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OPINION

JD Vance Delivers Political KO to Tim Ryan

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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The Ohio Senate Debate on Columbus Day showcased the acumen, knowledge, and charisma of JD Vance while simultaneously revealing the dour duplicity of his opponent Tim Ryan.

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Vance went right for the political jugular with a brutal statistical smackdown of Ryan on the economy, which remains by far the most salient of this election for voters in Ohio, and indeed nationwide. Vance indicted Ryan’s long tenure in politics by pointing out that “Tim Ryan represents a congressional district that has lost 50,000 jobs just in his time in office.”

On the issue of the economy, Vance also skillfully forced Ryan to own the harsh financial crisis created by Joe Biden for Americans who suffer from both a Biden recession as well as historic Biden-induced levels of inflation. This dreadful combination, unseen since the 1980s in America, forms a new era of stagflation: receding growth but rising prices, placing Ohioans into an economic vise.

Ryan tried to somehow paint Vance as a pro-China candidate, a laughable assertion considering that Vance stands out as one of the most aggressive economic populist nationalists in politics right now, advocating for much harsher tariffs on China to protect American workers from the predatory practices of the Chinese Communist Party. 

Unfortunately, Ryan and his bestie Joe Biden have long coddled the CCP, to the great misfortune of Ohio workers. For example, from 2001 until 2016, Ohio lost a staggering 121,000 manufacturing jobs directly due to terrible trade deals with China. 

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Though Tim Ryan may talk tough about China and pretend that he somehow diverges from his radical party, his actual track record as a congressman shows otherwise. In fact, per FiveThirtyEight analysis, Tim Ryan votes with his pal Joe Biden an incredible 100% of the time on key issues. Ryan represents the establishment and elites, not Ohioans, and Biden and Pelosi count him as a dependable and predictable toady.

In contrast, JD Vance conveyed his authenticity to the people of Ohio on Monday night. His incredible, against-all-odds life story is widely known because of his bestselling book, Hillybilly Elegy, about growing up poor in a dysfunctional family in southwest Ohio. For those unfamiliar with his unlikely story of success in life, he succinctly laid out the arc of his story, including a devoted grandma who largely saved him from family chaos and the United States Marine Corps which formed his character and discipline. 

Vance pointed out that when he was signing up to serve America in uniform, Ryan began his career as a political operative in Washington. Tim Ryan has only worked in politics, and it is little wonder, really, that he maneuvers and connives like a Washington creature. Ryan masquerades in the role of Midwestern moderate when he is home -- but votes like a committed liberal globalist in the corridors of power, the places he has occupied his entire adult life.

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JD Vance brings a refreshing perspective to politics as a first-time office-seeker. His significant life experiences as a poor kid, a Marine, and a highly successful entrepreneur form a man ready to enter politics as an outsider willing to challenge the Washington establishment that has been so ruinous for America. 

For example, Ryan and his radical cronies show no resolve to manage migration into America and control the border. After all, Ryan’s backers in big business appreciate a constant flow of cheap laborers. But the citizens of Ohio pay the price. Those good Midwesterners must compete in the workforce against illegal and unjust labor competition from illegal migrants. Even more damaging, Biden and Ryan’s open border allows deadly fentanyl to pour into America, and Ohio tragically is the third worst state in America for deadly overdoses.

In a powerful and touching moment of the Ohio debate, Vance relayed how personally that issue hits him, because his own mother battled serious addiction for years. He praised her for finding sobriety and openly expressed his love for her, while lamenting that many Ohioans today will not get that same second chance, given the incredibly increased toxicity of the drugs that now flow across Biden and Ryan’s open border.

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From the economy to border issues to rampant crime, JD Vance powerfully made the case that Ohioans should “hire” him to be their senator. Vance represents the future of patriotic populism in America. He combines blue collar grit with a sophisticated intellectual grasp of the pivotal policy points. 

Conversely, Ryan represents the Washington status quo. Right now, a staggering 79% of Americans believe America is headed in the wrong direction. Given that cruel reality, the last thing Ohioans can afford to do is give Tim Ryan a promotion to the US Senate.

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