PASADENA, Calif., May 11, 2016 — West Virginia is one of the most beautiful places in the United States. That’s saying something when you consider the natural beauty that abounds in this vast country.
The Mountain State is much more than just a pretty face. The term “salt of the earth” was likely coined when talking about West Virginians. At least it should have been. These are hardworking people who do the best they can each day to make an honest living to support their families. That sounds corny to coastal sophisticates, but it’s the best way to describe the character of the people in this region.
This is a place that changes your world view. No one can be untouched after talking to the people there or even just reading about the way the people of Appalachia have lived for over a century.
Something interesting happened when the 2016 presidential race made its way into West Virginia and the candidates made their pitches to ask West Virginians to entrust them with the keys to the kingdom.
The issue that West Virginians care the most about is jobs. Many of them work in the coal industry, which has been decimated by President Obama. His policies have eliminated enough coal energy in this country to power Great Britain. That’s a shocking figure at a time of economic uncertainty such as this.
This year, the largest coal producer in the country filed for bankruptcy thanks to onerous EPA regulations and a hostile business climate. That comes as no surprise to people who noticed that 11,000 coal miners lost their jobs in 2015 alone. That loss pales when we realize that EPA regulations could cost the economy over 800,000 jobs, per year.
The EPA’s destructive behavior doesn’t stop there. The agency is corrupt and incompetent, and it covered up a public health disaster that put thousands at risk. The EPA has admitted that its regulations limiting coal consumption aren’t even meant to make a difference in air quality. They are meant to send a message to the rest of the world.
They have certainly sent a message to the people of West Virginia, and they don’t look like they care for it.
The left’s phony climate change argument relies on numbers that have been debunked time and time again. The left’s argument is nothing more than an emotional plea. That might not seem like a big deal to those who think it would be nice if the world were powered by solar, but people and lives are being destroyed by liberal hysteria and pandering.
Bill Maher said on his show that we don’t need coal because we have the sun. Solar power is getting cheaper, but coal remains a necessary driver of not just America’s economy, but the world’s. Research on alternative energy sources must continue, but this administration has decided to eliminate coal outright, and that’s not only wrong but immoral.
Knowing how dire the situation is for coal miners, Hillary Clinton might at least have feigned sympathy and pretended that she questions Obama’s anti-coal policies. No. In a remarkable campaign blunder, Clinton bragged that coal was going to disappear under her reign.
Stories of EPA incompetence and oppression are striking, but they don’t move you the way that the first-hand stories of West Virginians do. This video clip illustrates the situation perfectly and explains why coal miners are leaning toward Donald Trump. It also shows how badly Clinton’s strange comment will hurt her.
West Virginians can’t support a Democrat in the fall. They just can’t, unless they want to lose everything that they have worked for over generations. If these images of boarded-up businesses and for sale signs don’t move you, then nothing will.
The GOP nomination race is over, but West Virginians still had every reason to go to the polls on Tuesday. Their livelihoods are on the line; the futures of their families hang in the balance.
In the Republican contest, West Virginia went for Trump. There is no doubt he earned their vote. He was the only candidate in the race who spoke to them directly and let them know he has their back.
Bernie Sanders defeated Clinton, who won the state in 2008. Almost half those who voted for Sanders said in the exit polls that they would vote for Trump in November. Trump will be the favorite to win West Virginia in the general election.
Why? Coal is the lifeblood of West Virginia and much of Appalachia and a cheap, reliable source of energy for America. Trump gets it. When will the rest of the country?