These are the forgotten Americans. They’re the hard-working, gritty, get-it-done Americans who through no fault of their own, have watched their towns and communities decay before their eyes with no chance of recovery. Until now…
Excessive regulations by government agencies and promises by government officials like Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton to shut down the industry their neighbors, friends and their families have relied on for generations to provide them with honest employment created this nightmare for hundreds of thousands of unemployed Americans.
In 2008 Barack Obama promised to shut down the coal industry:
Hillary also promised to shut down the coal industry as part of her campaign platform. When politicians like Barack Obama and Hillary put special interests and lobbyists who are using phony climate change to collect billions in federal “green subsidies” over working Americans, you know these people are no longer “public servants” but instead, self-servants. Watch:
There was a time, not so long ago, when this city on the Ohio River employed up to 15,000 people in the steel mills whose rusting warehouses still line the streets. Now the figure is closer to 800.
First, it was costs associated with the repeated regulations imposed by the Environmental Protection Agency. Then, after 1994 and the passing of the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta) it was cheaper competition from places such as Mexico. In the end, there was no way Weirton could compete, and an industry that has fed and clothed the city for generations essentially died.
“Her husband introduced Nafta,” said a former steel worker, sitting at the the bar of the Columbia Club, located at one was once Gate No 1 of the Weirton Steel Corporation’s main factory. He had worked at the plant for 34 years. “If anyone in this in this state votes for her, they’re crazy.”
It is communities such as this that Donald Trump has been targeting hard with his pitch about the evils of Nafta and the need to bring jobs – well-paid manufacturing jobs in particular – back to America. Polls collected by RealClearPolitics suggest he leads Hillary Clinton in West Virginia by between 18 to 27 points.
While his policy is not hard on detail, Mr Trump has vowed repeatedly to bring jobs back from places such as Mexico and China.
But in places such as Weirton, down to fewer than 20,000 people from a peak of 33,000 it is hard not to feel that while some parts of the country may have seen the benefits of global trade, this hardscrabble community, with its fast-food joints and strip bars, has been passed by.
Ed Sutton, a city government worker who said he would be voting for Mr Trump, said that “nothing had replaced the steel jobs”. “They talk about creating all these jobs. But they’re just retail jobs that pay minimum wage, or just above,” he said.
Ms Clinton, meanwhile, said this spring, in a comment she came to quickly regret, she was going to “put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business”. –Independent
Trump’s appeal is vast and broad for many blue-collar workers and former workers across America. Listen to these former steel workers in PA, living in a Democrat stronghold explain how they never imagined they would be voting for a Republican: