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Last Tuesday, J.D. Vance won a U.S. Senate seat for Ohio after defeating Democrat Tim Ryan. J.D. Vance is making his debut as a senator and as a politician, having previously excelled as a venture capitalist and as the author of the autobiographical novel Hillbilly Elegy, which was adapted as a movie by Netflix two years ago.
Although some time ago J.D. Vance declared himself as a “never-Trumper”, he recently changed his position and went on to support Donald Trump’s ideas for the Republican Party, finally counting on the support of the former president, which many analysts consider key to his triumph, first in the primary, and now in the midterm elections.
His electoral success may also be due, in large part, to the popularity achieved by his autobiographical novel and then Netflix movie, Hillbilly Elegy, which convey in a very honest way the values of self-improvement, hard work, and love for family that the Democratic Party seems to have abandoned.
In fact, since the film’s release, and before his political aspirations became known, the film critics -generally leaning to the left- tried to trash the film, which, however, was very well appreciated by the public.
During the election campaign, his Democratic rival, Tim Ryan, attempted to profile J.D. Vance as an Ivy League elitist who doing business in the San Francisco tech industry had lost touch with the reality of Ohio’s population.
However, it is very likely that this Democrat narrative did not resonate with audiences who had seen the film or read J.D. Vance’s book, because if anything they exude humility and attachment to his modest Appalachian origins, especially memorable being their unconditional love and appreciation for his late grandmother “Mamaw” (played by Glenn Close in the film), who was instrumental in helping young J.D. Vance overcome the hardships of his childhood to become a successful person.
J.D. Vance, from Netflix to the Senate
In his speech after the victory, J.D. Vance had a special remembrance for his Mamaw, as well as pledging to stand up for working Ohioans and represent everyone in the Buckeye State.
“She was a proud product of working people. She believed in the American Dream, she believed in the promise of this country,” he said of his grandmother. “And I guess my simple promise to you, to everybody here — you’re not going to always agree with every single vote I take, you’re not going to agree with every single amendment that I offer in the United States Senate — but I will never forget the woman who raised me, I will never forget where I came from and I will never forget the great people of Ohio.”
The movie Hillbilly Elegy, directed by Ron Howard and starring Glenn Close, Amy Adams and Gabriel Basso, was released two years ago on Netflix and caused a lot of backlash among the left-wing media, as we reviewed in El American.
Ignacio Manuel García Medina, Business Management teacher. Artist and lecturer specialized in Popular Culture for various platforms. Presenter of the program "Pop Libertario" for the Juan de Mariana Institute. Lives in the Canary Islands, Spain // Ignacio M. García Medina es profesor de Gestión de Empresas. Es miembro del Instituto Juan de Mariana y conferenciante especializado en Cultura Popular e ideas de la Libertad.
Social Networks: @ignaciomgm