LOS ANGELES, May 11, 2016 — In West Virginia, Christmas came early for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. Meanwhile, coal country gave former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton heaping lumps of their fine product.
With 93 percent of the vote counted, Sanders gave Clinton a shellacking, 51.4 percent to 36 percent. Clinton horrified West Virginia voters several days earlier in a disastrous sit-down with several coal miners. She has vowed over the years to put coal miners out of business. President Barack Obama has followed through on that promise, devastating the West Virginia economy. Now Clinton seeks to continue shutting down mines to satisfy the hard left’s obsession with climate change. She continues to brag about “green collar jobs” that have never existed.
When West Virginia coal miner Bo Copley tearfully told Clinton of his job loss, she responded with bureaucratic indifference. Copley publicly stated that she lied to his face about her stand on coal. Clinton claimed that her words were taken out of context, which also was proven false. Given a choice between her leftist environmentalist base and workers who are trying to feed their families, she will side with the climate change cultists every time.
For one brief moment, the blue-collar workers who provide energy to large swaths of Americans fought back.
Clinton may not be derailed in the Democratic primary. Bernie Sanders trails in the pledged delegate count, and the superdelegates and the Democrat National Committee will ensure that Clinton wins. However, Clinton is still unable to transition to the general election matchup.
Donald Trump easily won the Nebraska and West Virginia GOP primaries as the only Republican left in the race. Clinton is staggering on her way to the Democrat nomination. While one primary in one state does not represent the entire nation, it does provide a picture that should have Democrats in a state of sheer panic.
In 2008, Clinton obliterated Illinois Sen. Barack Obama in West Virginia 67 percent to 26 percent. West Virginians felt Obama was far too liberal. Clinton ran to his right as the more moderate, reasonable alternative. In 2016, Clinton attempted the same strategy against somebody who may be even further to the left than Obama. West Virginia voters are not hayseeds. They know Sanders will be every bit as destructive for the coal industry as Clinton and Obama. They also know that Sanders was bright enough to keep his mouth shut. They detested Clinton’s utter indifference toward their livelihood.
Trump and Clinton are both running on a promise to create jobs. In West Virginia coal country, the voters believed Trump. They did not believe Clinton. They know she hates them.
Clinton truly believes that coal will go the way of the dinosaur and that she can retrain every miner to make solar panels. She offers grand visions. She has a plan for everything. What she still has not figured out is that workers trying to feed their families are not interested in utopian fantasies. The car needs repairing, the kids need braces, and the high prices of beef and corn mean ramen noodles for dinner instead of steaks. West Virginia coal miners are too proud to take handouts. They just want their government to leave them alone so they can go to church, watch a ballgame and eat and drink whatever they want without Hillary Clinton’s interference.
Democrats would make matters much worse by blaming sexism on her West Virginia loss. When she defeated Obama in 2008, there were liberal whispers that she won due to racism. The real truth is that white working class voters are being crushed. They see illegal immigrants pushing down wages and are tired of being told that their anxiety is just anti-Hispanic bigotry. West Virginians work hard, play by the rules, pay taxes and keep falling further behind. They see politicians like Clinton and Obama and wonder when human beings will have as much value as trees and grass.
Hillary Clinton was given a warning in the form of a giant blaring red siren. Her husband won election by telling middle-class Americans, “I feel your pain.” She goes out of her way to show that she does not care one bit over the suffering of people she has contempt for. Trump is expected to exploit this perceived indifference for all it is worth.
If Hillary Clinton really wants to be president, she needs to learn the lesson of West Virginia. There are plenty of hard-working Americans who want to keep the jobs they have. They are not interested in Buck Rogers 25th-century rich white liberal nonsense. They want to feed their families and will vote for whoever can best help them do that and then get out of the way.
As a politician far more talented than Hillary Clinton once said, “It’s the economy, stupid.”