Donald Trumps message resonates in the most forgotten corners of the US, because viewed from these places, America no longer seems a great country
The first voter I heard mention Donald Trumps name was a mechanic in a small town near my upstate New York home. It was days after Trump announced his run, and I was at the start of a drive across the United States.
The man, like many Trump supporters then, didnt want his name used or his picture taken. An outraged press was loudly mocking Trump and he was embarrassed. But he was clear why he would vote for Trump. Theres no American dream for anyone who isnt a lawyer or banker, he said. Everyone else, we are getting a raw deal. Immigrants are taking all our jobs.
As I pressed on, putting over 100,000 miles on my car, I heard a steady and growing crescendo of support for Trump one that changed from embarrassment to pride.
In the early days of the election, most were like Robert McAdams, 78, of Peru, Nebraska: older whites who had dedicated their lives working in the communities where they were born. He owned a gas station, and spun a long tale of opportunities lost and grievances mostly voiced at government, many of them arcane and petty.
He was obtuse about whom to blame, other than a vague them, but he was emphatic about the solution: We need to get this country straight again.