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Trump Delivers in Rust Belt

Walter Russell Mead

From the Wall Street Journal, a more important story than most of the media noise about White House dysfunction and Beltway shenanigans:

Foxconn Technology Group, which helped turn China into the center of electronics manufacturing, said it would build a $10 billion plant in Wisconsin to make display panels used in televisions and other products.

The plan, announced Wednesday at a White House ceremony, marks the first major U.S. investment for Foxconn, the world’s largest contract manufacturer of electronics and the maker of iPhones and other gadgets for Apple Inc. […]

The announcement confirms plans reported Monday by The Wall Street Journal. Foxconn was exploring investments in seven states including Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas. Some of those states, including Wisconsin, were pivotal to Mr. Trump’s victory in 2016, and are home to many of the working-class voters who were seen as key to his win.

This is an important step forward in key GOP initiative of the decade: the attempt to build an enduring Republican majority based on working and lower-middle class voters who feel left behind and scorned.

There are legitimate questions about how much credit Trump and Walker can legitimately claim, and one new factory isn’t an industrial renaissance. Nevertheless, even the appearance of a government making service to these forgotten and often scorned voters will have a significant impact.

That the investment is coming at all supports Trump’s claim that his penchant for deal making can bring back well paying blue collar jobs; that it is coming to Wisconsin supports Scott Walker’s claim to be the most successful GOP governor of our times.

More stories like this, and both Trump and the GOP could face 2020 with more optimism than seems possible now.

And hint to ambitious Democrats: Go thou and do likewise.

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