My past three posts have been about the areas that went overwhelmingly for Donald Trump in this past election, and why they’re going to be disappointed, to put it mildly. Those aren’t the only places like that, and most of them are going to suffer the same disappointment, along with those who are suddenly finding out that the Republicans and Donald Trump meant what they said about repealing or “reforming” various programs and taking certain actions. Although my nasty side is looking forward to it, at the same time my better side is worried about it. You see, I live in a place like those. Very rural, clannish, virtually entirely white, and yes, things have been declining for years. It’s a place that went 2-1 for Trump, and during the campaign I heard all the reasons and justifications for it. Most of which were the result of cherry-picking statements, hearing what they believed, and a healthy dose of denial.
In my previous post, I talked about how modern manufacturing no longer relies on people to do the “grunt work” of manufacturing, but instead on mechanization. That’s also true of many other industries, and the fewer jobs that they provide require a more educated, flexible workforce than was the case in the past. That would be bad enough, but there’s another reason why so many of the areas that voted for Donald Trump won’t see the much hoped for job growth they’ve been promised: Infrastructure.
During the campaign, President Trump’s big selling line that he would be bringing manufacturing jobs back to America, and spurring job growth in what is now the Rust Belt and big sections of rural America. It was bought hook, line, and sinker by those areas, since they’ve been seeing declines for decades. As I pointed out last year, they didn’t share in the economic recovery other areas of the country. They’re going to be badly disappointed though, because any jobs that do return won’t involve them.
I know places where there is high poverty, poor education, a high percentage of single parent households, large numbers of out-of-wedlock births, lots of violence, and enormous drug problems. Generations have been living on the public dime, and despite various liberal programs the people there never seem to want to show any gumption to change that. Conservative politicians would have you think that if only you took away all those programs, it would force people to stop demanding government services and special treatment, get jobs, and lift themselves out of poverty. After all, “those people” are getting all sorts of things that “Real Americans” aren’t!
Saturday, there were a number of protest marches being conducted around the country and the world, with the largest one in Washington DC. They were marching about women’s rights and civil rights, and against the threat being posed to them by the Trump presidency and the Republican Congress. It’s a very real threat they were marching against, because a great many rights that have up until now been taken for granted are no longer safe.
Every Republican-held state has been busily passing laws to remove funding from Planned Parenthood clinics, and close abortion clinics. Every one of them has been passing laws that do their level best to remove or drastically reduce things like “equal pay,” maternity leave, and a host of other protections that women enjoy.
The marches are a start, but they are only a start.