What’s the matter with Appalachia? Many liberal elites think they know the answer. Since Trump’s campaign began, the region has become a symbol of all that is wrong with Red State America: guns, bigotry, a willingness to get swindled by right-wing snake-oil salesmen. There is, indeed, a lot wrong with Appalachia. But what’s most wrong is that a region where people waged militant labor struggles has now been devastated by coal company greed, automation, shifts in global commodity markets, and, of course, by Republican reaction and neoliberal neglect.

Sarah Jones, social media editor at the New Republic, explores the possibilities for left-wing revival in Appalachia and discusses her own life in the region.