In this week’s issue of The Nation:

One September night in the western Pennsylvania borough of Monaca, a disillusioned resident told a labor canvasser that he’d once “backed all of the Democrats all the way through,” only to realize “both sides” were “really full of shit.” Then he said something I heard often during my week in the region: “If all these factories were still running here, we’d all still have jobs.”

In the mostly white, once unionized, postindustrial towns around Pittsburgh, outsourcing casts a long shadow over undecided or uninspired voters. As Working America, an AFL-CIO affiliate for nonunion employees, tries to mobilize working-class voters for the election and beyond, offshored jobs are the ever-present context. They underlie the strongest indictments of both presidential candidates, and they’ve shaped something else: a sense that the past outstrips the future. People in this depressed region feel there’s a disconnect between the debates in Washington, DC, and the steady decline in Washington, Pennsylvania. “I’m not voting anymore,” one woman told a canvasser. “I’m done.” Her husband added, “Get the fuck off my porch.”

Read it here.


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