Beyond the bubbles of the big cities and elite college campuses is an America that values community over careers, and has faced a downward trajectory for decades
By Chris Arnade in Youngstown, Ohio / The Guardian / Tuesday, February 21, 2017
Anthony Rice’s house in Youngstown, Ohio is a mile away from a river valley once filled with factories offering jobs. Many of those left in the 1980s, and with them, many residents.
His home is one of the few occupied on the street. Empty lots or boarded-up homes make up most of the block. He points to those remaining, listing his neighbors and their age. They are all over 70. “This neighborhood is okie-dokie, although not much goes down here”, he says. “Stores used to be all around here, but they mostly gone. The people left are either too old to move or waiting for someone to buy them out.”
The road itself is a patchwork of potholes. “This street hasn’t been paved in like forever. They just don’t care about us. But we used to that.”
Youngstown is the largest city in Mahoning County, Ohio, where Donald Trump narrowly lost a county Barack Obama won twice easily. That was partly because turnout in Youngstown – which is lower income, younger, and close to half African American – dropped by roughly 15%.
It was a blueprint replicated across the US – getting just enough working class, older and wealthier suburban whites to flip and turn out for Trump, while a small enough sliver of minorities and younger white voters did not turn out. It was achieved in just the right places: Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.