Nearly a year ago, the Queen Of The World and I got married. We got the marriage license at the court house in Pocahontas County, West Virginia. It's a charming old court house in a spectacular seeing location. The people there are incredibly nice, honest, and hardworking.
And they're poor. The court house is charming because the county can't afford a new one, and so they carry on with the existing 1890s era building. It's a little grand for what the town has become, as the mines have shut down and jobs have fled.
Marlington, West Virginia is in good company. If you're outside Silicon Valley, Manhattan, or Washington D.C., the economy has been stalled for a couple decades or more. We've been told that globalization is inevitable, and that it's good for the economy. We've been told that a rising tide floats all boats, that the wealth inevitably trickles down.
We've been told this by both political parties. And we've gradually watched as our neighbors have lost their jobs, their houses, and their dreams.
This election is not about whether Donald Trump is mean. It's not about whether Hillary Clinton is crooked. They both are, but that's getting lost in minutia. This election is about honest people who want jobs and can't find them. It is about our neighbors and their hopes for their children's futures - a hope that the American Dream isn't yet extinct, and a desperate hope that their children can have a better living than they had.
Donald Trump is, quite frankly, the only person talking about this. I have no idea at all whether his ideas will work or not, but nobody but him has the guts to look the Auto executives in the eye and tell them that if they close American plants and move them to Mexico, he'll slap a 35% tariff on their products. Maybe that won't work, but after 20 or 30 years of watching globalization fatten Wall Street bottom lines, the voters of Marlinsburg, WV and Union City, TN may have finally tired of lectures from their "betters".
We shall see next Tuesday. In the mean time, Ronnie Dunn sang this dynamic; sang it well enough to get two Grammy nominations.
The plant in this video was the Goodyear Tire Plant in Union City, TN. It closed in 2011.
Cost of Living (Songwriters: Phillip Coleman, Ronnie Dunn)