Donald Trump’s support is coming from middle-class people who worry their country is going down the tubes – and is taking their children, neighbors and communities with it, writes Salena Zito, a middle-of-the-road columnist at Pennsylvania’s Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
If you drive anywhere in Pennsylvania, from the turnpike to the old US routes to the dirt roads connecting small towns like Hooversville with “bigger” small towns like Somerset, you might conclude that Donald Trump is ahead in this state by double digits.
Large signs, small signs, homemade signs, signs that wrap around barns, signs that go from one end of a fence to another dot the landscape with such frequency that, if you were playing the old-fashioned road-trip game of counting cows, you would hit 100 in just one small town like this one.
In Ruffsdale, I am pretty sure I saw more than 100 Trump signs.
… While Trump supporters here are overwhelmingly white, their support has little to do with race (yes, you’ll always find one or two who make race the issue), but has a lot to do with a perceived loss of power.
Not power in the way that Washington or Wall Street boardrooms view power, but power in the sense that these people see a diminishing respect for them and their ways of life, their work ethic, their tendency to not be mobile. (Many live in the same eight square miles that their father’s father’s father lived in.)
Thirty years ago, such people determined the country’s standards in entertainment, music, food, clothing, politics, personal values. Today, they are the people who are accused of creating every social injustice imaginable; when anything in society fails, they get blamed.
The places where they live lack economic opportunities for the next generation; they know their children and grandchildren will never experience the comfortable situations they had growing up — surrounded by family who lived next door, able to find a great job without going to college, both common traits among many successful small-business owners in the state…
Read the rest here.