News that doesn't receive the necessary attention.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

New Yorker Magazine on Trump country: 'We're more willing to give millions of dollars to people in other countries who'd just as soon put a bullet in our heads. That's why West Virginia is voting for Trump'-The New Yorker, 'In the Heart of Trump Country,' West Virginia (The media says we have no teeth and date our cousins)-10/10/16

""We’re more willing to give millions of dollars to people in other countries who’d just as soon put a bullet in the back of our heads. That’s why West Virginia is going to vote for Trump."
Nice article but be prepared: Some who didn't start out thinking West Virginians were "racist" will assume they are after reading this article. Every person is framed by the author's prejudiced assumption that Trump and his supporters are "racist" (I'm not sure how the author defines that word regarding Trump, perhaps it's related to open borders). If two Trump supporters she met weren't "racists," that was newsworthy: "He, too, says that the appeal of Trump's position is not about race." (speaking of Ojeda and Abraham)...The author converts a "perception" of racism into reality. All the more reason to vote for Trump!

Oct. 10, 2016, "In the Heart of Trump Country," The New Yorker, by

"West Virginia used to vote solidly Democratic. Now it belongs to Trump. What happened?"

"The Hillary-for-prison sign outside Mine Lifeline on Main Street was so enormous that it attracted attention, even though its message was so ordinary in Logan County, West Virginia, that the sign seemed festive rather than threatening. People driving by often stopped and took selfies in front of its photograph of a peeved-looking Clinton behind bars. Rick Abraham, who founded the mine-safety company, and had put up the sign, was delighted by the response. He thought he might construct a three-dimensional prison with Hillary in it, if he could find the time. He would put it on the roof of his building, which would be nicely theatrical, although bad for selfies. “The Clinton Foundation pay for play—it’s obvious!” he said. “She’s a criminal, she should be in jail! If I had done that, I would be in jail. She knowingly put all that information on a private server to shield it from FOIA. Deleting those e-mails—how can that not be obstruction? And using her BlackBerry in the Kremlin? She just has a total disregard for everybody. They’re the Clintons! They’re crooks!”

Abraham had also planted a Trump billboard outside his business—this, although even larger than the Hillary sign, was so common a sight that it barely registered—and he was in some ways an emblematic Trump voter: a white Protestant man in the dying coal industry in southern West Virginia, which is one of the parts of the country most deeply and unshakably loyal to Trump, and most deeply and unshakably hostile to Clinton and President Obama. In Logan County’s Democratic primary in 2012, Obama was soundly defeated by Keith Judd, a Texas felon serving a seventeen-and-a-half-year sentence for extortion. The mayor of the city of Logan (pop. 1,649) recently made it known to Clinton’s campaign that she was not welcome and should not come. Like most West Virginians, Rick Abraham was angry with the President for hastening the decline of the coal industry with what he regarded as excessive environmental regulation. Like most Trump voters, he considered Obamacare a scourge, and since he selects insurance policies for Mine Lifeline’s forty-odd employees he could argue in detail that nearly everyone in his company was worse off than before. 

And yet in other ways he is not the Appalachian Trump voter as many people elsewhere imagine him—ignorant, racist, appalled by the idea of a female President or a black President, suspicious and frightened of immigrants and Muslims, with a threatened job or no job at all, addicted to OxyContin. Those voters exist, but the political thinking of many others in Trump country is more ambivalent and complicated and non-inevitable than is apparent from signs hung on Main Street or carried at rallies. 

[Ed. note: The "perception" is "significant?" How did the "perception" get to be that way? Because trillions of dollars are at stake, the massive, bloody neocon industry is at stake, the globalists have to get rid of Trump. Weapon: Media has a 24/7 blanket calling him and his supporters "racist." I'm not sure exactly how they're defining racist. Is it about open borders?]

(continuing): "though, since it’s one of the reasons they’re voting for Trump in the first place. When people talk about Trump, they talk about how they don’t like the establishment or the élites,” Charles Keeney, a history professor at Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College, in Logan County, says. 

“When they say that, they mean who they see on television—they envision people in New York City making fun of them and calling them stupid. Every time you leave the state, you get it—someone will say, Oh, you’re from West Virginia, do you date your cousin? Wow, you have shoes, wow you have teeth, are you sure you’re from West Virginia? So when they see that the media élite is driven out of their mind at the success of Donald Trump it makes them want to root for him. It’s like giving the middle finger to the rest of the country.” 

Another important factor is immigration, but not for economic reasons. In West Virginia, there are practically no immigrants. But Trump has promoted the idea that someone who cares about the fate of people new to the country must care less about those who have been here longer—and this idea resonates among people who believe that the rest of the country doesn’t care about them at all, and doesn’t see them as kin. When Clinton talks about Trump voters, she tends to divide them into two categories: bigots (her “basket of deplorables”) and people suffering from economic hardship. What’s missing from Clinton’s two categories is a third sort of person, who doesn’t want to think of himself as racist, but who feels that strong borders describe a home. There are many such people, and not just in West Virginia.

Trump was not Rick Abraham’s first choice among the Republican candidates. His first choice was Carly Fiorina: he thought she sounded like a better businessperson than Trump, and he couldn’t understand why she wasn’t doing better in the polls. But after a while he acknowledged that it seemed he was the only one who liked her, so he started donating to his second choice, Ben Carson. He liked Carson because he thought he was smart and honest, although he was worried by how little Carson seemed to know about foreign policy. During the primary season, Abraham and his wife would watch the Republican debates on television, and his wife would get up and leave the room because she couldn’t stand watching Trump. Abraham sometimes couldn’t stand him, either—he found him pompous and arrogant. But he thought that was a strategy, and it worked, after all: he eliminated sixteen other candidates and won the nomination. 

Abraham saw Trump’s more extreme pronouncements as bargaining positions. Trump was a negotiator: if he wanted to buy a building for twenty million dollars, he wouldn’t go to the table offering twenty—he would offer ten, or five. So when he talked about building a wall and throwing eleven million people out of the country, Abraham figured he was just making an aggressive first offer, and after some negotiating he would end up with something reasonable. Abraham didn’t think it was possible or desirable to throw out immigrants who were already here (except felons), but he did think it was necessary to establish an effective border.

He agreed with Trump that you had to vet Muslims carefully in order to keep out terrorists, and he thought that America should not accept Muslims who didn’t want to learn English and become a part of American life. “Political correctness is destroying the country, because we’re not assimilating into a common society,” he says. “I was in Union Station in Chicago a while back, and I saw someone, I didn’t know if it was a man or a woman. It was shaped like a Christmas tree. It was a black robe that did not expose the arms or feet, it touched the ground and it came to a point up top and it had the screen and it was leaned against a wall. I don’t know if that’s some guy with an AK-47—I don’t know what it is! Now, if you say to her, ‘In this country, you have to be seen so we can tell who you are,’ she’ll say, ‘You’re violating my religion, my culture wears a veil.’ Where does it stop"

Abraham describes himself as an American of Arab descent—both his grandfathers were born in Sultan Yacoub, a town that is now in Lebanon but was then part of Ottoman Syria. His paternal grandfather immigrated to America as a child; his name when he arrived was Abraham Dewud, but the immigration officers told him that his name was now Joe Abraham. He hadn’t been in West Virginia long before he signed up to fight for America during the First World War. He was a Muslim who never smoked or drank or ate pork. He married a local Christian woman and then, after she died, a Muslim. There were no mosques anywhere nearby, but he practiced his faith as best he could for the rest of his life. 

Abraham’s maternal grandfather came from a family of Syrian Bedouins. When he was eleven, in 1907, his parents put him on a ship headed for New York by way of Marseilles. He picked sugar beets in Michigan for a while, and then, in the nineteen-twenties, when the coal fields in West Virginia were booming, he moved down there and started peddling in the coal camps, selling pots and pans out of a wagon. In time, he opened up a grocery store. He married a Christian girl from Gilbert Creek whose family had lived in the area since before the Civil War. He didn’t convert and neither did she, although shortly after they married he brought her home to Sultan Yacoub for a year so that she could learn Syrian customs and cooking. “My grandmother smoked, drank liquor, bowled three nights a week—he couldn’t do anything with her,” Abraham says. “Mamaw ran the house.”

This grandfather used to get together with other Arabs in Logan and talk about the old country. When he died, he was buried by an imam. Abraham feels that, as a third-generation Arab-American, he has lost touch with his heritage, and he regrets this. But he does not regret the assimilation that caused that loss. “I’ve heard Mike Pence say that he is a Christian first,” he says. “Well, it seems to me that the Arab old-timers were Americans first."

Abraham still has in his possession a pledge that his maternal grandfather signed when he was naturalized, many decades ago, in the Logan County Courthouse. It reads, in part, “It is my bona fide intention to renounce forever all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty, and particularly to Mehmed V, Emperor of the Ottomans, of whom I am now a subject. . . . I am not an anarchist; I am not a polygamist nor a believer in the practice of polygamy; and it is my intention in good faith to become a citizen of the United States of America and to permanently reside therein.”

Abraham had heard that some recent Muslim immigrants practiced Sharia law; he thought that they should just go home. “They don’t want to assimilate,” he says. “My grandfather swore to disavow the Ottoman Empire, and they should have to do that, too, if they want to be Americans. You should speak English, you should practice our laws, and if you don’t want to do that don’t come here! It’s O.K. if they want to practice their customs—I don’t want that to disappear. But we have a Constitution, and people should go by it.”

When Democrats talk about America, they celebrate its diversity, but when they talk about immigrants diversity is often left out. They say that immigrants are exactly like us: they work hard and love their families. No doubt, most immigrants do work hard and love their families, as do most other kinds of people, but such flattening platitudes suppress what is obviously true: that people from other parts of the world are different from some Americans, and so when they become part of America they bring change. Even people who don’t feel hostile toward foreigners and are repelled by racial malice"...

[Ed. note: Other nationalities aren't a "race." The word "race" has been co-opted. "He who controls the language controls the culture." "Race" could even mean "lazy working class whites who take OxyContin."]

(continuing): "sometimes wish that their country would stay the same, because they love it the way it is. To deny that any change is taking place is the sort of orthodoxy that pushes people toward Trump."...

[Ed. note: What do you mean by "change?" That's another vague term that appears in discussions today about "race." Did the "change" just happen by chance? No, it's happened quite deliberately and with the intent to change the culture of the country. This happens to fit the definition of genocide:

""What is Genocide?", Gregory H. Stanton, Pres. Genocide Watch

"Raphael Lemkin in his masterpiece
"Axis Rule in Occupied Europe" (1943) invented the term "genocide" by combining "genos" (race, people) and "cide" (to kill). Lemkin defined genocide as follows:

"Generally speaking, genocide does not necessarily mean the immediate destruction of a nation, except when accomplished by mass killings of all members of a nation. 

It is intended rather to signify a coordinated plan of different actions aiming at the destruction of essential foundations of the life of national groups with the aim of annihilating the groups themselves. The objectives of such a plan would be the disintegration of the 

political and social institutions, of
national feelings, 
religion, and the 
economic existence of national groups, and the  
destruction of the 
personal security,  
dignity, and even the 

lives of the individuals belonging to such groups.""... 

Talking about "race" and "change" and calling the people being killed off "racists, bigots and xenophobes" makes the genocide go more smoothly and keeps the focus off the elites doing the killing. Not that anything could stop the process short of armed rebellion. Failing that, the US political class just laughs and says, come and get me. The southern border would be erased, rule of law would go down the drain, and you were called "racist" if you dared object. It started roughly in 1965 with revised immigration laws and continued in various ways such as free trade deals. All the "changes" in the US have had one thing in common. Keeping endless cheap labor available and/or driving industry out of the US. What a coincidence. What's happening in Europe didn't happen by chance either. Europeans were told they must understand that things have to "change." Terror attacks are now everyday events in Europe. But, it's "change," so people are taking first aid courses to learn how to bandage people up faster after attacks. People are obediently participating in their own genocide].

(continuing): "There are a lot of Trump signs in Logan, and there are a lot of signs touting Richard Ojeda. Ojeda, who teaches in a Junior R.O.T.C. program at a local high school, is running for state senate as a Democrat, but the fact that most people in Logan were voting for Trump made perfect sense to him. “If he does twenty per cent of what he promises, he’ll be a decent President,” he says, “and maybe he just will make America great again.”

Image caption: "Richard Ojeda thinks that maybe Trump “just will make America great again. Photograph by Alec Soth / Magnum for The New Yorker"

Logan was currently a long way from greatness, in Ojeda’s opinion. The poorer hollers were crowded with ancient trailers, many with a “No Trespassing” or a “Private Property” sign on them. There was a lot of theft, because of drugs—in some parts of West Virginia, the prescription-drug-addiction epidemic was worse than anywhere else in the country. Ojeda often drove around the county to see what was going on, and everywhere he went there were wrecks of houses half-destroyed by fire or fallen in with age, overgrown with weeds and kudzu. Why didn’t the county tear them down? Even some of the homes that were lived in were surrounded by tires and piles of trash and toys, old machines, broken TVs. The garbage everywhere drove him crazy. He’d started a local charity with his brother-in-law, and they picked up as much trash as they could, but there was only so much a few people could do. Why didn’t the county’s code-enforcement officer fine people for dumping in their yards? What was he being paid for? If coal was dying, West Virginia needed a new industry, and tourism would be a good one, but how would the state ever attract tourists if the place looked like landfill? Who would come to kayak in West Virginia’s beautiful streams if every thirty feet there was a sewer pipe? 

Ojeda loved his state with a furious passion, and seeing it go to hell made him so angry that he felt like fighting, which was why he decided to go into politics. He had spent the first twenty-four years of his adult life in the Army: he went to Korea, Honduras, Jordan, Iraq, Haiti, and Afghanistan; he jumped out of planes and blew stuff up and retired as a major. This experience was helpful, because politics in Logan could be a bloody business. A couple of days before the primary, a man bashed him in the face at a campaign event and then tried to run him over with his truck. Ojeda spent several days in the hospital recovering from facial fractures and posting photographs of his injuries on Facebook, and he won the primary by more than two thousand votes. 

He became a Democrat when he was eighteen, because his parents told him they were Democrats and so he was, too. “Back when I was in high school, being a Republican was like cursing,” he says. “Republicans were greedy people who didn’t take care of the workingman.” When he came back from the Army, he decided that most of the politicians in southern West Virginia, who were almost all Democrats, were crooks who didn’t care about anything but lining their pockets, but he didn’t change his registration. This was partly out of sheer loyalty, but it was also a matter of tactics: in West Virginia, most people were registered Democrats, so if you wanted to run for local office it helped to belong to that party. But that didn’t mean that you voted Democratic at the national level.

West Virginia is now a red state, but until 2000 it was tenaciously blue. Logan County’s Democratic tradition was particularly strong: with the exception of the two Civil War-era elections and Al Smith, in 1928, in 2000 it had voted for every Democratic Presidential candidate since Andrew Jackson. It voted Democratic against the Whigs before the Civil War; it voted Southern Democratic against Lincoln (unlike the state as a whole, which seceded from Virginia in 1863, in order to remain in the Union, southern West Virginia was mostly for the Confederacy); and it voted Democratic for the New Deal and F.D.R. 

Because of the reputation of the Trump voter, it can seem as though the state must have been Republican for decades, for reasons of culture and race, but this is not so."... 

[Ed. note: "For reasons of culture and race." Please. How many times do you have to mention race? The casual reader who didn't start out thinking West Virginians were "racist" will assume they are after reading this article. Your wordplay converts a "significant perception" into a reality, in this case a perception of "racism." Every person in the article is framed by your prejudice. If two Trump supporters you met weren't "racists," that was newsworthy according to you: "He, too, says that the appeal of Trump’s position is not about race."(speaking of Ojeda and Abraham)... It's not clear which definition of the word "race" you're using or what you mean by "reason of race." You can't see that our main concern is the country, that both political parties are extreme globalists, that for decades they've sold us out, treated us like garbage, and plan to continue doing so. We're peasants in a global colony. That may be fine with you, but we don't accept it.]

(continuing): "West Virginia is part of the Bible Belt, but it voted Democratic all through the nineties, at the height of the culture wars and the Christian Coalition, when abortion and gay rights, for instance, were far more alive as political issues than they are now. The state voted against Obama, but it wasn’t the prospect of a black President that turned it red: it began voting Republican with George W. Bush, and in 2008 Boone and McDowell Counties, just north and south of Logan, along with some counties farther north, went for Obama. Probably the main reason for the shift in 2000 was that West Virginia perceived, correctly, that Al Gore’s environmental commitments would be bad for coal. 

Now, too, a lot of Trump’s support in West Virginia is due to the local economy. Some months ago, Clinton said, “I’m the only candidate who has a policy about how to bring economic opportunity using clean renewable energy as the key into coal country, because we’re going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business.” All most people heard, in a clip that circulated endlessly on social media, was the part about putting a lot of coal miners out of business, and that was the end of her candidacy in the state. Trump appeared at rallies wearing a hard hat and saying he was going to put miners back to work, and, even to people who knew that coal was being put out of business by natural gas more than by Obama’s E.P.A. regulations, the choice seemed clear.

But coal is not the whole story. Ojeda, like Abraham, was voting for Trump in part because of immigration, and he, too, says that the appeal of Trump’s position is not about race."...

[Ed. note: Again "race," and here it's, wow, two guys in a row say the attraction isn't "race" as if it's generally accepted that "race" is connected to Trump, and that people who support him--as everyone knows--think a certain way about "race." I assume this is all related to the border. In which case the correct term is nationality, not race.]

(continuing): "Ojeda’s father’s family comes from Jalisco, on the Pacific coast of Mexico. “My grandfather was one of the original wetbacks that swam across the Rio Grande,” Ojeda says. “He tended Pancho Villa’s horses when he was thirteen years old.” Ojeda’s father was born in West Virginia, but then the family moved back to Mexico and returned only when Ojeda’s father was eight. “He and his brothers and sisters couldn’t speak English very well, so they were made fun of,” Ojeda says. “But of course that made ’em tough. They were known as pretty good little scrappers.” 

Trump’s promise to put America first was appealing to Ojeda because he felt it was the first time in a long while that a national politician had actually seemed to care about his state, and not because poverty was bad and poor people needed help but because West Virginia was part of America. When you hear about illegal aliens getting benefits and you have people here starving to death and can’t get nothing, it’s just a slap in the face,” he says. “When you start talking about bringing in refugees and when they get here they get medical and dental and they get set up with some funds—what do we get.

So when people hear Donald Trump saying we’re going to take benefits away from people who come here illegally and give them to people who work, that sounds pretty good.” 

Trump seemed to Ojeda to treat West Virginia like family, and he had noticed that many West Virginians in return treated Trump like family, brushing off the things he said that sounded nuts or that they didn’t agree with. “In Iraq, I listened to David Petraeus speak every day about how we had to rebuild Iraq’s oil infrastructure and protect it,” Ojeda says. “But, if we’re going to go trillions of dollars in debt over Iraq, why can’t we go billions of dollars in debt and make every single coal-producing plant clean in West Virginia?   

Don’t we deserve a hand? We built this country with the steel that came out of our coal, and we protected this country with our soldiers, and nobody cares. We’re more willing to give millions of dollars to people in other countries who’d just as soon put a bullet in the back of our heads. That’s why West Virginia is going to vote for Trump.

West Virginians are always saying two things about themselves—that they love their state and that they are family oriented. “We’re very proud, although there’s not a whole lot to be proud of,” Raamie Barker, a former adviser to the governor who now teaches high school with Ojeda, says. “There’s really not. But we won’t let anybody put West Virginia down.” This may sound pretty hackneyed, but in fact what West Virginians mean by love of state and family is unusual and particular. “I’ve lived in a lot of places, and I’ve never seen this kind of pride and love,” Ed Martin, the publisher of the Logan Banner, says. “People will say, I love West Virginia. Nobody has ever said anything like that to me anywhere else. It just doesn’t come up. People may love where they live, but it’s not because they love their state. And here ‘family oriented’ is not just your family—it’s your family as a West Virginian.” Martin grew up in northern West Virginia and moved to the Logan area a year ago. He didn’t know a soul in town, but he found that, because he was from the state, he was immediately trusted and taken in. “Everybody here is family,” he says. “It’s hard to explain. I was here a week and they found out about my bad hips, and this church across the street—I don’t even know the name of the church, and nobody who works for me goes there, but they were praying for me.

“Families are really close,” Kyle Lovern, a columnist at another local paper, says. “But your family—it isn’t necessarily your blood kin, it’s your neighborhood and your community. If someone’s house burns down, people will raise money and help them out, even if they’re struggling themselves. There really isn’t a difference between helping your cousin or your uncle and the person who lives next door.” In West Virginia, in other words, family can mean something like the opposite of what it means in other place.

This extended-family feeling exists in part because many people in West Virginia have known the people who live near them all their lives, and their parents knew one another, and their grandparents.

“I would say a majority of people here can trace their family roots here back a hundred and fifty years,” Jay Nunley says. “Nobody chooses to move here. Everyone here my age, I grew up with.” In high school, Nunley and Ojeda were in drumline together and used to party afterward. Now Nunley hosts a talk show on WVOW, Logan’s radio station; he came back to town a few years ago after working in radio all over the country. “I loved Chicago, loved Charlotte,” he says. “I did not like Canton, Ohio—if you ask me, that’s the biggest shithole in the country, not Logan. I liked Tallahassee and I liked Corpus Christi. But I never felt that I was standing on my ground except for right here.

The people who stay here, even though they could have it so much better economically elsewhere, it’s because of a connection to the ground itself.”

Many people talk about a connection to the ground itself. West Virginia doesn’t look quite like any other place—hardly any flat land, because the densely wooded hills are crushed so close together there’s barely room for a road between them—and its confining closeness forms a kind of physical bond between people who find it familiar. “When I’m in California, I feel like something bad’s going to happen, because there’s so much empty space,” Ed Martin says. “Here it’s cozy. If you believe the mountains are yours, like most West Virginians do, when you get back to these mountains you feel comfortable again. You feel at ease.” “When I see the mountains,” Kyle Lovern says, “it’s like they’re embracing me.” 

Lovern has lived in southern West Virginia all his life. He voted for Obama in 2008. He thought the election of the first black President was an important historical event, and was happy to have been part of it. But he thought that Clinton was likely to continue Obama’s coal regulations, and he didn’t think West Virginia could survive four more years of that, so he was voting for Trump.

“Some people say they’re glad Trump’s going to build a wall,” he says. “They feel that charity begins at home. That there’s people here that are suffering, that we need to take care of our own rather than welcome all these other people in and put them on the welfare system and give them free health care. Most people here agree with that.”"...(article continues)


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