One of the best writers on Appalachia community is, in my opinion, the late Joe Bageant. Two books and numerous essays reveals a society that I spring from. Like Joe Bageant, I gained one of the best tools to help me move from the misery, an education.

One of my favorite quotes from Deerhunting with Jesus:

“The working class here in what they are now calling the ‘heartland,’ (all the stuff between the big cities)” he writes, “exists on a continuum ranging from complete insecurity to the not-quite-complete insecurity of having a decent but endangered job. It is a continuum extending from the apathy of the poorest to the hard-edged anger of those with more to lose. Which ain’t a lot, brother, when your household income hovers around $30,000 or $35,000 with both people working… Until those with power and access decide that it’s beneficial to truly educate people, and make it possible to get an education without going into crushing debt, then the mutt people here in the heartland will keep on electing dangerous dimwits in cowboy boots.”
An excellent review can be found here:

And a final quote with a link to other quotes:

“Along with the concept of American Dream runs the notion that every man and woman is entitled to an opinion and to one vote, no matter how ridiculous that opinion might be or how uninformed the vote. It could be that the Borderer Presbyterian tradition of “stand up and say your rightful piece” contributed to the American notion that our gut-level but uninformed opinions are some sort of unvarnished foundational political truths. I have been told that this is because we redneck working-class Scots Irish suffer from what psychiatrists call “no insight”. Consequently, we will never agree with anyone outside our zone of ignorance because our belligerent Borderer pride insists on the right to be dangerously wrong about everything while telling those who are more educated to “bite my a$$!”

Joe Bageant, Deer Hunting with Jesus: Dispatches from America’s Class War

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