Guest Commentary: J.D. Vance a Shameless Apologist for Insurrection in America and War Crime Assaults on Democracy Abroad

"Ukrainian civilians are suffering a shocking level of barbarism that the world can not turn its back upon, as Vance seems to want."

click to enlarge Middletown native J.D. Vance defeated Tim Ryan for Ohio's U.S. Senate seat in 2022. - Photo: Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons
Photo: Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons
Middletown native J.D. Vance defeated Tim Ryan for Ohio's U.S. Senate seat in 2022.

The horror stories of civilian massacres coming out of Ukraine apparently carry no weight with Ohio Republican U.S. Sen. J.D. Vance.

Vance continues to push against any American role in defending the assaulted democratic ally a full year after Russia’s invasion. Meanwhile, as the anniversary comes Feb. 24, Ukrainian civilians are suffering a shocking level of barbarism that the world can not turn its back upon, as Vance seems to want.

“They were my happiness. They were my everything,” weeped Ukraine’s Oleksandr Chekmariov to 60 Minutes’ Scott Pelley. “I wish I could bring everything back.”

Chekmariov and his wife Rita tried to flee Bucha, Ukraine with their 4-year-old and 9-year-old sons before the Russian slaughtering of civilians began. But as they tried to escape, they ran into a Russian armored vehicle.

“We stopped. Rita yelled for me to make a U-turn and drive back. I heard shots. I turned to the back seat and Rita shouted, ‘I’m hit!’ Rita and my children were dead. I was so in shock I didn’t notice that my leg was hanging on by only a piece of skin. I didn’t even feel the pain. I got down behind the car, and then the car burst into flames.”

Chekmariov was rescued by firemen and watched his family burn.

In the segment, Chekmariov holds up photos of one of his sons and breaks down, “It doesn’t make any sense. Why did he have to die? For what? It doesn’t make any sense. Why? It doesn’t make any sense in any world to kill them. Why? What was he killed for? How can I go on living? Just to keep crying and keep breathing? What should I do? What else can I do? He’s not here anymore. I can not hug him. I can not kiss him. I can not do anything. They were the meaning of my life. How can I live with this? How? Just hold on and endure to just endure? To fight everything inside myself? What should I do next? I don’t know how to live.”

Mediocre memoirist turned millionaire venture capitalist turned Republican Ohio U.S. senator J.D. Vance appears to be unmoved by such heartbreaking stories coming daily out of Ukraine, the country subject of the largest violent military land invasion on a peaceful democracy in Europe since World War II.

Women and children massacred by Vladimir Putin’s godless military thugs? No problem, Vance apparently thinks, preferring instead to attack American President Joe Biden about the southern border at a time when the U.S. — under Biden — is setting new records for apprehensions at the southern border.

Not even two months after taking office to represent Ohioans in the U.S. Senate, Vance’s most prominent actions so far have been questioning help and relief provided by America to Ukraine.

After the Biden administration agreed to send M1 Abrams tanks made in Lima, Ohio, to Ukraine, Vance told a Cleveland station it was “ultimately not in our national security interest.”
Meanwhile, Vance won the GOP nomination for his Senate seat after receiving the endorsement of the first American president to try to violently overturn the results of a free and fair election in order to return himself to power, like a tin pot dictator.

After being on the wrong political end of the MAGA movement in 2016, likening Donald Trump to “America’s Hitler,” J.D. Vance has become one of the foremost apologists for the would-be dictator attempting to tear down the pillars of American democracy in order to serve his own ego.

Donald Trump is an anti-American traitor, and J.D. Vance carries his water like a pitiful little toady, already announcing his endorsement of Trump for president in 2024.

This should come as no surprise, as Vance has espoused openly authoritarian beliefs, such as that Trump should seize control of all levels of federal bureaucracy and the defense department to install his own sycophants, and if the courts try to stop him, he should ignore the courts. Vanity Fair reported:

“Vance described two possibilities that many on the New Right imagine — that our system will either fall apart naturally, or that a great leader will assume semi-dictatorial powers.”

Vance apparently sees America as in late-stage democracy, and he seems to want to hasten the demise of democracy in America by supporting an openly authoritarian candidate for president.

Putin would also like to see democracy in America fall, and standing with Vance and Putin is the other frontrunner for the Republican 2024 nomination for president: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Chinese companies have already been providing non-lethal support for Putin’s illegal war, but many fear China is poised to begin providing lethal support as well. And J.D. Vance seemingly wants America to tuck tail and run away.

Meanwhile, Biden flew into the war zone this week in a powerful statement of support for democracy just as Putin ramped up an anniversary offensive.

So on one hand, you have Putin committing crimes against humanity, with China, Trump, DeSantis and J.D. Vance providing political cover.

On the other hand, you have the rest of the Western world, led by Ukraine — and Americans who still believe in democracy — fighting for the ideals that have defined Western civilization for nearly 80 years.

Vance wants to paint this as a zero-sum game: That somehow the United States is incapable of taking care of our own problems while also still standing up to murderous dictators and authoritarians abroad.

This is a false choice. We can do both.

In the past year — while supporting Ukraine’s efforts — the U.S. has passed sweeping climate, health and tax legislation with the Inflation Reduction Act; put in place major protections of our democracy in the Electoral Count Reform Act; enacted the toughest new gun violence prevention law in nearly 30 years; passed the CHIPS and Science Act to improve U.S. competition with China and took a significant step toward marriage equality with the Respect for Marriage Act.

Before Putin’s war, the U.S. also passed a major infrastructure bill under Biden that Trump only made promises on and never delivered. In fact, despite mountains of empty promises, the only thing Trump actually accomplished legislatively was a massive redistribution of wealth upward to the richest people and corporations in the country, including himself.

While Ukrainians are witnessing their families being openly murdered under Putin’s war crimes, J.D. Vance is playing the most cynical kind of manipulative politics.

Vance is a shameless apologist for insurrectionist coups against free and fair elections here in America, and for authoritarian military assaults on democracy abroad.

J.D. Vance is an absolute embarrassment of a U.S. Senator, bringing shame upon Ohioans every single day as he stands athwart our most-basic American values.

This story was originally published in the Ohio Capital Journal and republished here with permission.

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About The Author

David Dewitt, Ohio Capital Journal

David Dewitt, Ohio Capital Journal

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