LOGAN, W.Va. — Part of the mainstream media’s coverage of the election of Donald Trump, has involved a turning of attention to West Virginia and, in particular, the coalfields.
The New Yorker, CBS News and Al Jazeera English are among others who have sought answers to the questions which explain the meteoric rise of a man whom was deemed unelectable by many in the mainstream.
The people of the coalfields have, in many ways, become representative of a slice of the Trump electorate.
Trump’s message to rust belt and other voters was clear.
He argued between trade deals, regulation and failure of the government, people in communities like the coalfields had been left behind — a forgotten class of Americans.
The message resonated in the coalfields, and, during this election season, Logan saw two pro-Trump political offices established within city limits.
Trump carried Logan County with 9,866 votes to Clinton’s 2,082.
His promises to put miners back to work clearly energized the area.
When juxtaposed with Clinton’s message (intended or not) that she would put miners out of work, West Virginia became one of Trump’s strongest bastions — registering even “redder” than Texas on the political color scale.
Al Jazeera English recently visited the Logan Banner to discuss the perception of economic possibilities brought by the outcome of the election.
The group also spoke with local business owner Diane Barnette and delegate Rupie Phillips.
A common theme of discussion by Reporter Allen Schauffler, with Al Jazeera, was the possibility of a rebound in the area’s coal economy.
Barnette noted that many in the coalfields are not under the delusion the coal industry will return to its heyday; however, Barnette added she expected the industry to move forward from where it stands today.
Barnette was also careful to add the area’s economy must still diversify if it is to survive.
With around two months until Trump’s inauguration, those questions have some time to be answered, and the mainstream media will undoubtedly continue its examination into areas of the country like the coalfields.
Owen Wells is a reporter for Civitas Media. He can be reached at 304-752-6950 ext. 1729 or by email at [email protected]