Just because all the news that’s fit to print emanates from Manhattan in no way means that New York City is the epicenter of the information universe. In fact, the traditional centers of news and commerce might actually be some of the last places that receive the memo that American greatness is in its twilight fade.
I like getting my communiques from other places, with names like Flint, Michigan, Youngstown, Ohio, and Gary, Indiana. These once great manufacturing hubs are examples of what happens to empires when the middle’s hollowed out. Of course, politicians feign interest in some of these places simply because it’s the silly season and they’re out on the stump for votes and gathering super delegates.
Belt Magazine publishes longform, investigative journalism—another tradition from America’s past that’s all but disappeared—about the Rust Belt. And as Belt’s founder, Anne Trubek, notes, while many national publications have picked up on a few trends highlighting “revitalization” and “cool hipster breweries,” these are simply one “pole” of a larger narrative, one that also must address our urban ruins, like parts of Detroit.
Every week, I get a wrap of links about the Rust Belt, showing up as a tweet from the gang at Belt. Too often, even after favoriting that week’s wrap, I forget to go back and read even one or two of these articles. Not this week, however.
There was this one in U.S. News & World Report, about how both parties have failed the Rust Belt. That runs counter to the New York Times need to lift up Hillary Clilnton, now that Dems aren’t “feeling the Bern,” or trumpet the tired and trite “racism” meme about Donald Trump.
It’s rare to read anything in mainstream publications that take Democrats to task for their abandonment of working-class Americans (which is the group, by-and-large that Trump is attracting). Charles Wheelan clearly delineates those Democrat failures (as well at the Republican Party’s, also).
While I might not agree with Wheelan’s prescription in its entirety—which he assigns the moniker of “Capitalism 3.0”—at least he’s willing to say that maintaining the status quo for another four years as offered by the establishment wing of both parties won’t work—and American ruins located within the Rust Belt will continue circling the drain.