“Prisons have been substituted for steel”

Interesting piece on why Trump still has support in rural areas. Sample quote:

For years now, leftists have been arguing identity politics versus economics—as if somehow the two could be neatly separated. As if racism and sexism weren’t intrinsic to how economic oppression works in America. As if the fairy tale of equal opportunity only short-changed people of color. Or women. As if class were simply a matter of income.

Nobody around here needed Bernie Sanders, or Elizabeth Warren—or Donald Trump—to tell them the system is rigged. What Trump did give them was the sense that they mattered. Not just their votes, but their culture, their sense of themselves as people who worked with their hands and played by the rules. People who felt they’d been written off by the Democratic Party—and had given up on politics. People for whom opioids, not religion, were the opiate of the masses. Trump found a way to reach these people on what felt like common ground: the ground of culture.

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