Promises made, promises broken: How Trump Betrayed the Autoworkers of Youngstown, Ohio

***Ms. G’s notes: The Rolling Stone has always published excellent investigative journalist articles; the article I sourced is just one of many. If you have the time, read it. In a nutshell, President Obama won the Mahoning Valley but then came Trump who won it in 2016, which helped him win the state and ultimately and unfortunately, the People’s House.

I rode through your beautiful roads coming up from the airport. And I was looking at some of those big, once-incredible, job-producing factories, and Melania said, “What happened?” I said, “Those jobs have left Ohio . . . but they’re all coming back.” Don’t move. Don’t sell your house. — President Donald TrumpYoungstown, Ohio, 2017

The article centers on a man named Dan Aurilio who grew up in the Youngstown, Ohio area and worked at Lordstown Motors but had to move to Indiana when the plant closed. He was one of those people who Trump told not to sell their house but eventually, Aurilio had to.

Initially, Aurilio and a coworker moved into an apartment together in Fort Wayne, Indiana, In 2019, he uprooted his family to Indiana…another state, another city, another place where they had no familial ties. His wife was pretty much devastated.

On a snowy morning in January 2019, Aurilio went into his son’s playroom to say goodbye and fell on the carpet. He wept like he had never wept before. “Did you ever see Mel Gibson in Ransom, right after his son was kidnapped?” asks Aurilio. “I was like that.”

Things are better now that his wife and son are with him. They sold their house outside Youngstown last year. On the day they packed up, Aurilio saw his neighbor, a friend and co-worker, crying on his lawn mower.

Aurilio looks out at Landon and the fields surrounding his new house in this strange town. “He (his son) had so many friends back home,” he says. “The first night here, I was awake and just kept thinking, ‘What the hell did I do to my family?’”

(***Yes, the RS article brings up Bruce Springsteen’s song, Youngstown).

Workers at the Lordstown plant kept wondering when Trump would get involved and save their jobs; he never did. Senator Sherrod Brown tried to engage Trump but he never responded. As Trump does with most people in his orbit, he used them then casted them aside when he no longer needed them.

On November 26th, 2018, GM announced the plant would be closing, a second Black Monday for Youngstown. It was only then that Trump acted — by sending out angry tweets to Barra and searching for a scapegoat. He chose Brown. “Well, it’s one plant in Ohio,” said Trump. “But I love Ohio. And I told them: You’re playing around with the wrong person. And Ohio wasn’t properly represented by their Democrat senator, Senator Brown.”

Brown predicts Joe Biden will take Ohio back for the Democrats. It won’t be just because of Lordstown, but the closing is a symbol of the president’s phoniness. “There are so many betrayals and broken promises,” says Brown. “If he had done anything close to what he said he would, he’d win re-election, even with his racism and his mean-spiritedness and incompetence. But he didn’t.” Right now, Ohio is a dead heat, and a Trump loss here would be a deathblow. Brown began walking across the UAW’s lawn to a waiting car. “That’s why he’s going to lose.”

Currently, FiveThirtyEight has Trump and VP Biden in a statistical tie, as well as Real Clear Politics:

But, in case you feel the need to sell your house in Youngstown, this is the going price, pennies on the dollar.

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