Why Did They Vote For Donald Trump?

surface-coal-mining-public-domainDid you know that in areas of the United States where coal mining is, or has been, a major industry, people voted overwhelmingly for Donald Trump?  I learned this while listening to a program on National Public Radio as we traveled to Arizona.  It surprised me because we had just finished the audio book Gray Mountain by John Grisham which describes how coal mining has damaged the environment and has created many long-term public health problems including all kinds of cancers.  Since Donald Trump showed no particular concern for the environment during his campaign and wants to repeal the legislation offering affordable medical care why would coal miners vote for him? 

It is because he has promised to revitalize the fossil fuel industry. To people who have been thrown out of work because of the development of alternatives to coal energy, that promise trumped any concern they might have for the environment or even their own health and that of their families.  Unemployed coal miners need jobs and they think Donald Trump will provide them.  The novel Gray Mountain portrays the problems that have come along with unemployment in the coal industry.  These include an increase in drug addiction, alcoholism, domestic abuse and suicide.  coal-miners-public-domainOn the NPR program one unemployed woman who’d had a career in the coal industry, said she had always voted Democrat and she didn’t like Donald Trump or much of what he stood for, but she had voted for him anyway because he seemed to be her only hope of finding employment again. 

Other posts………

Gray Mountain

Thanks For Visiting President Obama

I Am Freedom’s Child

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