J. D. Vance hedges on 2024 election denial

Ohio isn’t really a purple state. Although one of its U.S. senators is a Democrat, its governor and two-thirds of its House delegation are Republicans, and Trump easily won the state in 2020 and is expected to repeat in 2024.

J. D. Vance (photo, left), Ohio’s Republican junior senator, easily won his first term in 2022. Despite coming to prominence by writing a memoir titled “Hillbilly Elegy,” Vance is no hick.

He’s a Yale-educated lawyer who worked in Silicon Valley venture capital before entering politics.

Vance is a smart guy, but lacks a moral compass. He was a “Never Trumper” until Trump gained power, then flipflopped and became a staunch Trumper and loud promoter of Trump’s election lies.

Against this backdrop, Vance recently said he’ll accept the 2024 election’s outcome “if it’s a free and fair election” (read story here). That can mean anything he wants it to.

The trick is that he decides whether the election is legitimate. But Republicans dispute legal votes. They don’t like black people voting, mail voting, or votes counted after Election Day. They also make fictitious claims voting fraud. They’re the last people you should trust to decide what’s “free and fair.”

I don’t care what Vance or any other Republican (or Democrat for that matter) thinks is “free and fair.” That’s not how things work. Very detailed election laws govern voter eligibility and registration, conducting elections, counting votes, determining results, and resolving election disputes. You follow the freaking manual, period. Just like in the Army, or an auto repair shop.

Vance, of all people, should defend the election process specified by laws because he’s a lawyer. He has a duty to uphold the rule of law. Every lawyer knows justice is imperfect, but you proceed within the process and accept the result, because the purpose of the legal system is to settle disputes so people can move on.

Elections also are imperfect (equipment breakdowns, election worker errors, a few ineligible votes, etc.), but the certified results are closure. You accept the result and move on. That’s how it’s supposed to work. That’s the only way it can work. People who believe in democracy should have no patience with election deniers.

Yale, one of America’s premier law schools, should stop awarding law degrees to people like Vance. Any lawyer who lacked integrity in the practice of law wouldn’t remain a lawyer. The practice of politics shouldn’t be different. He should follow the election laws and accept the results unconditionally. It’s time for him to stop playing games and get with the program.

Below: Radio host Mike Malloy calls Vance a “joke.” Others depict him as a weasel. 

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