Keeping American jobs from heading overseas and generating good-paying manufacturing jobs in the U.S. were key selling points as many in middle America cast their ballots for Donald Trump in the 2016 election.
But as those new jobs have yet to materialize and the country continues to see jobs outsourced abroad, some of the president’s supporters are feeling cheated: “Every day that goes by that I don’t see anything happening it looks more like he lied,” one supporter recently told The Guardian.
Tommy Wolikow, 36, of Lordstown, Ohio, told the newspaper he was laid off the same day that Trump was inaugurated, after nine years of employment with General Motors.
When I got hired at GM I thought I’d be set for life. My father had 42 years there. A lot of those jobs went to Mexico.
In July I went to a Trump rally in Youngstown. It really gave us hope. I had never been that political but I heard what he said and I took him at his word. It was like he was directly looking at you. I was a Trump supporter. He said jobs were coming back, don’t sell your house.
But Wolikow feels betrayed as Trump’s promises not only haven’t come to fruition but in some ways the situation has become worse: Outsourcing by U.S. federal contractors nearly tripled in Trump’s first year.
It’s been two years now since his election and all I see is more job losses. I went back to school, I’m a qualified diesel technician, I got my Class A [commercial] driver’s license. I did what you are supposed to do. The jobs that are out there in my area are all low-paying. I can’t raise my three daughters on those wages. People are picking up and leaving.
My fiancee [who worked at GM and was laid off] and I were making $50 an hour. Now she’s making $4.15 an hour plus tips as a waitress at Cracker Barrel. I have credit card debts, I don’t know how I’ll get out of this hole. I had a boat, a motorcycle – I had all the luxuries of a good-paying job, now I don’t have any of that.
Wolikow told The Guardian he will be "voting this election 100%", and his vote will go to “the person who supports the voting man.” He added: “Every day that goes by that I don’t see anything happening it looks more like [Trump] lied.”