J.D Vance, Best-Selling Author Opens Up About His Painful Childhood And The Future Ahead | NBC News


COULD FACE.
>>YOU WRITE ABOUT ADVERSE CHILDHOOD CONSEQUENCES THAT SOME
KIDS SUFFER IN GROWING UP, BEING SWORN AT, INSULTED, OR
HUMILIATED BY YOUR PARENTS. >>SURE, CHECK.
>>BEING PUSHED, GRABBED OR HAVING SOMETHING THROWN AT YOU.
>>CHECK. >>HAVING PARENTS WHO WERE
SEPARATED OR DIVORCED. >>CHECK.
>>LIVING WITH AN ALCOHOLIC OR A DRUG USER.
>>CHECK. >>LIVING WITH SOMEONE WHO IS
DEPRESSED OR ATTEMPTED SUICIDE. >>CHECK.
>>WATCHING A LOVED ONE BE PHYSICALLY ABUSED.
>>CHECK. >>YOU’RE BATTIN’ 1,000?
>>YEAH. >>GIVEN WHERE HE CAME FROM
JD VANCE SHOULD HAVE BEEN A GRIM STATISTIC.
HIS PARENTS GREW UP POOR IN RURAL KENTUCKY, HIS OWN TOUGH
CHILDHOOD WAS IN THE RUST BELT RUINS OF OHIO.
BUT VANCE ESCAPED WHAT HE CALLS HIS CULTURAL INHERITANCE, WROTE
A MEMOIR ABOUT IT AND LANDED ON THE BEST SELLER LIST.
>>HAVE YOU BEEN SURPRISED BY HOW SUCCESSFUL IT’S BEEN?
>>YES. HOW COULD I NOT BE, RIGHT?
>>WHY DO YOU THINK? >>I’M SITTING HERE TALKING TO
MEGYN KELLY, THIS IS CR — I MEAN BOOK COVER, BEST-SELLER
LISTS, FLURRY OF MEDIA APPEARANCE.
>>”HILLBILLY ELEGY” HIT A NERVE IN THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION
CYCLE. VANCE BECAME A GO TO GUY ON
CABLE AND IN PRINT, A CNN COMMENTATOR, A CONTRIBUTOR TO
THE NEW YORK TIMES. HE BECAME A GUIDE TO THE ANGER,
REBELLION AND PESSIMISM IN THE COMMUNITIES THAT CARRIED
DONALD TRUMP. HE UNDERSTOOD WHAT THEY CARED
ABOUT AND DIDN’T. >>DO YOU THINK THAT IT ALSO
EXPLAINS WHY WHEN THE SO-CALLED COASTAL ELITES, WERE GETTING
VERY UPSET OVER THE MANY OFFENSES THAT TRUMP CAUSED.
SOME OF THE SEXISM, SOME OF THE FOUL-MOUTHED LANGUAGE — THAT
THIS WAS NOT PARTICULARLY SHOCKING BECAUSE A LOTTA THESE
FOLKS HAD GROWN UP AROUND THAT? >>ABSOLUTELY.
I’VE CRITICIZED A LOTTA TRUMP’S RHETORIC AND I’M NOT A BIG FAN
OF SOME OF THE THINGS THAT HE’S SAID, BUT THERE WAS ALMOST A
SENSE WHERE PEOPLE WERE OFFENDED BY TRUMP, NOT BECAUSE OF THE
SUBSTANCE OF WHAT HE SAID, BUT BECAUSE OF HOW HE SAID IT.
“GOOD SOCIETY PEOPLE SHOULD NOT TALK IN THIS WAY.”
AND I JUST NEVER QUITE UNDERSTOOD THAT — THAT
CRITICISM. >>VANCE IS IN A UNIQUE
POSITION, A COLOSSAL SUCCESS BY ANY MEASURE, A MARINE, A
GRADUATE OF OHIO STATE AND YALE LAW SCHOOL, A SILICON VALLEY
VENTURE CAPITALIST. AND NOW AN UNUSUAL MOVE, BACK
HOME AGAIN TO OHIO. HE RETURNS DETERMINED TO WORK ON
THE VERY PROBLEMS THAT MADE HIS CHILDHOOD THERE SO TURBULENT.
FOR ALL ITS POWER AS A WINDOW ON THE WHITE WORKING CLASS,
“HILLBILLY ELEGY” IS A PAINFUL STORY ABOUT A CHILDHOOD MOST
PEOPLE WOULD NOT WANT TO RISK REVISITING.
VANCE’S FATHER ABANDONED HIM. HIS MOTHER WAS LOCKED IN AN
ENDLESS CYCLE OF DRUG ABUSE THAT ESCALATED TO HEROIN.
THE TOLL IT TOOK ON HER YOUNG SON IS SEARED INTO MEMORY —
LIKE A SIMPLE CAR RIDE GONE WRONG.
>>I SAID SOMETHING, OR SOME CONVERSATION TOPIC REALLY
IGNITED HER TEMPER. AND THEN SHE JUST SPED UP AND SHE JUST KEPT
ON SAYING, “I’M JUST GONNA CRASH THIS CAR AND KILL US BOTH.
I’M GONNA CRASH THIS CAR AND KILL US BOTH.”
>>JD JUMPED OUT OF THE CAR AND RAN FOR HELP.
SOMEONE CALLED THE POLICE AND HIS MOTHER WAS ARRESTED.
>>AND WHEN YOU WATCHED THEM TAKE HER, DO YOU REMEMBER HOW
THAT FELT? >>HONESTLY, I JUST FELT
RELIEVED. IN THAT MOMENT I JUST FELT
RELIEVED. AND I THOUGHT TO MYSELF, “ALL
RIGHT, I’M GONNA LIVE ANOTHER DAY.”
THAT’S — THAT’S HOW TERRIFIED I WAS.
I MEAN, I — I JUST WANTED THAT SITUATION TO END AND THEN I JUST
BROKE DOWN, RIGHT? I WAS JUST — REMEMBER I WAS, I
WAS JUST REALLY SAD AND FELT VERY LONELY. BECAUSE I’M SITTING
IN THE BACK OF THIS POLICE CRUISER, THEY’VE JUST ARRESTED
MY MOM, THE RELIEF OF HAVING SURVIVED ANOTHER DAY WAS GONE.
AND THEN I JUST WANTED –THEN I JUST WANTED SOMEBODY TO COME AND
TAKE ME AWAY, AND THAT WAS ACTUALLY LINDSAY.
THAT — YOU KNOW, THAT WAS WHO — SORRY.
>>WHY — WHY DOES THAT PARTICULAR MOMENT BRING TEARS?
>>IT’S — IT’S JUST SUCH A CRYSTAL CLEAR MEMORY.
AND SO IT’S HARD ALMOST NOT TO FEEL THE SAME WAY THAT I FELT AS
A 12-YEAR-OLD KID SITTING IN THE BACK OF THAT POLICE CRUISER.
BUT I ALSO THINK THAT, THAT MOMENT IS KIND OF A MICROCOSM OF
MY ENTIRE LIFE, IS THAT THERE WAS THIS BRIEF MOMENT OF TERROR
AND OF FEELING REALLY LONELY, AND THEN THERE WAS LINDSAY.
>>I WOULD DIE FOR THAT KID. AND I KNOW HE WOULD, TOO.
>>HIS SISTER LINDSAY, FIVE YEARS OLDER, WAS ALWAYS A SOURCE
OF COMFORT AND PROTECTION FROM THEIR MOTHER’S ABUSE.
>>DID YOU EVER THINK ABOUT CALLING 911?
>>IT’S — NO, I ONLY THOUGHT ABOUT CALLING MAMAW.
>>MAMAW, VANCE’S GRANDMOTHER, BONNIE BLANTON, TOOK JD TO LIVE
WITH HER AFTER THAT HARROWING CAR RIDE.
>>WAS THERE A GREATER INFLUENCE ON YOUR LIFE?
>>NO, NO, I MEAN, SHE REALLY JUST GOT ME, SHE UNDERSTOOD WHEN
I NEEDED SOMEBODY TO RIDE ME. >>SHE KNEW WHEN I NEEDED LOVE
AND COMFORT, SHE KNEW WHEN SHE NEEDED TO JUST BE SYMPATHETIC.
SHE WAS REALLY SMART. >>MAMAW PREACHED PERSONAL
RESPONSIBILITY AND INSISTED ON THREE GETS, GOOD GRADES, A GOOD
JOB, AND GET UP AND HELP ME, AND SHE CAME WITH SOME SERIOUS
FIREPOWER. >>SHE WAS PRETTY GOOD WITH A
GUN? >>SHE WAS VERY GOOD WITH A GUN.
YOU KNOW, MAMAW WHEN — WHEN SHE DIED, I THINK THE NUMBER IS
19 HANDGUNS, LOADED THAT WE FOUND IN HER HOUSE AT VARIOUS
PLACES. >>SHE ALSO WASN’T AFRAID TO
THREATEN USING IT. >>YEAH, SHE SAID, “LOOK, YOU’RE
GONNA COME AND STAY WITH ME AND IF ANYBODY HAS A PROBLEM WITH IT
THEY CAN TALK — THEY CAN TALK TO MY GUN.”
>>JD CONTINUED TO LIVE WITH MAMAW WHILE LINDSAY FOUND HER
OWN ESCAPE. SHE GOT MARRIED AND HAD THREE
CHILDREN OF HER OWN, AND HER FOCUS TURNED TO THEM.
FOR LINDSAY, READING HER BROTHER’S MEMOIR BROUGHT BACK A
LIFE SHE HAD TRIED TO FORGET. >>I JUST LAID IN BED AND I —
YOU KNOW, PULLING IT APART AND READING IT AND THEN — AND I
WOULD JUST CRY. I JUST FELT SO SORRY FOR THOSE
KIDS, AND WHY I DIDN’T SEE MORE OF HIM, I DON’T KNOW.
I SHOULD’VE BEEN ABLE TO DO MORE.
>>CAN YOU SEE THAT NOW, THAT YOU WERE NOT GIVEN THE SKILLS?
>>HOW DO YOU MEAN? >>YOU WERE YOUNG, TOO.
YOU HAD BEEN SUBJECTED TO UNTHINKABLE THINGS, TOO.
>>I — I GUESS I REALIZE THAT — I DON’T THINK THAT I’LL
EVER BE ABLE TO SAY THAT THERE WAS — A GOOD REASON TO NOT HAVE
STEPPED UP. >>SHE HAS A LOT OF GUILT OVER
THAT. >>SHE SHOULDN’T.
>>YEAH, WE — WE’VE TALKED A LOT ABOUT THAT.
I JUST DON’T THINK THAT LINDSAY SHOULD FEEL GUILTY AT ALL ABOUT
IT. SHE HAD FOUND HER WAY OUT, AND I
WAS LOOKING FOR MY WAY OUT. >>WHEN DID IT — IT EVEN OCCUR
TO YOU THAT YOU COULD GET INTO A PLACE LIKE YALE LAW?
>>I READ THIS STUDY ABOUT PEOPLE WHO COME FROM
DISADVANTAGED BACKGROUNDS, THAT THEY INTERNALIZE A CERTAIN,
INFERIORITY. THAT THEY ASSUME THAT, BECAUSE
NO ONE AROUND THEM HAS DONE MUCH, THAT THEY ARE JUST
GENETICALLY INCAPABLE OF DOING IT.
AND IT COMPLETELY CHANGED THE WAY THAT I THOUGHT ABOUT MY OWN
POSSIBILITIES, RIGHT? I THOUGHT TO MYSELF, “YOU KNOW,
I’VE BEEN SELLIN’ MYSELF MAYBE A LITTLE SHORT.”
>>WHEN J.D. WAS HERE, HE’S PRETTY OPEN ABOUT THE FACT THAT
HE STUCK OUT A LITTLE BIT. >>HE REALLY DID — ACTUALLY.
>>AMY CHUA, AUTHOR OF THE BEST-SELLING BOOK “BATTLE HYMN
OF THE TIGER MOTHER,” WAS ONE OF HIS PROFESSORS, AND BECAME AN
IMPORTANT MENTOR. >>YOU WOULD THINK THERE’S
NOTHING IN COMMON BETWEEN CHINESE AMERICAN IMMIGRANT
CHILD, AND A GUY FROM APPALACHIA, BUT I SAW A LOT OF
MYSELF IN HIM. YOU KNOW, HE WAS A LITTLE BIT OF
AN UNDERDOG, DIDN’T QUITE FIT IN.
>>AND THERE WAS SOMETHING ABOUT HER STORY THAT RESONATED WITH
HIM. >>HE SAID, IT’S GOTTEN ME
THINKING, YOU KNOW, ABOUT MY OWN LIFE.
I HAVE A LOT OF THOUGHTS I’VE NEVER SHARED WITH ANYBODY.
I STILL HAVE THIS EMAIL. IT SAYS, “I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHAT
I’M THINKING THAT I CAN WRITE THIS DOWN, BUT, YOU KNOW, HERE’S
A LITTLE BIT ABOUT MY OWN BACKGROUND.”
>>THE EMAIL WAS THE BEGINNING OF THE BOOK IDEA?
I MEAN, WAS — WAS IT THAT THAT MADE YOU TURN AROUND AND SAY,
“J.D., YOU’VE GOTTA WRITE THIS DOWN.
YOU HAVE TO TELL THIS STORY.” >>IT WAS.
>>AND THAT WASN’T THE ONLY ADVICE CHUA GAVE.
>>IS IT TRUE THAT YOU OF ALL PEOPLE ACTUALLY TOLD HIM, “FOCUS
ON YOUR LOVE LIFE.” >>I DID.
>>THAT’S BECAUSE SHE COULD SEE THAT VANCE WAS DEEPLY IN LOVE
WITH A CLASSMATE, USHA CHILUKURI.
>>HE JUST HAD A REALLY GREAT ATTITUDE TO EVERYTHING.
HE WAS CLEARLY SO EXCITED TO BE THERE IN A WAY THAT, YOU KNOW, A
LOT OF PEOPLE JUST — YOU GET ACCUSTOMED TO PLACES LIKE YALE
LAW SCHOOL, WHEN YOU’VE BEEN TO OTHER UNIVERSITIES LIKE THAT
BEFORE. AND HE — I DON’T KNOW.
HE JUST — HE FELT VERY DIFFERENT.
>>BUT WHAT USHA DIDN’T KNOW WAS JUST HOW DIFFERENT, AS FAR AS JD
HAD COME, HIS PAST WAS ALWAYS LOOMING.
>>I WAS AS CLOSE TO A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN AS I’VE EVER HAD, JUST
THE STRESS OF LAW SCHOOL, MOM HAD JUST HAD A HEROIN OVERDOSE,
I WAS IN LOVE WITH THIS GIRL, USHA, BUT I DIDN’T QUITE KNOW
HOW TO BE IN LOVE WITH HER IN THE WAY THAT I WANTED TO BE.
>>AND I JUST THOUGHT TO MYSELF “YOU FINALLY GOT TO THIS PLACE
THAT’S GOING TO GUARANTEE THAT YOUR LIFE IS GONNA GO WELL, AND
YOU’RE STRUGGLING WITH ALL OF THE THINGS THAT YOU THOUGHT YOU
GOT AWAY FROM.” >>WITH USHA’S LOVE AND SUPPORT
JD GRADUATED AND THEY GOT MARRIED, NOW THEY’RE EXPECTING A
BABY BOY. FAMILY IS CLOSE BY, INCLUDING
HIS MOTHER BEVERLY. SHE IS CLEAN NOW, BUT JD KEEPS
HIS DISTANCE. AFTER A BRIEF MATERNITY LEAVE,
USHA WILL BE COMMUTING TO WASHINGTON FOR A SUPREME COURT
CLERKSHIP WITH CHIEF JUSTICE JOHN ROBERTS, BUT FOR NOW
THEY’RE SETTLING INTO A NEW HOUSE.
>>SO, BACK TO COLUMBUS. >>YEAH.
>>WHY? >>WELL, IT’S — ABOUT TO HAVE A
BABY. IT’S GOOD TO BE CLOSE TO FAMILY,
BUT, YOU KNOW, THE THINGS THAT I CARE MOST ABOUT ARE NOT IN SAN
FRANCISCO. THEY’RE NOT IN SILICON VALLEY.
THE THINGS THAT I CARE MOST ABOUT ARE THE OPIOID CRISIS,
ABOUT SOLVING SOME OF THE ISSUES THAT I WRITE ABOUT IN THE BOOK.
AND YOU CAN ONLY DO THAT I THINK WHEN YOU’RE ACTUALLY CLOSE TO
THE PROBLEMS, AND WHEN YOU’RE ACTUALLY ON THE GROUND TRYIN’ TO
HELP. THE OHIO LIFE HE LEADS TODAY IS
VERY DIFFERENT FROM THE ONE HE LEFT BEHIND AND WITH ALL THE
ATTENTION AND RECOGNITION, COMES CRITICISM.
>>SO ONE OF YOUR CRITICS DISMISSES THE TONE OF THE BOOK,
QUOTE, “ALL HILLBILLIES NEED TO DO IS WORK HARD, MAYBE DO A
STINT IN THE MILITARY, AND THEY CAN END UP AT YALE LAW LIKE HE
DID.” >>I JUST DON’T THINK THAT’S THE
THESIS OF THE BOOK AT ALL. THE TAKEAWAY OF THE BOOK IS NOT
JUST WORK HARD, THE TAKEAWAY OF THE BOOK IS THAT COMMUNITY AND
FAMILY REALLY MATTER. AND I THINK ANYBODY WHO IGNORES
THAT IS FUNDAMENTALLY NOT APPRECIATING THE ACTUAL REALITY
THAT EXISTS ON THE GROUND, AND THE COMPLEXITY OF THE PROBLEMS
THESE KIDS FACE. >>TWO MONTHS AGO, HE STARTED
WORKING FOR AN INVESTMENT FIRM DEDICATED TO OHIO OPPORTUNITIES
AND HE’S FORMED HIS OWN NONPROFIT — OUR OHIO RENEWAL.
>>HIS RETURN HAS STARTED SPECULATION THAT HE’S PLANNING
SOMETHING POLITICAL. >>EVERYONE WANTS TO KNOW
WHETHER JD’S GONNA RUN FOR OFFICE.
>>WHO’S EVERYONE? >>EVERYONE, IT’S EVERYONE.
TRUST ME, I SPEAK TO THEM. WHAT DO YOU THINK?
SHOULD HE RUN FOR OFFICE? >>I DON’T BELIEVE IT’S
EVERYONE. >>I THINK SOMEDAY, IF THE TIME
IS RIGHT AND IF — IF HE REALLY FEELS THAT THAT’S THE BEST WAY
THAT HE CAN CONTRIBUTE TO HIS HOME, THEN, I THINK THAT WOULD
BE A GREAT IDEA. >>WHY DO YOU GET UNCOMFORTABLE
WHEN THAT IDEA COMES UP? >>WELL I THINK THAT, YOU KNOW,
WHEN PEOPLE ASK ME IF I WANNA RUN FOR OFFICE, PART OF ME
WONDERS, LIKE, DO THEY THINK I JUST GIVE OFF A USED CAR
SALESMAN VIBE. >>DON’T YOU THINK IT’S MORE
BORNE OF HOPE THAT YOU COULD BE — YOU COULD BE A REAL CHANGE
AGENT. >>WELL, SURE.
YEAH, NO. I — I THINK THAT’S THE
OPTIMISTIC TAKE ON IT. I’M VERY FLATTERED WHEN PEOPLE
ASK ME. AND YOU NEVER SAY NEVER, BUT
IT’S JUST NOT SOMETHING THAT I THINK ABOUT DOING RIGHT NOW.
SO WE LEFT J.D. VANCE, 32, HOME AGAIN ON THE CUSP OF FATHERHOOD,
WHETHER HIS PAST WILL INTERFERE WITH HIS PRESENT, WELL, THAT
COULD BE ANOTHER BOOK. >>DO YOU THINK HE’S DEALT WITH
THIS STUFF? >>I THINK THAT HE THINKS THAT
HE HAS. I THINK THAT — I THINK THAT
THIS BOOK, WRITING IT, WAS A VERY GOOD STEP
>>WHEN I FINISHED THE BOOK I FELT A LITTLE WORRIED ABOUT YOU.
I — >>WHY?
>>I WONDERED IF YOU HAD REALLY DEALT WITH EVERYTHING.
>>THAT’S INTERESTING. >>AND WHEN I MET WITH LINDSAY
SHE WONDERED, TOO. WHAT DO YOU THINK?
>>THAT’S A REALLY GOOD QUESTION.
I’VE — I’VE NEVER BEEN ASKED THIS.
I — I THINK THAT THE — THE HONEST ANSWER IS THAT I — I
PROBABLY HAVEN’T DEALT WITH EVERYTHING, BUT THAT THAT’S PART
OF GROWING UP AND LIVING YOUR LIFE, IS YOU’RE CONSTANTLY
DEALING WITH THIS STUFF AND YOU’RE CONSTANTLY WORKING
THROUGH IT. TH — THE BOOK IS NOT AN EFFORT
TO SORT OF FINALLY WORK THROUGH ALL OF THESE THINGS THAT
HAPPENED WHEN I WAS A KID, IT’S THE BEGINNING OF AN EFFORT THAT
WILL PROBABLY TAKE ME FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE.
AND YOU KNOW, I’M — I’M OKAY WITH THAT.
>>A HAPPY UPDATE FOR YOU NOW, IT’S OFFICIAL, JD VANCE IS A
DAD! EWAN BLAINE VANCE WAS BORN
JUNE 4TH, THREE WEEKS AGO TODAY.

37 thoughts on “J.D Vance, Best-Selling Author Opens Up About His Painful Childhood And The Future Ahead | NBC News

  1. I want to meet this man. I want to do for my Southern town what he is trying to do in his Ohio town. His story is my story. I also escaped via college and a Master's degree. But I need to make my life's work into contributing to the common good. J.D. Vance, if you're out there, please reply.

  2. The queen of fake news is back! For now. Until someone decides this nothingburger flipper not worth the 17 million lol

  3. Powerful stuff! Kelly is a great interviewer. This is the first time I've seen her work – she's very good. Vance is a piece of work, too, with his heart firmly on the sleeve. Yes, I read the book, which is extraordinary but I am skeptical about Ron Howard's movie version. Just mark me down as: I'll stay tuned.

  4. A modern American masterpiece–the single most informative and moving
    non fiction book I have read in decades.

  5. Toughest childhood make great characters….kind of how diamonds are made under lot of pressure….cheers mate….lots of live and power to you and yur family

  6. Just finished the book. A good read.

    Reminded me of much of what my father described before we immigrated. Our family's from N Ireland. My Dad often spoke about the culture of accepting failure, the concept of not bothering to make an effort because the system is stacked against the down-trodden (in our case Irish Catholics). Why try in school? Why apply for jobs? Why … anything? This resonated with me through Hillbilly Elegy, the culture of defeat, which ensures no success when effort is never made.

  7. If there is costal elites then the question is, who holds the wealth in middle America, ans the South? This is not addressed, the problem is the monopolization of wealth, those are class issues not race issues. Class issues that goes across color boundaries

  8. So why does going to an IVY league school mean that you are a success?Most of the people running this country have gone to Yale or Harvard.Our country is a mess and the people that run it live in an ivory tower.Who do you think owns the Phama companies selling the drugs?It' the 1 % .I grew up in a middle class area and went to college in a rural area where the college was the only thing the town had.Our country has this thing about what college you go to.Who cares.So he went and wrote a book that's what career students do.Now do some real work.

  9. Omg why would he let his child anywhere near his mother after all that… Blindly hopeful is truly his gift and curse. Yeesh….

  10. I was with him until I found out he was a member of the Republican party….they hate poor people….how's he trying to act like they don't?

  11. Seeing the pictures of people in the book was great. They quite looked like what I had imagined while reading the book.

  12. We grew up in the same town around the same time. I just finished the book and I didn't have nearly as tumultuous a childhood as he did but we all know people just like him and families just like his. I left Middletown in 2007 and in the few times I have been back it only seems worse. I really think, given how common his story is in our area that if people would take an honest look at themselves and take initiative to be different the place could change for the better, but only a few people will. That hillbilly aggression and tenacity is a double edged sword, most of us just haven't quite figured out how to swing it the right way yet.

  13. Lindsay should be proud of herself. J.D spoke so highly of her, and their relationship was so beautiful. I kept asking myself why she didn't bring him into her home when she got married, but she had her hands full. I have a college final on this book this Tuesday, wish me luck:)

  14. Megyn Kelly is so unempathetic to trying to understand where he comes from. To me, she is part of the elite who don't get it about the underclass of America. When she gives that insincere smile about everybody wants to know if he will run for political office, her fake caring is such a huge turn off. JD, I'd think hard and long about running for political office. You might get swallowed over by the hardened ideology of one party. You get it and understand that the problem of the underclass is multifaceted and might do better on a more private level. I"ve heard you say you lean right, but I'd be afraid you would get eaten by not being able to tell the complicated truth that you truly seem to understand, but that you wouldn't be allowed to express.

  15. It is absolutely the substance of what Trump says, or lack thereof substance that I find extremely offensive. Trump doesn't have his followers best interest in mind when he legislates. He's brilliantly fooled them and it's sad to watch. Megan Kelly is part of the "elite".

  16. I read the book “Hillbilly Elegy” which became very popular in Germany too. Very interesting, very good. We have “white trash” because of the same reasons: a social system too generous, a lot of people live without working, they are often fat, eating junk food, coke and pizza, MacDonalds…too much alcohol, not able to be responsible for their lives. But there are differences: It’s not a specific ethnic group, here in Germany, the influence of religion is not important, drugs are not so available, neither weapons, and people are not proud of their country ( because of our Nazi history). In general, military engagement is not attractive . Nobody would be proud to spend four years with the Marines. And to participate in a war in Irak – a war based on a lie in the UN-security council -for example. And I am quite satisfied that these things are different here.

  17. It's important to take Vance's narrative as not being representative for all people from Appalachia. If you watch this or read "Hillbilly Elegy," you should read, more importantly, "Appalachian Reckoning." This is an intelligent critique of what Vance says and doesn't say. Vance's book is something along the lines of what Daniel J. Goldhagen's book entitled "Hitler's Willing Executioners" is for those who specialize in European/German history. Vance's story must be taken as one person's individual account…nothing more, nothing else. In my view, his book is way overrated. Something not really worth reading at universities.

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