Editor’s Note: Miners feeling ditched by Clinton

Nolan Finley
The Detroit News

Want a clue to why Donald Trump is so popular among blue collar workers in America’s traditional industries?

Listen to Hillary Clinton this week: “We’re going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business,” the smiling Democratic presidential front-runner told an audience Sunday.

She meant she’d continue putting those miners and their employers out of business. During the Obama presidency, the coal industry has lost 50,000 jobs. These are good-paying — $40 an hour with benefits is typical — jobs in places where coal mines are about the only route to the middle class.

These used to be solid Democratic voters, union members. The party has deserted them, as Clinton so honestly expressed.

Clinton, realizing how her words would be taken in states like Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia and Kentucky, as well as the western coal fields, quickly vowed to commit $30 billion to retrain the miners whose jobs she is pledged to killing.

The coastal elites who are funding Clinton’s campaign see that as a fine solution — replace private sector jobs with a lot of government job training programs — but what exactly will the miners be retrained to do?

A huge IT company is not going to locate in Appalachia to employ thousands of former miners. Windmills and solar panels aren’t going to be built in the deep hollows of West Virginia.

Once the coal jobs are gone in those places, so is the prosperity. Most of the displaced miners know they’ll never hold a decent job again, at least not near their current homes.

That’s why they’re done with politicians like Clinton who see them and their jobs as expendable as they pander to the Democrats’ new preferred constituency, and are so susceptible to Trump’s promises to protect them.