On the PBS Newshour this past September 16, 2016, there was a story about Trumbull County, Ohio. It sickened me to watch it. The title of the story was, “Can Trump Gain With Ohio Democrats on Economic Issues?” This story is part of a PBS series called “Chasing The Dream: Poverty and Opportunity in America.”
The on-screen introduction for the video reads:
Trumbull is one of Ohio’s most reliably Democratic counties. But Republican nominee Donald Trump has paid special attention to the region and voters have listened to his message about the economy. John Yang speaks with some voters who see the New York millionaire as someone who can improve prospects for working class Americans.
Here’s the video that caught my attention.
Trump’s message: “We’re going to bring jobs back to Ohio.” That’s appealing when 1 out of 4 jobs in this region of Ohio are gone. The enemy according to Trump: Trade deals like NAFTA have stolen their jobs. Trump is going to “fix it and fix it fast.”
What saddens me is the people placing their hopes and aspirations on Donald Trump are being conned and Trump knows he’s conning them. Trump wants their votes but he doesn’t have a plan to solve this region’s economic woes. In other parts of the nation like West Virginia, Trump has promised he’s going to restore the coal industry to the luster of its heyday.
Coal isn’t our future. Steel plants in Trumbull County, Ohio, aren’t our future. You can’t live life looking in your review mirror—you end up with the desperate realities people in Trumbull County are facing.
The economy and structural elements within our economy have changed and are changing. Longing for a return to the past isn’t sufficient to generate jobs lost in Trumbull County.
What’s next that this region can support economically? That’s the question! That should be the focus.
Hearing from Donald Trump “I alone can fix it” is disingenuous at best. If he were to be elected president, I’m not going to hold out hope that these people’s lives will improve one iota. And, while they believe President Obama didn’t do enough to help them, they will see a similar pattern with Donald Trump. Believe me!