Middle America Faces Tough Times

(Daily360.com) – A recent factory closure in West Virginia once again shines the light on the failed policies of the federal government. That is the belief of the people in the town, the people Donald Trump refers to as the “forgotten men and women” of America. Cleveland-Cliffs Steel of Weirton, West Virginia closed this week and with its closure went 900 jobs.

Those 900 jobs represented the last of what were once 10,000 jobs related to the steel plant. Many locals recall a time when the entire community was thriving, people were working, and businesses supporting the plant were plentiful. This was a time not so long ago, as recent as the 1990s. Residents say the factories could not compete with other nations after Bill Clinton signed the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in 1993. State Senator Ryan Weld, said that deal is the reason Weirton and towns like it went from once thriving, vibrant towns to now dying and decaying towns. The local businesses could not compete with lower manufacturing costs from countries like Mexico, especially when combined with federally mandated environmental regulations.

The people also feel abandoned by their elected leaders. They believe that the Democrat party, which enjoyed large union support, is largely responsible for the policies that eliminated the jobs of those very constituents. They view the Democrat Party as having moved on from them, preferring to court a new base, people with racial or primarily social agendas. They also don’t feel very wanted by mainstream Republicans either; they believe that high-level Republican politicians serve their donors who largely benefit from cheap labor.

They are the people who live in what “elites” refer to as “fly over country” and they feel like no one represents their interests. They are the people who would like to simply work and raise families. These are the people who are often derided by their own leaders; both Barack Obama and Joe Biden have referred to these people as a problem in America. Weld said it’s his hope that a new passionate group of local politicians can be the vocal advocates of Middle Americans and finally have them be heard.

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