Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) took her presidential campaign to West Virginia, right into the heart of Trump country. Instead of small crowds and boos, though, Warren got a positive reception.
At Warren’s Kermit, West Virginia rally, there were people there in Donald Trump’s signature red MAGA hats. But they did not seem to be there to disrupt the Senator or to boo at her and her supporters.
Some of the people in the Trump hats actually nodded at Senator Warren’s words, and even reportedly clapped for the 2020 presidential candidate. Warren’s strategy was wise, though.
The small crowd of about 150 listened as Warren spoke of something that the area knows all too well: the horrors of the opioid crisis. The Fire Chief, William “Tommy” Preece,” had prepared Warren’s people for the potential of a chilly reception at the fire hall where her town hall was held. But he also said that they’d listen to any candidate who was willing to fight the opioid epidemic.
Preece lost his brother to the crisis and had the distinct horror of actually responding to the overdose himself, only to find his sibling was the victim.
Warren proposed to the crowd the idea of treating the situation as a medical problem. That way victims are patients and not criminals. She said to the crowd:
“But we got a second problem in this country and it’s greed. People didn’t get addicted all on their own, they got a lot of corporate help. They got a lot of help from corporations that made big money off getting people addicted and keeping them addicted.”
After these pronouncements, LeAnn Blankenship, 38, who is a supervisor and coach, says she may swing from her Trump vote in 2016 to Warren in 2020. Blankenship says of Warren:
“She’s a good ol’ country girl like anyone else. She’s earned where she is, it wasn’t given to her. I respect that.”
Here is the video of the rally:
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Shannon Barber is a progressive queer feminist and budding political scientist. She is passionate about issues of social justice, including but not limited to racial equality, criminal justice reform, pro-Black politics, and LGBTQ equality. She hopes to change the world, one mind at a time.