I think that this is one of the most informative books I’ve read this year. You might ask, how so? It’s a memoir, so how is it informative? It’s about a guy who’s not famous, not done anything groundbreaking, and he’s writing about his hillbilly family!
Well, let me tell you.
This explains the mindset about all of the people who voted for Trump. It tells me how he tapped into their fears and worries without ever experiencing things that they went through. He found their fear, their paranoia, their pain and exploited it. Now, I know that these people are well meaning. They’re fundamentally good people if you meet and get to know them. I live in a small town. A lot of my friends have families like what’s described in this book. I grew up around this honor code, one that is utterly foreign to me despite living in this town for most of my formal years.
J.D. Vance lays out a great case study in his family. He lays out what he saw, what he experienced, and how his life radically differed in trajectory when compared to others who went through the same life he did. It’s full of great characters that make you want to laugh, then you take a step back and think to yourself: “If I ever saw these people, I’d be sneering.” He humanizes the people that liberals, myself included in this, mock and tease for their insane beliefs. And all of those beliefs are ones that Trump tapped into. Obama’s birth certificate. Barack Hussein Obama and his ties with Islam, the dreaded nation trying to bring our great country down. He’s the one who is systematically destroying the country from the inside out. Taking working class jobs.
I mean, all of this sounds familiar. To a point where you scoff and roll your eyes at those crazy hillbillies.
Vance states in his introduction that he didn’t write this book to make you sympathize or pity them, or to make you hate them. He just wants you to understand them and their radically different lives. But, I have to say, it brought a lot of things into perspective and I gained a lot of sympathy for them. They’re human, just like you or I. And they most certainly need our help and support.
What do you guys think? How did Vance make you feel about hillbillies, the national joke in America?