ex-programmer and blogger often presented as the “prophet” of the new right, who see Donald Trump as a useful ally. In the current issue, the magazine Vanity Fair describes some of the ideas of this “neo-reactionary,” including to head the U.S. government “a national CEO, [ou] what is called a dictator”.

He has since dropped the word “dictator,” but his authoritarian tendencies persist. And JD Vance, 37, echoed one of his central ideas – the dismantling of the administrative apparatus, which he calls the “regime” – in an interview with Vanity Fair

I think Trump will get back to work in 2024. I think what Trump should do, if I had to give him one piece of advice, is to fire every middle bureaucrat, every state administrative official and replace it with our people.

JD Vance, in interview with Vanity Fair

“And when the courts step in to stop you, stand in front of the country and say, ‘The chief justice has made his decision, let’s see if he can enforce it,’” he added. indicating that he was willing to challenge the judge. constitutional order.

War in Ukraine? We will…

JD Vance does not allow himself such calls to authoritarianism on the campaign trail. But he makes comments that are as controversial as Donald Trump, if not more so, on several other topics, including the war in Ukraine.

“I have to be honest with you, I don’t really care what happens to Ukraine one way or the other,” he said in an interview with the podcast by Steve Bannon, ex-Donald Trump’s strategist. “I care that in my community right now the leading cause of death among 18-45 year olds is Mexican fentanyl crossing the southern border. †

From there to accuse Joe Biden of intentionally letting Mexican fentanyl into the United States, there is only one step.

“If you want to kill a group of MAGA voters in the heart of the country, what better way to target them and their children if not with this fentanyl? said JD Vance, whose mother was herself an opiate addict. “It seems really intentional. It’s like Biden wants to punish people who didn’t vote for him. †

Josh Mandel, one of JD Vance’s main rivals, is unbeatable, especially when it comes to illegal immigration. He calls for the expulsion of all illegal immigrants. He is no less the choice of Ohio’s Republican elite and the Club for Growth, the conservative business organization that funded many of the ads that recalled JD Vance’s negative comments about Donald Trump in 2016.

Two other candidates are in the running for the Republican primary, one of whom declined to campaign to win Donald Trump’s support. It is Senator Matt Dolan, who led JD Vance by a full percentage point in at least one poll released last week. His victory would have the effect of an earthquake for the Trumpists.

The winner of the Republican primary in November will face Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio.

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