Bernie Sanders went to West Virginia. This is good. I believe all politicians should go there and not come back until they can tell us WTF is going on and how is it possible to have this kind of devastation and penury in the richest country on Earth.
I was in West Virginia long before I knew anything about the region, the coal, the drugs, or liquid capital. It was one of the most poignant experiences of my life. Folks, it looked worse than Ukraine. Literally. In Ukraine, we obviously have a very good understanding of deindustrialization. We saw it happen in the late 1980s and all through the 1990s. But I’ve never seen anything this bad in Ukraine.
And it’s not just poverty. Latin American countries are poor. But the people there are not defeated, they are not devoid of joy and life like I’ve seen in West Virginia.
Since then, I read every article that mentions West Virginia. I live in a very pretty and well-to-do area now, but I feel that I can’t preserve my humanity if I pretend that what I saw doesn’t exist.