What does the accidental hillbilly prophet see in Trump Nation’s future? Vance forecasts a great deal of instability ahead with challenges that he is not sure either party is capable of meeting. Come what may, though, the Hillbilly Elegy experience convinced its author that he has a calling to leave the world of high finance to take a hands-on role in helping to solve the social crisis his bestselling book so powerfully describes.
…His book’s success filled Vance with a sense of gratitude and mission. As detailed in Hillbilly Elegy, loyalty is both a signature virtue and vice of the Scots-Irish Appalachians from whom he is descended. Vance can’t shake the sense that he owes it to his people to go back home and do what he can to help.
The fresh-faced, Yale-educated hillbilly lawyer is the second most unlikely political star to emerge from this bizarre year. More than a few people have speculated that Vance has a political career ahead of him. For now, J.D. Vance is focused on bringing hope and change to the Rust Belt through the means of civil society.
“The idea of a political career strikes me as a little odd, simply because I think politicians should have at least the prospect of gainful employment outside of government,” he says. “For now, the plan is to move home and try to give back a little. I’m going to start with a little nonprofit that will focus on this dreadful opioid epidemic, and maybe a couple of other issues.”
In the meantime, Freddie deBoer, who recently called Vance — along with millions of other people, by association — his “enemy” for daring to believe — based on Vance’s own experience, may I remind you — that the various social ills plaguing rural, red-state America would not be solved purely by more socialist policy clichés, took a break from crafting his 3,298th variation on a blog post theme — you know, the one where he complains that social media is overflowing with ersatz leftists who only care about signaling instead of seizing control of the state — to sigh dramatically on Twitter — which he had only recently declared to be an unconstructive way to engage with the world — about all the ersatz leftists who monopolize social media discourse and dissipate everyone’s energy into signaling instead of promoting direct action. Well, from each according to his ability, and all that.