How a Democrat can win in Trumpland | Anywhere but Washington


[Music] How’s the economy
doing round here? It has done
much better. The mines are
starting to come back. There’s more people
going back to work. [Music] Do you think the president’s
made much difference? I think he has
as far as I’m concerned. He’s bringing jobs back. He’s done amazing
for our country. [Music] West Virginia’s third
congressional district, where Trump won 73%
of the vote in 2016 and few people seem
to have any regrets. So what kind of Democrat
could win here? [Music] Hi, how are you?
Yeah, we’re all for you. Meet Richard Ojeda,
retired army major, populist Democrat and former Trump voter. Republicans would call
this Trump country. It’s not Trump country.
Believe me. When a person
that’s filthy rich says things like:
“People need to learn to live within their means,”
they have no concept of what life is like
to a single parent trying to put
food on the table. We have a lot of politicians
out there that claim to be with the people
but they don’t show up. You know, I show up. [Applause] A meeting of United
Mine Workers of America and a chance to learn
more about Ojeda’s politics. When we get to the point
where all we have is the filthy rich
and the dirt poor, the dirt poor will eat
the filthy rich. The majority of the people
across America are not the elite. Far more of the
working class citizens than they are
anything else. Do you think the millionaires
and billionaire class of America sort of
knows how people … They don’t …
They cannot relate. And look, I’ve got nothing
against a person that’s wealthy but, you know, the people
that are in power, they can’t relate
to these people. You’re pro-coal.
– Yep. What does that mean
in policy terms? I’m pro-coalminer, OK?
I believe that there still is a need for coal
but, in terms of energy, we need to stop lying to
people and telling them that “oh, coal’s … coal’s going
to be king again.” It’s not. How we doing, sir?
I’m going alright. Ojeda’s honesty may
be admirable but it’s also risky. When I last came here in 2016,
Trump was promising to breathe life into a
dying coal industry. Two years on, more coal trains
are running but the long-term outlook for the industry
is still bleak. But the optics
look good for Trump: heading into midterms
with a strong economy and low unemployment. [Music] 5pm in Keith’s bar
and shift change at a nearby coalmine. I’m sure your dad
worked in the mines, your dad works
in the mines, your dad worked
in the mines, your grandfather
worked in the coalmines. Is there anyone here
didn’t vote for Trump? [Laughter]
You moved a bit! You moved a bit
as if you were going to put your hand up
or something like that. What do you think
of Richard Ojeda? I’ve known him since
I was about 12 years old but don’t think of him
too favourably. – He says he’s pro-coal. He’s not pro-coal.
What he’ll do is he’ll try to sell out
the idea that he is. He, you know, of course,
is supported by unions but none of the groups
that he belongs to or hangs out with
is for coal, he doesn’t have
a political history that’s supportive of coal,
so he’s anti-coal. – You sound like you don’t
trust that he’s authentic, he’s not the real deal. You need to dig into
the substance of the individual and you will see:
is this person going to be representative
of the things I hold true and dear? And if you’re a conservative,
absolutely not. Nojeda all the way.
Nojeda. Driving back, I came across
the same slogan. Can you show me
what’s going on here? Anti-coal.
Anti-coal. Anti-coal and gas. What else do
I need to say? That guy, Richard Ojeda,
he’s a Democrat. He’s a friend
of mine, actually. He’s a friend of yours?
– Yeah. What do you
think of him? My son went to
school with him. They wrestled together. I’m sad to see since he’s
got out of the army he’s basically a socialist
and I’m not. I’m a Donald Trump man. Donald J Trump. A billionaire from New York
that represents working men and women
in this country. So who’s paying for it?
– Miners Dig It Pac. Coalmining Pac?
– Yes. Pro-coal?
– Yes. Who pays for it? I’m not going to reveal
that to you. I’m going to give
you the answer that Krystal Ball with
People’s House Project will give you if you ask her
who her contributors are. This wasn’t the first person
to mention Krystal Ball and her leftwing political
action committee that helps working
class candidates. I’d heard she be attending
a Democratic party fundraiser for veterans
and sharing a table with Ojeda, who was
scheduled to speak. [Singing US national anthem] Oh, say can you see
by the dawn’s early light … The third congressional
district nominee: Senator Richard Ojeda. [Cheering] Since becoming
a state senator I’ve seen that we’ve got
to work to get big money out
of politics. I know what it’s like
to be surrounded but that’s OK
because I’m a paratrooper and I do my best work
when I’m surrounded. [Applause] After the dinner,
a chance to ask Ball about the money
she receives from the founders of
LinkedIn and Facebook. Krystal, an important
question for all Pacs: who funds you? I mean, we have a lot
of donors, large and small but, look, there’s a lot … – Do you have any
millionaires or billionaires? Certainly. We do.
Of course. Is that a problem,
do you think? It’s not a problem
because they don’t … I mean, he was just
talking about not taking big
money, right? Yeah. Big money donors.
But if you have, sort of, millionaires
and billionaires who are bankrolling you … Well, we take only
individual contributions, he takes only
individual contributions. But if they’re billionaires
from Silicon Valley, that sort of runs counter
to the ethos of what I just heard
up there. What’s the sort of interest
of the donors? I mean, what they get out
of it is the hope that there isn’t going to be
something more dramatic than a political solution
or action taken at the polls. They way that we’re
going right now is not going to end well
for anyone, the rich least of all. But there’s something sad
about politics that the guy running here
in this part of West Virginia, in order to get ahead,
has to go to Silicon Valley and bid for money. Well, is there money here?
Not a lot. Not a lot. She’s right about that. Ojeda’s district is one of
the poorest in the nation. Almost 90% of the $2m
he’s raised has come from outside of
West Virginia. It’s similar in other
House races, where Democratic
candidates have a cash advantage
over Republicans. Ojeda’s not taking
corporate donations, unlike his
Republican opponent, but does it matter
when a leftwing populist is bankrolled by
coastal elites? My opponent, right now,
is going to say, “oh, my gosh! Ojeda’s went
out there to California!” I have. I have, ladies
and gentlemen. And I’ve sat down
with people. I sat and ate breakfast with
the number-two guy in Google. I tell them we have
great incentives for you to come
to West Virginia. Bring Google,
bring Amazon. Tech billionaires don’t
normally care about coalminers. I think that they do. I went out there
and spoke to some of these people that are
independently wealthy and, you know what,
they actually care. They know that the
east and west coast of America has enjoyed
prosperity and they know that we have nothing
but poverty in the middle-American
Appalachia. A lot of the people
out in California are in this fight
and want to help people all across America
because if they wouldn’t, I wouldn’t have received
so much wonderful support from people in
that area. My opponent has
a net worth of $11m and she just got
$750,000 from, you know, a Pac from basically the
president of the United States Pac. Do you think any of the
Democrats in here sort of care that you
voted for Trump? 30% of the Democrats
in this area voted for Trump. He’s looking around
at the people that are struggling
and the coal industry was struggling severely. Do you regret that vote? I’m happy with the fact
that our coalminers, right now, are working
and that the trains are moving with coal
so I’m not going to say I regret the vote
but I’m going to say that there’s some things
that I don’t believe he’s doing that
he should be doing as the leader
of this country. It may seem strange
to hear a Democrat holding back on
criticism of the president but this is a place
where coal is shipped on railway carriages
nicknamed “Trump trains”. Before leaving, I visited
two people I met here
back in 2016. Hello!
– Hey! How you doing, friend?
– Come on in, pal. Can I come in?
Good to see you? – Come on in. It’s been two years,
I think. It’s been two years, yeah. Yeah. I know. I heard that the pensions
for coalminers around here were not as good
as they should be. 210? – $200 is your pension. So, how do you get by
on $234 a month? [Advert] “I’m trying to
fight for the people that work for a living. You know,
look at these houses. These are not big houses
but make no mistake about it, everybody that lives
in these houses are hard-working people
and they deserve to be able to have
a nice life. If I don’t feel
what they’re doing is going to benefit
the people, they need not
darken my doorstep.” Are you going
to vote for him? – Are you fed up
with them? You don’t know if
you’re going to vote again? Why not? Frank doesn’t have
much faith in politicians but, since I last saw him,
he’s rediscovered faith in something else. Nobody has to live in sin!
– That’s right. Through God,
you can be set free! He wanted me
to meet his pastor. Did you work
in the coalmines? And tell me a bit about
the community here. The mood has changed
in West Virginia since Trump’s election
but I wonder if that has as much to do
with culture as coal. Mining is the lifeblood
of this community and there are few
other sources of hope. Woo!
Yeah, hallelujah! Yes Lord!
Yes Lord!

Maurice Vega

100 Responses

  1. Just think about this is all about confidence. Barack gave poor blacks some confidence and trump is giving the same to poor white folks.

  2. It’s terrible that he lost. How do people keep voting against their own self-interests? These people are hopeless.

  3. Love Trump and everything he is doing and done, I have never in my life seen a politician actually DO things! My family in 7 states couldnt agree more! You will find alot of people in the comments speaking for Trump and using fear mongering to push their own liberal bias…what an absolute JOKE, Trump has talked many times on transitioning to cleaner energy but that takes time and you have millions of people who need the energy, elon musk said he has talked with Trump about phasing out coal and pushing these people towards a new career path in affordable energy…but I dont expect any of you to get past the CNN big red headline ahahaha

  4. Ojeda looks worse by association with the wider Democratic party which has unequivocally embraced identity politics, though the same could be said of the Republicans with their comparative racialization of US politics. Ojeda should distance himself for the Dems and run as an Independent. Embrace the ideas of the founders. Do away with party politics, the bought and paid for political movements now married to corporate special interests, and certainly do away with tribalistic battle lines, which these two parties have embraced. Americans need professional stability and healthcare, and to reconcile with each other finally. It's okay to disagree. It's okay to follow Trump. It's okay to cherish Obama's presidency. A house divided against itself cannot stand. West Virginia seems to be such a beautiful place. Blue mountains are beautiful!

  5. yea. who owns the mine. trumpy makes such lying conflating claims. rich corporate american interests simply scour the world for cheap labor. thats what happened. bring back coal? wtf? trumpys advisors are the most gross people EVER. (politically clueless – trumpy advisors see them as cannon fodder. easily fooled)

  6. So sick of hearing the word coastal elites. Being urban poor from a working class neighborhood is a hell of a lot more difficult than rural. You drop anyone of these ignorant hicks in a white or diverse working class area of any major city- on the east in particular, they would be crying like babies in no time.

  7. Coal-mining towns are either dead or dying because the coal industry doesn't invest any of their profits into the community while destroying the environment and poisoning the people. Once the resources are depleted they pack up and move on to the next site, "sayonara suckers" style.

  8. Why you can not understand that we don't vote for Babykillers abortionists… Patriots are all the way with President TRUMP 2020

  9. A billionaire from New York who represents the working men and women of this country…

    Man, you really gotta be dumb to believe such a thing…

  10. I'm not rich but I'm not buying what democrats are selling. They sell fear, division and racism. They pit black vs white, gay vs straight, citizens vs immigrants, men vs women. I'm Latino but I won't vote democrat because they want to spread hate for whites and they will do the same to blacks if they lose the black vote. Look at all democrat cities, all crime ridden ghettos. I'm a native New Yorker and it's a dump.

  11. Yet the jobs are back and these guys have for their livelihood cuz of Trump, it is very obvious who has ill will against these hard working miners and want to see them starve and its not Trump…

  12. I don't think these coal miners think they are better than other people, they just want the job their families have always had. Part of the problem we have is the Democrats and the unions have allowed,even encouraged the dollar being devalued. Every time you print more to pay for federal wage hikes it brings the value down and you pay more for what you need,ie. a nickle candy bar now costs over a dollar. Go back to a money standard to base the value on, then it will have value.

  13. Those guys at the bar are trapped by their own small thinking. They believe all they can do is mine coal because that's what their daddy and their daddy's daddy did before them. Maybe they should consider careers in industries that aren't going extinct.

  14. I know everyone is saying " Ohh Trump doesn't care" Well look he's putting money in their pockets right? That's sure as hell more than they were getting over the last two decades! Sorry but these people are doing better and are happier. So maybe it's not much coal but those trains are moving. I felt bad that this narrator almost wanted to bring them down.

  15. Ok I think we should all be honest and stop lying to ourselves, trump won because of his rhetoric on jobs, not because of racism.

  16. You people are being misled coal is one of the most prevalent and cleanest fuels in the world if you depleat the source there move on that's mining. Carbon tax is a money grab no such thing as global warming that's why they changed the name to climate change as the world temperature is now falling.

  17. Billionaires control the political system that tells you the hole story. I wonder what our country will look like 20 years from now.

  18. The most scary one was the scene of the man who lives off an oxygen tank thanks to black lungs from coal
    Saying he voted for Trump, he hates Obamacare which pays for his oxygen that keeps him alive
    With the way Obamacare was gutted the past two years, he probably lost his tank and most likely his life
    and that was what he wanted for.
    Scary!
    I remember a rally in which someone says they hate Obamacare but love the Affordable Care Act…

  19. Ojeda lost by 16 points by committing the great political sin of being honest with voters, in this case the dim long term prospects for coal. People tend to vote for those who tell them the lies they want to hear. What happened to coal more than anything else was 1.7 million methane/fracking wells. Power plants switched to much cheaper methane. I don't fault these WV voters for voting what they saw as their best interests. I feel bad that they will be more roadside debris along the trump trail. In the end they are victims of changing economics and increased urbanization. I don't think any politician will be able to change their economic course, though the promises will be made.

  20. Ojeda lost by 12 points in his last election and now he wants to run for president? He’s really scamming you Progs. Isn’t he? smh

  21. Funny thing is trump would rather lay on a bed of nails then spend 5 minutes with "these kind of people." Well, as long as the nails were gold plated. I put it in quotes because that's what trump would say, not me. He does not like being around "the common masses of filth" that flock to his rallies. But he sure likes being seen on camera being adored.

  22. What has Socialism to do with coal mines closing down? Why are so many working class Americans against Socialism when so many of them would benefit from it?

  23. "He's a billionaire from New York who represents the working class". Wtf!?!?!? Are these people ok drugs? That's the absolute stupidest thing I've ever heard. A billionaire from New York is the antithesis of the working class. God help these people.

  24. The Guardian is a commie rag from England. That word "free" is a very alluring word and socialists use it often. If you could eliminate the human emotion of envy, then socialism would cease to exist.

  25. Trump kept his promises and brought back jobs and all you ppl in the comments are bitter that these people are back at work.

  26. On November 6, 2018, Ojeda was defeated in the general election by 12 points, winning 44% of the vote to Carol Miller's 56%. For Democrats, this was a 32-point improvement in performance from the previous election.

  27. These poor suckers for Trump to dumb to understand that the world is going renewable , even Germany is shutting down its coal mines . Chile who used coal and gas now has 40% renewable .
    While there is a market for coal things will be good , the question is how much longer will that last.
    Times are changing and it is happening fast if you are not ready or refuse to change from the old ways you will suffer greatly .

  28. Of course The Guardian and its smug Paul Lewis would try to discredit a left-wing populist. Like when they sold out and shilled for Hillary for 2016.

  29. Just guy join the wrong party why in the hell would you take the Democratic party maybe he got some shrapnel behind his ear in Afghanistan or Iraq

  30. it was BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA that said ' people need to live within their own means ' …..you silly chucklehead SMH
    nice try tho

  31. Coal is just about in the same boat as the buggy whip. Trump can't save coal or anyone in West Virginia. People in WV complaining about socialism are ignorant of the fact that tax breaks given to large corporations who write off so many expenses barely pay any taxes at all. Check out how much tax GE, Amazon, Walmart, etc pay. Even Trump pays less tax now for his and his Republican friends, the same. Anyone is is waiting for Trump to help them is delusional.

  32. You're a DEM and your are lying to these people! Things are looking better since Pres. Trump got in office. The Dems are keeping the poor, poor!

  33. still can't find or get a job in some parts of West Virginia, sadly McDowell county with 9.4% unemployed…

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