“Well, thanks Jim for that introduction and thanks for hosting me. Thanks so much to Johnny for making this possible, and really thanks to The American Conservative, a publication that I’m very much indebted to. You may know that when Hillbilly Elegy, my book, came out in June of 2016, it was received reasonably well, but wasn’t even close to making the bestseller list.
And then I gave an interview to a guy who reached out to me by the name of Rod Dreher on The American Conservative website, and it was a really engaging interview. I mean, it was a written interview, and I remember the questions were insightful and perceptive, and I answered them as best I could.
And when I checked the Amazon ranking of my book—as any author will know, you check it obsessively in the age of the modern internet—I noticed that it had leaped up to the top of the Amazon bestseller list. And around that same time, I got an email from Rod telling me that we’d crashed the servers, which I was hoping that tonight I’d get to buy a drink for The American Conservative IT guy because I think I owe him a few things. I haven’t met him, but I appreciate his work on my behalf. But the book would simply have not reached the audience that it had without the work and without the support of Rod, especially, and The American Conservative, more generally. …”
I’m for a conservatism that isn’t a joke.
J.D. Vance is the author of Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis. While I haven’t read the book yet, I understand that Vance comes from hillbilly blood himself and is thus critical of Cracker Culture while being sympathetic to their plight and loyal to them. The normal conservative position is just to look down on the “white trash” and virtue signal about their status anxieties.
Whose side on you on? What are your origins? What is your perspective Lots of folks are increasingly interested in those questions. We are unabashedly on the Southern side on this website.
Note: Rod Dreher has a take on Josh Hawley’s embrace of this new thinking.