Although I now live in Ohio, I am a native of the Mountain State. One of my ancestors was Indian fighter Samuel Ferguson, who fought at King's Mountain and was one of the first settlers in what is now Cabell/Wayne County, W.Va. Therefore, it both saddens and puzzles me that many present-day West Virginians are inclined to oppose their own best interests.
For 150 years, outside interests have controlled the destiny of this region. They have provided jobs, but they have also trashed the landscape and, in many instances, have treated West Virginia workers as "disposable resources." Early UMW organizers realized this when they stood against corrupt and greedy mine-owners at Blair Mountain in the 1920s.
Today, there are other problems. Unlike Ohio, West Virginia is not a "swing-state." This is because of the area's declining population. Many West Virginians have been forced to leave the area because jobs have been eliminated or shipped overseas by greedy corporations whose only concern is the almighty bottom-line.
In the recent campaign, these same vested interests put forth numerous lies about a mythical "Obama war on coal," but neglected to tell West Virginians that the decline of the coal-industry is not the "fault" of the recently re-elected Obama administration nor EPA regulations, but because of a drastic drop in the price of natural-gas, (engineered by opportunistic Wall Street commodities traders) that makes it cheaper to use gas instead of coal in electricity-generating plants. Despite this fact, many Mountaineers were conned into endorsing a candidate who epitomized the "vulture-capitalist" ideology that has decimated West Virginia's economy for the past five decades.
Some say that West Virginians cling too closely to "God and guns." I disagree. The good people of this region have been betrayed by two other "g"s - "greed" and their own "gullibility."