Since Donald Trump’s approval rating now looks like something that got stuck to the bottom of my shoe, I joined the flood of journalists who went to Real America to
gloat see how the Trump supporters are getting along.
Alexandra Petri in the Washington Post:
In the shadow of the old flag factory, Craig Slabornik sits whittling away on a rusty nail, his only hobby since the plant shut down. He is an American like millions of Americans, and he has no regrets about pulling the lever for Donald Trump in November — twice, in fact, which Craig says is just more evidence of the voter fraud plaguing the country. Craig is a contradiction, but he does not know it.
Each morning he arrives at the Blue Plate Diner and tries to make sense of it all. The regulars are already there. Lydia Borkle lives in an old shoe in the tiny town of Tempe Work Only, Ariz., where the factory has just rusted away into a pile of gears and dust. The jobs were replaced by robots, not shipped overseas, but try telling Lydia that. (I did, very slowly and patiently, I thought, but she still became quite brusque.) Her one lifeline was an Obama-era jobs training program, but she says that she does not regret her vote for Trump and likes what he says about business. She makes a point of telling me that she is not racist, but I think she probably is, a little.
Next to her sits Linda Blarnik. Like the rusty hubcaps hanging on the wall behind her, she was made in America 50 years ago, back when this town made things, a time she still remembers fondly. She says she has had just enough of the “coastal elitist media who keep showing up to write mean things about my town and my life, like that thing just now where you said I was like a hubcap, yes you, stop writing I can see over your shoulder.” Mournfully a whistle blows behind her, the whistle of a train that does not stop in this America any longer.