As a person who has spent most of his adult life advocating for rural people and suing the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania on behalf of 214 rural schools, I believe I have the right to say these things (yeah I know it’s a run-on sentence). You have been royally screwed.
All of the things that you were promised and all of the hullabaloo about taking America back and making America great again was just caca de toro (b.s.). The almost sad part that makes me cry is that you have been jacked up once again. All of this populist stuff spouted by Donny Little Hands was a pack of lies.
You must know by now that the world has not been set up for rural people for a long time. When our country was young and farming was the most important industry, you (or we) had clout. We elected senators based on their record of bringing home the bacon (actually bacon). We put our own neighbors or friends into Congress who then understood what we needed.
So when things went bonkers in the 1970’s and worse in the 80’s and since then, we suspected that we were being given the business. We no longer had confidence in our governments, both state and federal. We were objects of school consolidation and panaceas that came from on high and left so quickly that we hardly knew they were happening.
Cities and suburbs grew so fast that we could not keep up with all of the changes. After a time, we fell into kind of a stupor. The plants that had been in our communities shut down and left for Mexico, and other low cost places. Coal disappeared and is not coming back, no matter what Donny says. This buy American crap is just that, crap. How about the new pipeline that will be built by American workers- pipes manufactured in China. That’s a wakeup call to our people.
We get no help and when we do, we get suspicious of the people who are trying to do something. We have been screwed so many times, that when someone from the Fed comes and says, I am from Washington and I am here to help you, we stop listening.
So, along comes someone who claims to be a successful businessman. He defeats all of these opponents by saying bad things about them. How about Senator Cruz’s father being responsible for the shooting of JFK? He denigrated Carly Fiorina (and she just took it). How about his implication that Marco Rubio had a small member? That was the way he treated the people in his own party. Is there anyone he has not made fun of? Actually, he made fun of all of us a few years ago. “Sorry losers and haters, but my I.Q. is one of the highest—and you all know it! Please don’t feel so stupid or insecure. It’s not your fault.”
Now you see, or don’t you, what he is doing. This populist for America person has populated his cabinet with billionaires, heads of large corporations (even the biggest), wives of billionaires, doctors who made money from knowing what congress was going to do, a guy who was involved in a bank that did money laundering for Russians.
Those people don’t give a fig about you. Yup, he promised to continue and defend Medicare and social security. He acts like we never paid for those programs. Take a look at your paycheck, if you are working, it’s right there. He is trying to undo the Affordable Care Act. That will crush our people- no preexisting conditions, no child up to 26 on your insurance, if you have it, no coverage from Medicaid.
How about education? Who can afford college even now? With the Pell grants either getting smaller or disappearing, how will our people pay for schools? What about the proposed 9 billion dollar cut in education? Who needs the 21st century grants (family friendly help for families); Gear Up (program that follows kids from rural and city areas for 6th grade as far as first year in college). How about the Trio program in colleges (helps kids that have a tough time and may come from really rural places and have not had the proper courses)?
What’s going to happen to the folks who are beneficiaries of the Meals on Wheels? I know you are not too pleased with Planned Parenthood. For those of you who avail yourselves of their health services for women will affect you directly. How about the Health Care Act that did not pass. In it, Donny was pushing for reductions in health care for rural areas and rural hospitals. Not that we have great health care right now, but his ideas would lead to deaths. His callous remarks about who would be affected if this bill passed should give us all a clue about what slice of the population he represents.
So we don’t need the EPA. They are a bothersome governmental bureaucracy that meddles in our lives by producing rules that prevent us from making a living. They also are annoying with their focus on clean water and cleanup of old factories that pollute our land and our waterways. So a few rural people die of cancer or even lead poisoning. That’s just a price to pay for our freedom.
Not only does Donny not know who we are, but if he did, he would not give a s**t (something that he once said). I know that rural people sometimes vote against their own self-interests (see Deer Hunting with Jesus by Joe Bageant). I am afraid that we have lost any kind of control that we had of our lives before this past election. I am not sure what to say to you about that. Since there is no specific polling attributed to rural people (that’s why the polls re wrong about the election), I have no idea what you are thinking right now. Since many of my friends live in rural areas, I really should talk to them about what is going on. I probably will not.
I will continue to work for the wellbeing of rural people in my new abode here in South Carolina. Maybe I can do some good with the young folks. We have started a rural school association. Perhaps that’s the most that I can do right now. I have no advice for you. I can only watch your feelings of betrayal and feel sorry.