How Donald J. Trump Became President (Horror Reality)

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How Donald J. Trump Became President (Horror Reality)

#1

Post by TollandRCR » Sat Aug 06, 2016 10:14 am

This may be the most unpopular topic on the forum until November 9. My hope is that it does not suddenly become popular on the 9th as people try to figure out what just happened.

I was never among those hoping that Trump would emerge from the primaries as the nominee. That was what I feared most. Certainly, there were other fearful possibilities in the clown car, including Cruz and Huckabee. Only Trump posed the possibility of a fascist presidency (a president who is not smart enough and not informed enough to know that he is a fascist). The authoritarian/paranoid streak in American politics has long posed this risk.

This topic is intended to explore what could go wrong. I've begun this exploration by citing Rauch's article in The Atlantic, How American Politics Went Insane. His argument is that reforms that were designed to empower the people and weaken the party bosses have succeeded, and we see the result in Trump's nomination.

There has been much discussion everywhere of why whites without a college education have become the foundation for Trump's campaign. Part of the answer is that some of them are bewildered, hurting, and angry. The culture that they knew has abandoned them. The economy that once supported them is changing in ways that they find highly suspicious. The suicide rate among males in this category has risen.

Some of the people in this category have roots in the hills and valleys of the South. Today they are found all over the country, including in the Pacific Northwest. (There was a reason that the original settlers of Oregon Territory sought to make it a slave state. Failing that, the voter-approved Oregon Constitution banned African Americans while slavery was nevertheless tolerated. R. Gregory Nokes, Breaking Chains: Slavery on Trial in the Oregon Territory) I cited J. D. Vance, Hillbilly Elegy, which discusses the culture of what he calls America's original underclass.

There may be much more to say about why Trump cannot be elected than about how Trump might be elected. Nevertheless, I think it would be useful to explore the horror fiction of how he will be elected. And then maybe we can work to make sure that it remains fiction. It's like figuring out that you don't want to drink the water in which Olympic crews are rowing today.


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Re: How Donald J. Trump Became President (Horror Fiction)

#2

Post by Sterngard Friegen » Sat Aug 06, 2016 11:34 am

Trump doesn't want to be President. He wants to have the ceremonial job of King. Much like Queen Elizabeth II. So, he'll be making America great again while Mike Pence runs the country.



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Re: How Donald J. Trump Became President (Horror Fiction)

#3

Post by TollandRCR » Sat Aug 06, 2016 11:41 am

I doubt that he selected Pence to run the country. He just knew that he needed a token Vice President. The people who would run the country are running various Trump organizations now. In that way he differs sharply from Hitler and more resembles Mussolini.


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Re: How Donald J. Trump Became President (Horror Fiction)

#4

Post by Sterngard Friegen » Sat Aug 06, 2016 11:44 am

TollandRCR wrote:I doubt that he selected Pence to run the country. He just knew that he needed a token Vice President. The people who would run the country are running various Trump organizations now. In that way he differs sharply from Hitler and more resembles Mussolini.
He wants Carl Icahn to be Secretary of Treasury/Commerce/State/Whatever. And Icahn has done a great job with the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City.



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Re: How Donald J. Trump Became President (Horror Fiction)

#5

Post by ArthurWankspittle » Sat Aug 06, 2016 11:48 am

TollandRCR wrote:There has been much discussion everywhere of why whites without a college education have become the foundation for Trump's campaign. Part of the answer is that some of them are bewildered, hurting, and angry. The culture that they knew has abandoned them. The economy that once supported them is changing in ways that they find highly suspicious. The suicide rate among males in this category has risen.
My take is that their parents and grandparents came from a golden era of post WWII growth and optimism (to quote the English politician MacMillan : You never had it so good. It was also said or used by the Democrats around the same time, 1957). The white man was king. People could buy houses, cars, consumer goods, go on holidays, etc. What were ethnic minorities probably were, certainly in terms of influence. Two generations later and every other item is made in the third or developing world. Places like Detroit are urban wastelands. Farming is a few percent of the size it was in terms of employment. The few white men who are comfortable are people like plumbers, mechanics, skilled artisans with small businesses and they resent the bureaucracy that government has imposed on them anyway. The unskilled white guy is the alienated, red neck, trailer trash who struggles to find a job and, where he has one, it isn't relatively that well paid. I can understand the resentment but I am at odds with their refusal to accept change. You want cheap fill-in-the-consumer-item then it will be made by someone in the world getting paid $8/week. Making the same item in America by a guy earning >$8/hour and either it won't sell or someone will start making it elsewhere cheaper and undercut you. Stop pretending it is 1950 and realise it is 2016. Trump may be voicing your opinions but he is two faced about it. Voting Trump will make no difference to you getting work (Trump has stuff made outside the US and is infamous for using Polish builders) and the idea of a Trump president will only make things worse because of the opinion of the world markets.
Enough for now. All the above is guesswork and feeling, I haven't looked up anything except the 1957 date of "you never had it so good".


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Re: How Donald J. Trump Became President (Horror Fiction)

#6

Post by RoadScholar » Sat Aug 06, 2016 12:31 pm

Missing from many of these discussions on the "angry white Trump voter" is an acknowledgement that while there are some real reasons for their anger there is also a strong component of their anger that is based on right-wing partisan fiction. And personally I believe that is the source of the most violent of the emotional reasponses they exhibit.

They're angry that illegal immigration is costing them their jobs. It isn't.
They're angry that taxes are at all-time highs. They aren't.
They're angry that homosexuals are trying to 'convert' their children. Nonsense.
They're angry that massive voter fraud elects Democrats. It doesn't.
They're angry because the President is a terrorist sympathizer.
They're angry that America is bankrupt.
They're angry that there are Muslims-only U.S. towns ruled under Sharia.
They're angry that Democrats are plotting to take all their guns.
They're angry that Christianity is being suppressed.
They're angry that black folks have everything handed to them on a silver platter.
They're angry that the Muslim Brotherhood has infiltrated our Government.
They're angry that the Constitution is no longer in force.
They're angry that Obama hates all white policemen.
They're angry that their taxes pay for abortions.
They're angry that American Muslims cheered when the towers fell.
They're angry that liberals are trying to destroy America.
They're angry about Benghazi.

...Need I go on?


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Re: How Donald J. Trump Became President (Horror Fiction)

#7

Post by esseff44 » Sat Aug 06, 2016 1:27 pm

I think RS is correct. It seems to me that most of the anger is attached to mistaken beliefs and the compulsion to blame others for one's failures.

Do they really think Trump is going to fix things to make it better for them? I doubt it but it makes them feel better for him to repeat their complaints and mistaken beliefs blaming others. It's not their fault they are not living up to their dreams. The system is rigged against them. It's what all demagogues have in common.



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Re: How Donald J. Trump Became President (Horror Fiction)

#8

Post by Piffle » Sat Aug 06, 2016 2:03 pm

TollandRCR wrote:I doubt that he selected Pence to run the country. He just knew that he needed a token Vice President. The people who would run the country are running various Trump organizations now. In that way he differs sharply from Hitler and more resembles Mussolini.
:yeah: One reason Trump gets along so well with many of his followers is that he, like them, gives short shrift to details and complexities. Whether diagnosing a problem or prescribing a solution, great beefy conclusions are sufficient. Thus, the government does not really need to be able to formulate or execute complex plans. A top-down declaration of what is to occur is sufficient: make it so. Ordinary underlings can take it from there.

I don't think Trump has any idea whatsoever what the government does, or who does what, or why they do what they do. Exactly who will run his government is unimportant to Trump because he is clueless about what the government does.

Srsly, is there some reason why one of his yachting buddies shouldn't be appointed Secretary of the Navy?



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Re: How Donald J. Trump Became President (Horror Fiction)

#9

Post by ArthurWankspittle » Sat Aug 06, 2016 2:13 pm

RoadScholar wrote:They're angry that illegal immigration is costing them their jobs. It isn't.
They're angry that taxes are at all-time highs. They aren't.
They're angry that homosexuals are trying to 'convert' their children. Nonsense.
They're angry that massive voter fraud elects Democrats. It doesn't.
They're angry because the President is a terrorist sympathizer.
They're angry that America is bankrupt.
They're angry that there are Muslims-only U.S. towns ruled under Sharia.
They're angry that Democrats are plotting to take all their guns.
They're angry that Christianity is being suppressed.
They're angry that black folks have everything handed to them on a silver platter.
They're angry that the Muslim Brotherhood has infiltrated our Government.
They're angry that the Constitution is no longer in force.
They're angry that Obama hates all white policemen.
They're angry that their taxes pay for abortions.
They're angry that American Muslims cheered when the towers fell.
They're angry that liberals are trying to destroy America.
They're angry about Benghazi.

...Need I go on?
No but Trump can't do anything about any of those things. It is no longer "My country Right or Wrong" it is "Donald Trump Right or Wrong". If Trump is elected his only success will be convincing these voters that it wasn't his fault that it didn't work out the way he said it would and it's all the Democrats in the two houses fault. But then this gets like the argument Britain had in the 1980s. Labour was led by a nuclear disarmer, the Conservatives by a pro-nuclear weapon enthusiast. Debate raged in the lower quality newspapers about the significance and effect on voting, then someone pointed out that it didn't matter. All the disarmers would support Labour anyway, all those pro-nuclear weapons would support the Conservatives whatever, the difference was never going to factor in the election. Same here. Believe all those things RoadScholar listed and you will vote Trump. Not believing one or two items won't make voters choose someone else. The converse is also true. People who don't believe that list aren't ever going to be voting for Trump even if Hilary does a "Slapstick" type announcement fatal to her campaign. Trump is the face of the white, we think we are an oppressed minority, supremacist bigots. I believe fortunately there aren't enough of them to elect Trump. But there are enough of them to rip apart the old Republican party.


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Re: How Donald J. Trump Became President (Horror Fiction)

#10

Post by esseff44 » Sat Aug 06, 2016 2:37 pm

AW wrote:
I believe fortunately there aren't enough of them to elect Trump. But there are enough of them to rip apart the old Republican party.
That's the picture I see. I am counting on Trump to keep on being Trump and frightening the old-fashioned conservatives into passively letting Clinton win or following Meg Whitman's example.



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Re: How Donald J. Trump Became President (Horror Fiction)

#11

Post by Plutodog » Sat Aug 06, 2016 2:39 pm

ArthurWankspittle wrote:But there are enough of them to rip apart the old Republican party.
And then where are they? Where are we?


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Re: How Donald J. Trump Became President (Horror Fiction)

#12

Post by RoadScholar » Sat Aug 06, 2016 2:40 pm

Still, people need to talk long and loud about the pointless anger and fabricated outrage, and I don't hear it said often enough.


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Re: How Donald J. Trump Became President (Horror Fiction)

#13

Post by TollandRCR » Sat Aug 06, 2016 3:24 pm

The 1950s do look good and right to many of Trump's older supporters. However, he has too many younger supporters. What attracts them?

It may be the promise of sweeping, easy solutions as promised by The Great Leader. They may not even have a firm idea of what needs solving, just that something is very wrong for them.


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Re: How Donald J. Trump Became President (Horror Fiction)

#14

Post by Volkonski » Sat Aug 06, 2016 3:43 pm

ArthurWankspittle wrote:
TollandRCR wrote:There has been much discussion everywhere of why whites without a college education have become the foundation for Trump's campaign. Part of the answer is that some of them are bewildered, hurting, and angry. The culture that they knew has abandoned them. The economy that once supported them is changing in ways that they find highly suspicious. The suicide rate among males in this category has risen.
My take is that their parents and grandparents came from a golden era of post WWII growth and optimism (to quote the English politician MacMillan : You never had it so good. It was also said or used by the Democrats around the same time, 1957). The white man was king. People could buy houses, cars, consumer goods, go on holidays, etc. What were ethnic minorities probably were, certainly in terms of influence. Two generations later and every other item is made in the third or developing world. Places like Detroit are urban wastelands. Farming is a few percent of the size it was in terms of employment. The few white men who are comfortable are people like plumbers, mechanics, skilled artisans with small businesses and they resent the bureaucracy that government has imposed on them anyway. The unskilled white guy is the alienated, red neck, trailer trash who struggles to find a job and, where he has one, it isn't relatively that well paid. I can understand the resentment but I am at odds with their refusal to accept change. You want cheap fill-in-the-consumer-item then it will be made by someone in the world getting paid $8/week. Making the same item in America by a guy earning >$8/hour and either it won't sell or someone will start making it elsewhere cheaper and undercut you. Stop pretending it is 1950 and realise it is 2016. Trump may be voicing your opinions but he is two faced about it. Voting Trump will make no difference to you getting work (Trump has stuff made outside the US and is infamous for using Polish builders) and the idea of a Trump president will only make things worse because of the opinion of the world markets.
Enough for now. All the above is guesswork and feeling, I haven't looked up anything except the 1957 date of "you never had it so good".
The 1950's were an unusual time that will not come again. The big loss of high paying low skilled American jobs has come from automation. Those jobs are gone for good because those jobs are now automated even in low wage countries. No amount of protectionism will bring those jobs back.

As has already happened in agriculture only a few people will be needed to produce all the products (and many of the services) that people need. Managing this great change in the economy will be difficult. Many people will suffer. These people will be angry. No one likes being told that their skills have become obsolete. No one likes becoming unemployable.

During the great industrialization of Europe and North America there was a safety valve because many displaced people could migrate to western American. There is no such opportunity now.


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Re: How Donald J. Trump Became President (Horror Fiction)

#15

Post by SueDB » Sat Aug 06, 2016 3:45 pm

We may have to start looking at 32 hour or 30 hour full time work weeks (paid as 40 hrs is today) :think:


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Re: How Donald J. Trump Became President (Horror Fiction)

#16

Post by TollandRCR » Sat Aug 06, 2016 4:12 pm

The 1950s were special in another way: the World War II GI Bill. It was arguably the most important social legislation ever enacted in the U.S. (not surprisingly enacted while FDR was alive). It is thought to have influenced the lives and careers of more than seven million veterans. (We had sixteen million people in the war.)

Here was the possibility of owning a house, given the low rate mortgages of the GI Bill. One could go back to high school to finish or move on to college or technical school. If there was not a job to be had, there was a year of unemployment insurance. There was VA medical care (separately provided). It was as if we appreciated what our soldiers had done.

This stimulated the construction market for both houses and school rooms. It stimulated jobs in those sectors. College and universities were deeply affected by the influx of veterans, broadening their mission if they chose to welcome veterans. Then the Federal Government began investing in research, further transforming higher education.

One of the consequences of these social changes was that income inequality in the U.S. declined, and the great American middle class grew.

Few of the direct beneficiaries of the GI Bill survive, but their children are now the Baby Boomers some of whom give Trump their support.

It should be noted that African Americans and Hispanics benefited less from the GI Bill than they should have.


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Re: How Donald J. Trump Became President (Horror Fiction)

#17

Post by ArthurWankspittle » Sat Aug 06, 2016 4:37 pm

SueDB wrote:We may have to start looking at 32 hour or 30 hour full time work weeks (paid as 40 hrs is today) :think:
Like France? (OK sort of it's 35 hours there I think but they do have a lot of holidays too.)


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Re: How Donald J. Trump Became President (Horror Fiction)

#18

Post by Adrianinflorida » Sat Aug 06, 2016 5:00 pm

SueDB wrote:We may have to start looking at 32 hour or 30 hour full time work weeks (paid as 40 hrs is today) :think:
That already exists outside the US. Canada (Ontario, at least) is 38 hours, other countries are trending down
Australia: around 35–40 hours[1]
Belgium: 38 hours
Brazil: 40–44 hours[citation needed]
Chile: 45 hours[citation needed]
Denmark: 37 hours
France: 35 hours (government-mandated)[2]
Germany: 35–40 hours
Iceland: 40 hours
India: 48 hours (As per the Factories Act 1948, an person cannot work for more than 48 hours in a week)
Taiwan: 40 hours [3]
Israel: 43 hours
Italy: 40 hours
Netherlands: 35–40 hours[4]
Norway: 40 hours [5] (often regulated to 37,5 excl lunch break)
Poland: 40 hours
Russia: 40 hours
Sweden: 40 hours (not formally defined)[6]
United Kingdom: 35 hours (not formally defined),[7] 37.5 hours, or 40 hours contracts are all commonplace.



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Re: How Donald J. Trump Became President (Horror Fiction)

#19

Post by TollandRCR » Sat Aug 06, 2016 5:10 pm

The work week for Connecticut state employees is 35 hours. That was also the work week at the private foundation in NYC in which I was employed.

However, a professor's work is never done.


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Re: How Donald J. Trump Became President (Horror Fiction)

#20

Post by Mr. Gneiss » Sat Aug 06, 2016 5:17 pm

There is a frightening similarity with the 1950s though. Trump and his campaign feed on the same fear and loathing as Senator Joe and the Red Scare. For example, the President not being a real American and a radical Islam enabler, and a 1950s Commie sympathizer.



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Re: How Donald J. Trump Became President (Horror Fiction)

#21

Post by TollandRCR » Sat Aug 06, 2016 5:36 pm

There is a personal link as well. Trump's lawyer was Roy Cohn, aide to Sen. McCarthy and perhaps Trump's mentor.


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#22

Post by Sterngard Friegen » Sat Aug 06, 2016 5:49 pm

Speaking of the 1950s, the marginal income tax rates went to 92%. But there were many unusual deductions available which gave enormous incentives for investments and construction. One tax benefit allowed the deduction as expense of "pre paid interest," which allowed land to be purchased and the payment allocated to purchase price and interest. Of course, the income disparities we see today did not exist in those halcyon times.



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Re: How Donald J. Trump Became President (Horror Fiction)

#23

Post by TollandRCR » Tue Feb 28, 2017 10:48 am

I strongly recommend reading a book that I mentioned above: Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J.D. Vance.
So I didn’t write this book because I’ve accomplished something extraordinary. I wrote this book because I’ve achieved something quite ordinary, which doesn’t happen to most kids who grow up like me. You see, I grew up poor, in the Rust Belt, in an Ohio steel town that has been hemorrhaging jobs and hope for as long as I can remember. I have, to put it mildly, a complex relationship with my parents, one of whom has struggled with addiction for nearly my entire life. My grandparents, neither of whom graduated from high school, raised me, and few members of even my extended family attended college. The statistics tell you that kids like me face a grim future—that if they’re lucky, they’ll manage to avoid welfare; and if they’re unlucky, they’ll die of a heroin overdose, as happened to dozens in my small hometown just last year.

I was one of those kids with a grim future. I almost failed out of high school. I nearly gave in to the deep anger and resentment harbored by everyone around me. Today people look at me, at my job and my Ivy League credentials, and assume that I’m some sort of genius, that only a truly extraordinary person could have made it to where I am today. With all due respect to those people, I think that theory is a load of bullshit. Whatever talents I have, I almost squandered until a handful of loving people rescued me.

That is the real story of my life, and that is why I wrote this book. I want people to know what it feels like to nearly give up on yourself and why you might do it. I want people to understand what happens in the lives of the poor and the psychological impact that spiritual and material poverty has on their children. I want people to understand the American Dream as my family and I encountered it. I want people to understand how upward mobility really feels. And I want people to understand something I learned only recently: that for those of us lucky enough to live the American Dream, the demons of the life we left behind continue to chase us.

There is an ethnic component lurking in the background of my story. In our race-conscious society, our vocabulary often extends no further than the color of someone’s skin—“black people,” “Asians,” “white privilege.” Sometimes these broad categories are useful, but to understand my story, you have to delve into the details. I may be white, but I do not identify with the WASPs of the Northeast. Instead, I identify with the millions of working-class white Americans of Scots-Irish descent who have no college degree. To these folks, poverty is the family tradition—their ancestors were day laborers in the Southern slave economy, sharecroppers after that, coal miners after that, and machinists and millworkers during more recent times. Americans call them hillbillies, rednecks, or white trash. I call them neighbors, friends, and family.
Progressive Democrats have seemed to me to have ignored or even scorned these people in recent years. This book may introduce us to a vast population whom we can talk with, come to understand, and win over for 2020.


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Re: How Donald J. Trump Became President (Horror Fiction)

#24

Post by RVInit » Tue Feb 28, 2017 12:12 pm

TollandRCR wrote:I strongly recommend reading a book that I mentioned above: Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J.D. Vance.
So I didn’t write this book because I’ve accomplished something extraordinary. I wrote this book because I’ve achieved something quite ordinary, which doesn’t happen to most kids who grow up like me. You see, I grew up poor, in the Rust Belt, in an Ohio steel town that has been hemorrhaging jobs and hope for as long as I can remember. I have, to put it mildly, a complex relationship with my parents, one of whom has struggled with addiction for nearly my entire life. My grandparents, neither of whom graduated from high school, raised me, and few members of even my extended family attended college. The statistics tell you that kids like me face a grim future—that if they’re lucky, they’ll manage to avoid welfare; and if they’re unlucky, they’ll die of a heroin overdose, as happened to dozens in my small hometown just last year.

:snippity: There is an ethnic component lurking in the background of my story. In our race-conscious society, our vocabulary often extends no further than the color of someone’s skin—“black people,” “Asians,” “white privilege.” Sometimes these broad categories are useful, but to understand my story, you have to delve into the details. I may be white, but I do not identify with the WASPs of the Northeast. Instead, I identify with the millions of working-class white Americans of Scots-Irish descent who have no college degree. To these folks, poverty is the family tradition—their ancestors were day laborers in the Southern slave economy, sharecroppers after that, coal miners after that, and machinists and millworkers during more recent times. Americans call them hillbillies, rednecks, or white trash. I call them neighbors, friends, and family.
Progressive Democrats have seemed to me to have ignored or even scorned these people in recent years. This book may introduce us to a vast population whom we can talk with, come to understand, and win over for 2020.
In many ways this is a description of my own family. I am a middle "child". I was the only one of my sisters to finish high school and go on to college. Both of my other sisters married early, partly to get out of a very dysfunctional household I guess. My escape was band and if it weren't for that I may have gone the same way as my sisters.

In spite of the fact that on EVERY SINGLE ISSUE if you take away the politics and ask them how they feel about sensible regulation to prevent pollution, equal pay for women, support for public land, etc, etc - they agree 100% with the position taken by Democrats. But, Democrats are demons and evil, so they can't vote for them. That opinion is so deeply ingrained in their psyche, I'm not sure how anything else could get through.

I don't get the sense that the 70,000 rust belt voters who put us all in this horrid situation were this kind, but somehow something needs to get through to those people at the very least. And yes, Democrats visiting, talking, learning about them, and most importantly, coming up with ideas that can make a difference for them, can only help. The hardcore, such as my own family, is probably a waste of time for now, but even they can be whittled away at eventually.


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Re: How Donald J. Trump Became President (Horror Fiction)

#25

Post by TollandRCR » Wed Mar 01, 2017 6:21 pm

It is reasonable to assume that hillbillies live in the Appalachians. This ancient mountain chain extends from Alabama deep into Canada. However, hillbillies have migrated, particularly to Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois. The golden years following World War II were not necessarily golden in the Appalachians. The hillbillies took their values with them, particularly the importance of the extended family. It is said in Hillbilly Elegy that on Thanksgiving and Christmas if you watch the license plate on the "hillbilly highway," "...virtually every license plate you see comes from Ohio, Indiana, or Michigan—cars full of hillbilly transplants returning home for the holidays."


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