In June 2016, Ohio's Republican Senate candidate J.D. Vance was publishing his memoir Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis , the New York Times best-selling book that later became a major motion picture featuring Glenn Close and Amy Adams. Vance's memoir follows the struggles of his family in Middletown, Ohio, notably tackling the issues of addiction, quality of life, working class values, and the deindustrialization of America's heartland through the lens of his childhood. At the time of the memoir's release, then-candidate Donald Trump was on his way to scoring the Republican presidential nomination against a crowded field of establishment types like Jeb Bush, economic libertarians such as Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), and wealthy corporate executives like Carly Fiorina. Their messaging took on different variations that ultimately focused on the same Republican points that had been the fixture of GOP politics since at least the year 2000: Tax cuts, free marketism, promoting democracy worldwide, and reliving the Reagan Era. Trump had a much different message that harkened back to the 1992, 1996, and 1999 presidential runs of Ross Perot and Pat Buchanan. The themes, as derided by the Republican establishment in each election, were shaped around economic… Read full this story
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