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Hillbilly Shuffle: Don’t Blame Appalachia For Trump

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A fair article on Trump's supporters. I just think they're dumber than shit, but that's just me. Well worth reading. Basically, they are poor and stupid. I know, big surprise.




Hillbilly Shuffle: Don’t Blame Appalachia For Trump




(Full article at above link)



The phenomenon of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, we’ve been told for months in the media, has been fueled by the coal-fired alienation and anger of the nation’s working-class whites. Appalachia, more than any other region, has been targeted as ground zero. And J.D. Vance’s best-selling and heartfelt memoir,Hillbilly Elegy, has been held up by conservative and liberal reviewers alike as “aTough Love Analysis of the Poor Who Back Trump.”

Well, sorry, but just as there is no reason to deny the Republican stronghold in the region, outsider observers need to look beyond default stereotypes for some sort of tidy explanation for today’s electorate.

Don’t blame hillbillies for Trump.

For every “hillbilly elegy,” there is a hillbilly paean, or a “Higher Ground,” in the words of a Harlan County theatre troupe, which puts local voices on stage to grapple with the stories of addiction, abuse and jobs.

The media, on the other hand, and its hyper over Trump, has missed the real humanitarian crises of power and powerlessness in Appalachia, and an unacknowledged assault by absentee coal companies and pharmaceutical companies on its residents, instead relying on breathless and uninformed proclamations on “hillbilly culture” that simply rehash the old stereotypes that have dogged the region for centuries.

And media hype it is: The American Conservative christened Trump “the tribune of poor white people.” Slightly more moderate, the Christian Science Monitor pointed out the “deeper rebellion” of Appalachian whites joining the insurgent Trump campaign, in search of a political vehicle for their “desperate sadness.” News outlets like CNN have showcased America’s “forgotten tribe,” suddenly left behind in the “war on coal,” and abandoned to the long black veil of racism, drug addiction, abuse, multi-generational poverty and gun-toting fatalism. In its glowing review ofHillbilly Elegy, The New Yorker asked: “Why is the hillbilly culture so defensive, insular, and frozen in time?”

Well, it ain’t. And for anyone who has done more than an hour’s worth of research, it hasn’t been for a century. In 1932, federal surveyors begged Washington policymakers to “revise old ideas” of Appalachia as a static region, and recognize its “rapid transformation” and upheaval from outside industries.

Instead of derision or finger-wagging accusation, it time our nation pays its debt to Appalachia, and places the diverse region in the forefront of regeneration and a new economy.

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