Friday 9 December 2016

America remains great, and Americans will vote for a candidate who knows it

After travelling through the US, Dan O'Brien is convinced that Trump's vision of America won't win out next month

Published 02/10/2016 | 02:30

Only five weeks to go: US Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally in Michigan. Trump is currently slightly trailing Clinton in the polls - but anything could happen before November 8 Photo: Jewel Samad/Getty
Only five weeks to go: US Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally in Michigan. Trump is currently slightly trailing Clinton in the polls - but anything could happen before November 8 Photo: Jewel Samad/Getty

Over the past week I've been in Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee and North Carolina. Every place tells a story.

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In the enchanting Appalachian mountains, from where I write, coal was once king. Things change. The loss of mining jobs from the 1970s onwards left an already relatively poor part of this huge country even farther behind in the prosperity stakes.

However, if America is great for anything, it is its capacity for reinvention. In recent years the area has received a shot in the arm from a mini-boom in fracking, a technology developed almost exclusively in the US. Although there is no shortage of controversies surrounding this method of extracting oil and gas from an environmental perspective, it has improved the fortunes of the region. That broadly reflects the nation as a whole, if for different and multiple reasons.

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