Fanfare for the working man | AspenTimes.com

Fanfare for the working man

An Indiana native, I wasn't surprised when the Hoosier State's Democratic U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly lost his job in the recent election. Donald Trump and former Indiana Gov. Mike Pence came after him teeth bared and, actually, I wonder how Donnelly ever got elected in the first place.

Other than the industrialized Calumet Region in the northwest corner of the state, where I hail from and has traditionally been dominated by Chicago-style machine politics and unions, Indiana is awash with evangelical fascists like Pence.

Martinsville, Indiana, is not only the home of John Wooden, but the one-time headquarters of the KKK. Birch Bayh is just about the only prominent Democratic politician I can think of to come out of the state.

Upon returning to my roots recently, I noticed the white portion of the Calumet Region was turning somewhat red. This could be an example of how the Democrats have lost their base.

Barack Obama talked about people "clinging to their Bibles and their guns," and many working men thought he was referring to them. Hillary Clinton described Trump supporters as "deplorables," and the salt-of-the-earth types saw the finger pointed their way.

Yes, some of the working class are racist and xenophobic, even fewer violently so. There is no excuse for racism, but I think we can cut them some slack. These people built this fat and happy country while the rich took the credit and the bulk of the financial rewards because they paid for it, so the working class should be given the opportunity to find the errors in their racial attitudes.

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If the Democrats hope to reclaim this important segment of their base, they'd better embrace the young Democratic Socialists who are coming onto the scene in waves. Socialism has always championed the proletariat.

Fred Malo Jr.

Carbondale

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