Vance impressed me with his family memoir Hillbilly Elegy and various interviews (including one about converting to Roman Catholicism) before he ever ran for office. He grew up in a Middletown working class family with Appalachian roots and addiction problems, but followed the advice of key educators and a feisty grandmother to serve in the U.S. Marines and then attend and graduate from Ohio State and Yale Law School. May Vance and Brown ignore the radical elements of their respective parties and support the values and visions lived by a strong majority of Ohioans.
Sherrod Brown: “Anyone who’s tried to pay a heating bill, fill a prescription, or simply buy groceries knows all too well that the current minimum wage does not cut the mustard.” J.D. Vance: “People have lost their faith that if they work hard, if they try to get ahead, if they play by the rules, then that will ultimately result in positive outcomes.” Doesn´t this sound like common territory? We can only hope the two will engage in some productive private and public conversations for the common good of all Ohioans, especially those struggling to get ahead.
Jim Brooks is a retired high school English teacher who writes, coaches tennis, and tutors immigrants.