- Jay Parini: Donald Trump has drawn support from the Rust Belt, Appalachia
- Parini says many have been cast aside in the past few decades, as jobs have shifted abroad
- They have seen their world shredded, hollowed out and mocked
Jay Parini, a poet and novelist, teaches at Middlebury College. His latest book is "New and Collected Poems, 1975-2015." The opinions expressed in this commentary are his.
(CNN)It's time for all of us to listen, to hear the hopes and fears, the groans and angry riffs that arise among white working-class Americans in the so-called Rust Belt and Appalachia, many of whom support Donald Trump for the presidency (though Bernie Sanders also holds some appeal). Not a single one of these people -- on whom this critical election in November may turn -- wants their children to live without economic prospects, and many of them know that education is, as it has always been, the only way out.