The Democrats’ Davos ideology won’t win back the midwest

I am a midwesterner too, and I like to think I share the values and outlook of that part of the country. I have spent many of the last 15 years trying to understand my region’s gradual drift to the political right. And I have spent the last three weeks driving around the deindustrialized midwest, visiting 13 different cities to talk about the appeal of Donald Trump and what ails the Democratic Party. I met labor leaders and progressive politicians; average people and rank-and-file union members; senior citizens and Millennials; sages and cranks.

Along the way I gawked at abandoned factory complexes and at Gothic-style water filtration plants. I visited affluent college towns and crumbling relics of twentieth-century prosperity. I ate pork tenderloins in Iowa and ribeye steaks in Indiana and “fast-casual Italian offal” (as a friend called it) in a bohemian zone of Chicago. I saw countless old fighter planes mounted on pedestals. I stood in a union hall in Indianapolis and breathed in that glorious odor of industrial beer mixed with decades of cigarette residue, the sweet fragrance of my youth.

– The Guardian

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