Apparently, you won't be good at legislating if you don't have children — especially if you're a Democrat.
That's what Middletown native and Republican Ohio Senate candidate JD Vance claimed during a speech at the Future of American Political Economy conference, held July 23-24.
"The 'childless left have no physical commitment to the future of this country," The Guardian reports Vance as saying during his July 23 address. "Why is this just a normal fact of … life for the leaders of our country to be people who don’t have a personal and direct stake in it via their own offspring?"
Vance specifically referenced Democrats Vice-President Kamala Harris, transportation secretary Pete Buttigieg, Senator Cory Booker and Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Harris is the stepmother to husband Doug Emhoff's two children, while Buttigieg and husband Chasten are looking to adopt — something conservatives routinely advocate for during anti-abortion efforts (though they are less happy when same-sex couples do it).
Booker and Ocasio-Cortez do not have children, though Booker's girlfriend, actress Rosario Dawson, has adopted a child.
Vance also advocated for giving parents additional votes on behalf of their children.
"The Democrats are talking about giving the vote to 16-year-olds. Let’s do this instead. Let’s give votes to all children in this country, but let’s give control over those votes to the parents of the children," Vance said (House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats have voiced support for lowering the voting age to 16).
When asked if that would inevitably give disproportionate legislative control to parents over non-parents, Vance replied yes.
"When you go to the polls in this country as a parent, you should have more power, you should have more of an ability to speak your voice in our Democratic republic, than people who don't have kids," The Hill reports Vance as saying. "Let's face the consequences and the reality; if you don't have as much of an investment in the future of this country, maybe you shouldn't get nearly the same voice."
Vance also accused Democrats of waging "culture wars," alleging that that viewing history through racial, gender and socioeconomic lenses was unAmerican.
"If you don't know where you came from, you will have no idea where you're going. When they take us away from that sense of pride in our own history, they make us completely unable to direct where we're going to go in the future," Vance said, apparently forgetting that Critical Race Theory adds Black context that is currently missing from American history retellings. "That's what this is about. It's not about correcting systemic racism or systemic wrong. It's about making us easier to control. It's about making us ashamed of where we came from."
Vance also reportedly claimed that conservatives “have lost every single major cultural institution in this country."
“Accept that, think about it. Big finance, Big tech, Wall Street, the biggest corporations, the universities, the media and the government," Vance said, again apparently forgetting that Republicans had controlled the Senate and Presidency until recently, and many large corporations are run by individuals and boards that lean conservative. "There is not a single institution in this country that conservatives currently control, but there is one of them, just one, that we might have a chance of actually controlling in the future and that's the constitutional republic that our founders gave us."
Conservative Republicans Senator Marco Rubio and former Attorney General Jeff Sessions also gave addresses during the Future of American Political Economy conference. The conference was hosted by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, which promotes conservatism on college campuses.
Vance is a Yale Law School graduate who became a venture capitalist in San Francisco with controversial billionaire Peter Thiel. He has since moved back to Ohio to found another venture enterprise in Cincinnati with backing from Thiel. Vance is running for the Senate seat that Rob Portman will vacate, and his candidacy also is backed by Thiel.
Vance had written columns and social media posts criticizing controversial former President Donald Trump but reversed his stance this month while deleting those critical posts. Vance's book Hillbilly Elegy often is credited with foretelling Trump's rise to political power but also is frequently criticized for not depicting Appalachian life authentically.
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