Whenever I can, I read the comments section responding to Paul Krugman's wonderful Op-Ed pieces in the NYT and this time he pointed out how the voters of West Virginia had voted by 40 points for Trump over Hillary and how a huge proportion of West Virginians are on food stamps, disability, Medicaid through Obamacare or Medicare, more than almost any other state and yet they hate the guvment and resent the Democrats who brought them all this relief. Almost 1/3 of West Virginians are on Medicaid and 1/5 on food stamps.
The Federal Government is carrying that state and they resent the federal government so much they voted for Trump to destroy it. Drown it in a bathtub.
West Virginians have the same mind set as Kentucky voters who refused Obamacare until it was renamed "Kynect" and then they loved it.
West Virginia is a small, impoverished, poorly educated state of 1.8 million people about the size of New Hampshire but without the education level of the Granite State.
As one of the letters in response to Krugman's piece said, "Let them eat coal."
It's hard to have much sympathy for people who seem too obstinate and stupid to help themselves.
But as others observed, people at the bottom of the social ladder need to have some group below them to feel superior to and West Virginia is 93% white so there is not even a significant Black population to hate and blame for their misery--they have to blame the folks Fox News points them toward.
The fact is there are large swaths of each of those "blue wall" states from Wisconsin through Pennsylvania which are basically Alabama between the big cities.
If ever the Democrats get back into office, the question will arise--should we try to do anything to help these determinedly miserable people or should we simply ignore them and move on?