Washington DC, the East and West Coast cities are not the end-all and be-all of the bulk of Americans who are born (if they are lucky), live, work, and die in this republic. We are really sick and tired of being pushed around by them and their failed politics. We are sick and tired of being treated like ‘the Wildlings’ to their upper houses of Westeros and DC’s “King’s Landing”. While they fight against a wall to preserve and protect this nation’s sovereignty against the massive influx of illegal immigration, they clamor for a proverbial wall to keep out our votes in elections by abolishing the Electoral College in favor of their popular vote. We hack the land to grow and produce the bulk of the food and resources those recognized pockets of population depend on. We send our kids off to wars, tearfully greeting them when they return home on their feet or in a wheelchair … or in a casket. We are a Hell of a lot more important and essential to this nation than you elites allow to be said. However, we do know this as you seem to point it out every four years. We are well beyond sick and tired of being considered the ugly spare donut tire in the trunk of the car that is depended upon/used every four years to get their next political king/queen in the Oval Office and then shoved back away into the darkness the rest of the time and considered, if at all, expendable.
Inside those heavily densely populated ‘popular votes’ areas of the nation (the ones the democrat-socialists and their MSM scream for) we have a mix of low-income people (including a growing population of illegal aliens) who continually and increasingly depend-on and demand welfare assistance in their lives, in addition to high-income high-minded liberal thinkers who insist our republic should become a socialist ‘democracy’. The rest of the nation that democrats and the establishment left want ignored are the rest of us who bust our asses, pay our bills, raise our kids, provide much of the foods and other demanded products to the ‘popular vote’ areas that seriously believe we are some laughable subspecies compared to them. Well, in 2016 we ‘fly-over’ folks rose up and either voted down establishment political animal Hillary Clinton, or genuinely voted for the “Great America” Donald Trump was outlining as he dared repeatedly travel to our regions for our votes. And over these last nearly three years of his presidency, amid the Russia hoax bullshit, the man managed to deliver a lot of what he promised. A lot of areas have seen recovery. Some are slow to see it.
I live in Youngstown (suburb) and I know I see a mix of jobs hirings, business expanses and new businesses … but also business closings (most of which are national businesses like Payless Shoes, Sears, Kmart, Dillard’s that are closing location stores, or completely, all over the country). But this area is tough. We have seen the boom of the steel mills back in the last century, and their fall to imported steel late in that same century. We dust ourselves off and look for the next opportunities to keep our lives here in the Mahoning Valley afloat so we can raise our kids and for them to have bigger and better opportunities than we had. But it does not help to only be considered important during presidential election cycles in order to win a big county in the swing state of Ohio. Only to not only be forgotten after the election, but to be ridiculed and laughed about if/when we are recalled to mind.
And so, as we wind-up to the next election cycle in a year places like Youngstown, Ohio and western Pennsylvania and others are once again on the minds of politicians, and the still-stung leftist MSM who still spit at us for not voting for their political queen Hillary. As the over two dozen democrat candidates vying for the win in the democrat primary try to outdo each other in socialist chest-beating, open borders with blanket amnesty and complete government funding for the flood of illegal aliens, and late term/after-birth abortion while insisting death row murderers and terrorists must have the right to vote we see they are even worse than the democrat candidate of 2016, and even far, far more out of touch with the American people who voted for Trump in 2016 and will quite likely vote for him again in 2020, no matter what.
NYT: There’s No Boom in Youngstown, but Blue-Collar Workers Are Sticking With Trump
The Guardian: Outside coastal cities an ‘other America’ has different values and challenges
… Anthony Rice’s house in Youngstown, Ohio is a mile away from a river valley once filled with factories offering jobs. Many of those left in the 1980s, and with them, many residents.
His home is one of the few occupied on the street. Empty lots or boarded-up homes make up most of the block. He points to those remaining, listing his neighbors and their age. They are all over 70. “This neighborhood is okie-dokie, although not much goes down here”, he says. “Stores used to be all around here, but they mostly gone. The people left are either too old to move or waiting for someone to buy them out.”
The road itself is a patchwork of potholes. “This street hasn’t been paved in like forever. They just don’t care about us. But we used to that.”
Youngstown is the largest city in Mahoning County, Ohio, where Donald Trump narrowly lost a county Barack Obama won twice easily. That was partly because turnout in Youngstown – which is lower income, younger, and close to half African American – dropped by roughly 15%.
It was a blueprint replicated across the US – getting just enough working class, older and wealthier suburban whites to flip and turn out for Trump, while a small enough sliver of minorities and younger white voters did not turn out. It was achieved in just the right places: Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
I ask Anthony about the election. “Most people in this neighborhood sat idle. We didn’t have a dog in this fight. It is like we had our president, and it is time for them to have their president. I voted for Hillary. But I don’t mind Trump, although I do think he is crazy. He is jamming a stick in the beehive, and some think it will break their way.”
Did Trump’s win surprise him? “No. Obama promised a lot and only a little came of it. Maybe New York City got delivered promises. This street here is still filled with homes falling down.”
A lot of the US is like that. I have seen it all over, when I put 100,000 miles on my car before the election. I have heard and seen the frustrations of countless people – of all races and faiths – in wildly different places, from Nebraska to Louisiana.
To get out beyond successful neighborhoods in DC, New York City and the elite college campuses – beyond where prevailing socio-political opinions are made – is to see another America.
It isn’t a more “real” America – a glib and offensive cliche – it is simply a different one. It is an America that values and experiences different things, emphasizing local community and faith, rather than career or educational status. It is an America that has been on a downward trajectory for decades, hurt by the loss of jobs and with downtowns emptied of energy and filled with drugs. It has made staying in these communities harder…
A major problem in my area is it has been a democrat stranglehold for generations, fed and milked by the once powerful unions and the local and national democrat party. The next generation grows up and indoctrinated hearing their elders chanting “The democrats are for the working man and the republicans are for the rich man” completely oblivious to the fact that the democrat politicians sitting in judgement over the rest of the nation are some of the wealthiest in government who have yet to explain how they have achieved that wealth while in office. By the way, the younger generations are also conditioned to the union mentality the same way by their elders, again not aware the union leaders are extremely wealthy off their backs and votes. The unions and their once staunchly loyal pets in the rank-and-file along with the local democrat machine are responsible for this area’s loss of industry. The more the union worker made in wages and benefits the lazier and unconcerned with proper productivity they became, leading to companies looking for cheaper resources outside the country, and eventually the industries collapsed in local venues like Youngstown, Detroit, Cleveland, Pittsburgh. Those losses trickled down to the outlying suburbs and smaller towns whose businesses depended on those workers’ as customers. In the last few months my area has suffered the loss of a hospital (we are down to one hospital now) and our last remaining big industry … General Motors. And again, as Pres. Trump pressures the powers that be of GM to do something with the plant or sell it to somebody who will, they and their union elites push back. And the workers either take the company’s relocation to other states’ GM plants or stay in their generational homeland of Mahoning Valley and hope for the best.
We have a saying here, “It’s Youngstown … You gotta be tough.” That involves the crap weather patterns, the growing drug crisis, the job/industry situations, and the shit political web that has roots in everything from a GM plant to the unionized hospital to the fucking potholes in our roads. “Just move!” we hear people scoff at us, including family members who moved away decades ago. Well, that is not always financially easy to pull up roots and move to a completely different area outside the Valley, or even the state. But it goes deeper to the heart of our generations, many of whom came here after immigrating (legally) to our area over a century ago, establishing this as “home”. I know this because in my youth I asked both of my Hungarian Grandparents if they would ever want to go back to Hungary. Both vehemently answered “No”. They both said America was their homeland now. That is how a lot of families feel in Ohio, and especially in the Mahoning Valley. We have a very deep melting pot of Europeans, Irish, Greeks/Mediterraneans and Italians, blacks, Hispanics, Asians, American Indians, Jews and even Middle Easterners/Muslims. We love and crave each other’s cultural cuisines and hope and pray for the success and growth of each other’s businesses. We visit and trust multicultural doctors and specialists. Life is tough here, but we wake up and get through each day. If tragedy happens we are there for each other. And all the while we are aware those blue pockets in our country, and in DC, really don’t give two shakes of a dick’s damn about us (or our brethren in the rest of ‘red America’) outside election years. We are used to politicians motoring into our area, taking the stage to wave to the local democrat party office manufactured signs in the crowd of generational democrat zombies who love to hear the democrat politicians promise to “create jobs” (oblivious to the fact they mean more government jobs not in our area, while imposing job-killing legislation/taxes on real job-creation) and promise more “taxing of the ‘rich'” and more and more welfare growth … these same zombies bitching every time they open their paychecks to see more and more bitten out of it by the government. And then the politicians win their election (most times) and the Valley gets left behind on the dusty shelf for the next election cycle drive-by, our area never seeing any real benefit. It has been a vicious cycle over generations in this area. But in these last few years I believe we are finally learning, standing up straight and pulling up our collective pants after generations of ‘taking it’ from the selfish unions and democrat policies … I hope! We are patient to a fault, I guess. Yes, Youngstown is slow to show much upward movement, but we hope to have stopped the bleeding, and pray for another four years of the businessman’s promises and policies that do not hand us anything but his faith and opportunity to build and grow. That is all Youngstown asks for, that, and to leave our cultural melt the Hell alone…
SALENA ZITO: The Cookie Table and the Bonds of Traditions in America.
PITTSBURGH — Barb Yavorcik’s husband jokes that when he called his mother to tell her they were engaged she hung up the phone and turned the oven on to preheat.
Why? “To bake the cookies for the wedding, of course,” she said.
In certain parts of the country, particularly in Pittsburgh and Youngstown, Ohio, where the Yavorcik family came from, if you do not have a cookie table — actually several cookie tables ready to greet your guests as they enter the wedding reception — you may as well expect nothing short of a revolt by the guests.
Or at least life-long judgment and gossip about “that wedding” that had no cookies.
“If you don’t do it, people talk about the wedding that ‘didn’t have the cookie table’ — nobody wants that shame brought to their name,” said Christina Blasi, who had a bountiful cookie table at her Pittsburgh wedding.
“Everyone makes different types of cookies, and once complete, they come together to be a massive assortment of deliciousness. The key to the success of a cookie table is to-go containers. Most people can’t eat a dozen cookies after dinner and cake, but they sure will pack to-go containers full of them to eat for breakfast the next day,” said Blasi.
In short the cookie table is everything; no matter if the wedding is held at a fire hall, social club banquet hall, high-end hotel, or on a beach, and no matter how inconvenient it is — if you are from the Rust Belt you will find a way to bring homemade cookies and display them artfully at your wedding.
For the generations who made up America’s Melting Pot and their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren the cookie table is more important than the cake, what is served for dinner, or what kind of dress the bride wore…
Salena Zito: Real America sits at one end of the Potomac — and also at the other