Miners are patiently waiting for the coal jobs to return.
You’re reading that saying to yourself, “…wait. What?” Why on Earth would they be waiting for a way of life to go back to a way it was all those years ago, when they dropped like flies from black lung? But it was OK because they were ripping enough carbon from the Earth to wipe out civilization in the coming century. And that’s what Pumpkin promised them they would get back to when they helped him MAGA. Still, coal is in steep decline and the jobs their grandfathers had were more plentiful than the jobs their fathers had, and they have almost nothing.
There are options for people whose coal-mining jobs are gone (and let’s hope those particular jobs are gone for good). They can get vocational training to get them going in other lines of work. Underwritten by a federal initiative called POWER, which was initiated during the Obama administration. But that’s looking forward, not backward. That’s rejecting the past in favor of the future, not the other way around.
That can’t make America great again.
What’s a good Pumpkin-head to do? What can someone do when they have embraced a post-factual world of fake news, where science and reality are the enemy? When US Senators are less trustworthy to guide the nation than Vladimir Putin? They have to make the cognitive dissonance go away. It’s now the only thing that will keep them sane. So, they are refusing the training.
The coal jobs, like Jesus, are coming back. After all, Cheeto Benito said so. Therefore getting trained as a programmer or accountant or cook would be a betrayal. It would show a disturbing lack of faith that they cannot allow themselves.