In his speech after Tuesday's election, Donald Trump referred to America's "forgotten men and women" who propelled him to victory. Think blue-collar workers in the manufacturing towns of the Rust Belt and the hollowing coalfields of Appalachia, write Amy Forliti and Claire Galofaro for the AP. These people felt left behind by progress, laughed at by the elite, and so put their faith in the billionaire businessman who promised to Make America Great Again. Not all of Trump's support came from the blue-collar downtrodden. But the Republican's overwhelming backing among whites with less than a college education is at least partly a reflection of how little the economic recovery since the Great Recession has benefited them. Their job opportunities have dwindled and their incomes have fallen, even as broader measures of the nation's job market show improvement.
But they also turned to Trump to hold back the tide of social change: same-sex marriage, transgender rights, a society growing more racially diverse. Trump promised to build the wall to keep out immigrants. He promised to tear up trade deals that have ushered American factory jobs overseas. He promised to put blue-collar America back to work and restore the country to a time when white workers felt appreciated and fulfilled. "We are considered flyover country, as you well know, and they don't care about us," said 66-year-old small-business owner Scott Hilten of Wisconsin, his "they" referring to those in DC. "And I think it was the silent majority that finally said, 'Enough's enough. We want a change. We don't like the way things are going.'" Says another supporter: "Working-class people built this country and now the working-class people have been forgotten. It's about time they paid attention." Click for the full story.