I grew up in small-town America. I have seen the American Dream dwindle and die for the people who live there. Yes, I managed to tear myself away and finally earn a college degree (from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, at the age of 39). And for all of that, I wound up as a school bus and truck driver. I might have a small idea about what's gone wrong here in the forgotten hinterlands of these United States.
But for the final postmortem, you really, really need to read David Wong's How Half of America Lost Its F**cking Mind. Once again, we see one America that lives in or near a big city and is college-educated (think "latte") and another America that lives "in the sticks" and is lucky to get an $8/hr job at Wal-Mart. As things stand now, there is no future in rural America, folks. And when you look at Wong's map of American counties that vote Republican (the vast majority, except that they're not near big cities), you begin to understand the magnitude of the problem this country faces.
And we're not going to solve it through the glib prescriptions of Kevin Williamson, the guy who says "rent a U-Haul and move." I may have done that myself, but I don't think that's a realistic assessment for the vast majority of the people who live in "Red America." What I want is a Presidential candidate who will offer some real solutions about how to get these folks weaned away from crystal meth and heroin and back to work at family-supporting jobs. Bernie Sanders had some good ideas. Donald Trump, as it turns out, has none (and I was waiting to hear from him, and I waited a long, long time). Hillary Clinton pays lip service, but at least she isn't bat-shit crazy.
We can't afford to let this go for another four years, folks. Assuming that Clinton is our next President, I for one intend to hold her feet to the fire on this issue. It matters to me. It matters a lot.
Posted by Alois on