Lyndon Baines Johnson in 1964 buried Barry Goldwater in West Virginia, 67.9 percent to 32.1 percent. By 2016, Trump completely reversed that landslide by defeating Hillary Clinton 67.9 percent to 26.2 percent. What happened to turn such a deep blue state into flaming red?
The Democratic Party establishment has a simple explanation: West Virginians are so hung up on cultural issues like guns, gays, abortion and their mythical self-image as “coal country” that they vote against their own material interests.
Sanders again tellingly addressed the gross inequalities and abuses the working class endures in this society controlled by the corporate elite. Sanders advocates for Medicare for all, free higher education, $15 an hour minimum wage affordable housing, dramatically higher taxes on the rich and their corporations, for the need to combat climate change, the end to mass incarceration. In his speech, he advocates for a 21stCentury Economic Bill of Rights, a direct challenge to the neoliberal austerity measures pushed by the two corporate parties. He outlines programs that most US people want-- issues where the trade union leadership, if it were doing its job, would be leading the charge. Yet his speech was clearly one to rally people to vote Democratic and defeat the evil Republicans, a speech pushing people to once again believe in this never-say-die pipedream of reforming the Democratic Party.