Hillbilly Elegy And The 2016 Presidential Election

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Hillbilly Elegy
And how it is related to the 2016 Presidential Election In August 2016 and January 2017, Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture Crisis reached the top of The New York Times Best Seller list. It is also listed in the 6 books to help understand Trump’s win. Journalists believe that the world of hillbillies that is described through Vance’s eyes analyze how Trump gets the support of the majority of the white middle and lower class. Indeed, Hillbilly Elegy indirectly explains how Trump’s victory by pointing out how he won most of the white working class’s vote. In this essay, I will show how different values of the hillbillies represent the middle class that Trump aimed for, thus explain how he won the 2016 Presidential
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With lower median wage and lower poverty rate compare with urbaners, according to a report by government census, people who are categorized “poor” may have to suffer extremely bad economic situation. As described in Hillbilly Elegy, economy is not the only thing to deal with. Poverty may also lead to many consequences, when people massively move to Ohio to find works, and give Middletown a nickname “Middletucky.” It sounds more similar to Trump’s promises when he runs for presidency. He commited that he will create hundreds of thousands of jobs across America. Reality shows that he is actually doing fine with an estimated 500,000 jobs created, according to Fortune. He is also able to assure that he will complete his claim somehow, as he is a billionaire who has been expanding the workforce before entering politics. His background is vital in this situation, knowing that the hillbillies had to face economic depression and future uncertainty when Armco runs out of business and isn’t able to support hillbilly people anymore, and this is one of his advantages over Clinton. Although Clinton has a perfect resume for politics since 2001, she is also famous for her controversial statements, which contradict her own statements in the past. Her husband, Bill Clinton, was convicted guilty in the Lewinsky Scandal during his presidency. So, …show more content…
Vance states in his memoir that “Political scientists have spent millions of words trying to explain how Applachia and the South went from staunchly Democratic to staunchly Republican in less than a generation” (Vance 68.) This can be easily explained with Americans’ voting habit. Again, statistic of Business Insider shows that 84% of liberal voters chose Clinton, and 81% of conservative voters chose Trump. People do not vote for candidates, they vote for parties instead, and approximately two third of the population formed this idea in their family since they were young. In consequence, only around one third of the voters actually voted: the Independent. In fact, these Independent people often get bored by the policies: when they had money, they want the government to take care of them, and 1 or 2 presidential terms later, they get bored again, and ask for even more money. That is exactly described in Hillbilly Elegy. “Papaw was a Democrat because that party protected the working people” (Vance 13.) Then, all of the hillbillies become Republican, and J.D. Vance is a Republican, too. However, Vance voted for Clinton, not Trump, and it showed the fluctuation among hillbillies, and the Independent in general. And as Obama, a Democrat, served as the President for 2 terms, Trump has a higher possibility of winning compared with Clinton. Trump is also something very new among the Presidents, since he has no experience in politics before, but is a billionaire who can run

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