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The Coal Miners Trump Interview

Updated on July 31, 2017

We are here at the White House. Four coal miners have agreed to talk with the president.

Diamond Don: “You guys are all dirty.”

Associate Coal Historical Employee1 (Ache1): “You’ve got your nerve. You give us all a new level of goals.” Gentle laughter.

Diamond Don: “Don’t worry boys. I will make sure you continue your burrowing in the ground. There is still a place for the old ways. Just because there are so many of your contemporaries working in the tech industries, no need to think we all have to be casual. After all it is men like you and me that built this country into what it is today.”

Ache2: “What is tech? Do they use picks and shovels and die from black lung disease at an early age from years of back breaking toil and breathing coal dust?”

Diamond Don: “Something like that, Instead of picks and shovels, they use pixels and software. Keep in mind, this is America, a place for everybody and everybody in their place. Besides, you men are the real backbone of America. You have fought the wars, built the roads. Your efforts make millions for those that control the utility companies. Some of my biggest donors own utilities. Without you there would be no electricity for the Internet, which supports all those tech jobs. The entire Nation is carried on the backs of you coal miners.”

Ache3: “Sounds like we deserve a raise.”

Diamond Don laughs: “I should get you on the Apprentice. You know how to negotiate.” He glances at his Rolex.

Ache4: “Did you happen to see the movie, “Coal Miners Daughter? Sissy Spacek starred in it. It showed the deplorable plight of the coal miners.”

Diamond Don: “No, I didn’t see that one. Did you see, “Greed, with Michael Douglas, now that was a movie. And another thing I bet you didn’t know. Diamonds are made from coal. Not many people know that, but I know that.”

Ache4 glanced over to Ache3. No.3 spoke: “I think most everyone knows that.”

Diamond Don smiled and gazed off to an unseen point in his perspective: “We are all on Team America. You do what you are good at, and I will do what I am good at. That way the great American experiment can keep moving forward in this the Second American Century where I will lead us.”

Ache3: “So, our place is underground? We spend our lives underground, then we spend eternity underground. How did that become our lot in life?”

Diamond Don: “Some are born to greatness. You men our lucky. You work with brawn. You are powerful. The burden of power, well electrical power, is on your backs. That is why I support you. America goes black without electricity. You wouldn’t want to see that, would you?” Again Diamond Don looks out in the distance, at his vision.

Ache3: “Me and my family live in 400 sq. ft.,smaller than this office. A place where the outside walls are always gray from the soot that is always in the air. Is there anything that can be done. Maybe some regulations to make it cleaner for my family. I am not asking for myself, but my family.”

Diamond Don: “Regulations cost money, we certainly don’t want the price of electricity go up. Not just for the comfort of the families of coal miners. Regulations hurt profits. Remember, we are Republicans, and we put the Republic above everything. Well, everything except profit. Boys it was really great talking with you. You are my kind of men. You are given your task and just go out and do it. You don’t complain, like those, those liberals. ”

The men got to their feet Ache1 extended his dirty hand. Diamond Don reluctantly took it. “Thank you men. Thank you.” He turned to the cameramen, “Did you get that?”

“Yeah, I got it.”

Ache1 to Ache2 on the way out the door: “Do you remember what he said? Something like software and pixies.”

Ache2 interrupted, “I think it was pixels, software and pixels. We will find a book and see if we can begin teaching our children software and pixels. Maybe it is time that we caught up with the tech people who are advancing the Second Great American Century. We have to do that before it is too late.” He coughed the cough of his grandfather and his father before him. “I don’t want this for my kids.”

Ache1: “Did you see his daughter? She was wearing all white. My wife never had a dress like that. It would take me six months of scrimping to even get a catalog with that dress in it.”

Ache3: “There was no dust anywhere. I bet there is a team of servants cleaning up after us right now. You guys want a beer? I have a coupon for a six pack. What do you say?”

Ache2: "That Coal Miner's Daughter, was that the movie that she jumps up on the table and demands her rights. I liked that movie."

Ache3: "No that was," pause, that was Sally something, what was that? Sally Norman, that's it.

Ache2: "That doesn't sound right. Norma Rae. That's it, what was her name, Sally Fields. Pretty sure that's right. Let's get that beer. Good to have the president on our side."

Back at the Oval Office.

Diamond Don: "Call the White House Communication Office. I want that story out right away." A pause. "Have you got them?" A pause.

"It's ringing."

"Still ringing."

"Still ringing."


Loretta Lynn - Coal Miner's Daughter


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    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 2 weeks ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Gypsy Rose Lee - That would solve the problem and in a sanp. Thank you.

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 2 weeks ago from Riga, Latvia

      In my opinion they should send Trump down into the mines for about two weeks and then ask his opinion afterwards. Sort of like hands on experience.

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 2 weeks ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Patty – The American people have been misled about ‘clean coal’ like many other issues. Perhaps we have been misled on many issues. In the comment section, I learned there are different grades of coal. I never gave it any thought, but it makes sense. Coal miners should not just be left to rot, but saving their jobs is not the answer. This is a ploy, against America, the world and the Earth. The Paris Climate agreement is a good example. Then capitalist against the world.

      It is smart for other industries to step up. Certainly the coal miners are hard workers. Wind power and solar power also use manpower. Revenues just flow to pockets, not currently in power.

      Thank you.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 2 weeks ago from North America

      Hi Mike! -- I never understood how coal can be clean at all, so that's propaganda. I just know that Ohio coal is harder and less smudgy than some imported from out of state. It's all killed people, anyway.

      Your story seems to be on the side of the miners, to me. Let Fauntleroy work underground for a year; might be a good experience.

      Luckily, some aerospace companies and computer tech firms here are retraining some of the former coal miners. We're supposed to be having large wind farms in NW and SE Ohio as well and I hope they get a move on with them.

      Great story, by the way.

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 2 weeks ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Patty – Many dystopian tales are based on the ‘everybody in their place’ proposition. Brave New World had that and many Ray Bradbury stories.

      I am not trying to discredit the men that work in the coal mines, or their families. I hope everyone gets that. The talk of ‘clean coal’ is all bs. Ice caps are melting, the sea is rising, and the weather runs all over the place.

      The rock and the hard place of energy is consumption has got us all boxed in. There is plenty of wind to turn turbines. For that matter, there are plenty of ocean tides to turn turbines. In many areas of the world Solar could power everything electric. The problem is the false economic math.

      The coal miners do seem to be a pawn being used by the politician-at-large in Washington DC. They must be symbolic of a country that has not kept up with the changes in how the world operates. Technology is racing ahead, and Europe is desperate for job applicants that are keeping pace. Apparently scientist are in short supply also.

      Patty it looks like I answered the comments out of order. Sorry.

      plus my email server has changed to gmail.

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 2 weeks ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Alan. I am willing to have a discussion, but I don’t want to pretend to know anything. There are ‘ghost towns’ all over America - meaning some industry came in then dried up and left. I am not sure ‘the village’ thinking exists in America. That is not necessarily good, but it is a distinction.

      Big picture from my chair is this. The earths carbon levels have reached unsustainable levels. So, if there are families that have to relocate or retrain then that is a smaller problem which to deal with. Sociology is a lower subcategory than biology.

      Not like I can solve the problems. I always considered that working in a one industry town, or State was a poor bet.

    • alancaster149 profile image

      Alan R Lancaster 2 weeks ago from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire)

      Problem is each generation of miners vowed their sons wouldn't go down the pit, and each generation was proved wrong until this one. The jobs that are created in the area are often for women or just a few on industrial estates (maintenance, managerial, sales reps, secretaries) or at fast food outlets. They're jobs for kids or college students. Skilled mine workers have to leave what was a tight-knit community to 'follow the money' in construction work, often halfway round the world or other parts of Britain/Europe. Their homes are bought by people who only use them as holiday homes for maybe three weeks a year. Village facilities suffer, shops, pubs close for lack of year-round support. So they have to go to town... End of village? Not necessarily, but end of community - yes. Alienation and rootlessness maybe also. Incomes might be better, but everybody has to start from scratch again in a new community. Often the wives won't follow husbands because they don't trust 'southern townies' not to take the mickey out of their accents (my Yorkshire accent's raised a fair bit of mirth where I've worked and lived). Break-up of families follows, and so on... What price progress?

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 2 weeks ago from North America

      "A place for everybody and everybody in their place." That's Fauntleroy all over.

      My great uncle was 7 feet tall and worked bent over at the waist in Ohio coal mines all day for decades, contracted black lung, infection spread to the rib cage, and then he developed cancer. No wonder a songwriter came up with "Black Flowers Grow in My Yard" about the mining families. I think of Homer Hickam's coal mining families in "Rocket Boys" and the sacrifices they made - hard work, poor, and died young.

      Along Route 60 in West Virginia we still see old coal mining camps of a few dozen mobile homes in a hollow here and there, a bar in a trailer at one end of the community and a church in another at the other end.

      What a country we have become. How many coal miners have died underground, underappreciated? Now they all seem to be a photo op for Hocus-Pocus-POTUS.

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 2 weeks ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Genna - People are lifting their heads and some are seeing the light. The people on the left are tiring, but so are the people on the right. I have even seen a few Republican politicians say, they are tired of the pace of the maddness in Washington DC. We are seeing the change, just slower than we would like to see it.

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 2 weeks ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Hi Mike. I hope you are Billybuc are right about Trump supporters. I saw some being interviewed when they were attending a recent rally, and they cheered him on, stating that if he wanted to fire Sessions and Mueller that he should because this "whole Russian thing is a witch hunt, and conspiracy of the media." Others cheered Scaramouch, stating that he was "telling it like it is." I did notice that People Magazine came out with an about-face article recently that was pretty tough on Trump's family. That surprised me. Your observations give me hope. Maybe sanity and reason have chance. Thank you. :-)

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 2 weeks ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Alan R Lancaster – I understand there are economic considerations. I understand that in cold climates, people want to be warm. The other side of that coin is that it is 2017 and there is technology available that will create electricity without destroying the planet. A three hundred year old industry is not the answer for the future. There may not be an answer. Some scientist think it is too late. The world has grown smaller, communities built around holes in the ground have to become more flexible.

      I don’t understand why stopping mining in one area, then importing coal for use, is an improvement.

      You mention half the North was closed in the 1980’s, I bet that has improved since them. Which is the point of progress.

      I have had some crummy jobs. I bet none of them were as bad as a coal miners.

    • alancaster149 profile image

      Alan R Lancaster 2 weeks ago from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire)

      I saw 'Coal Miner's Daughter", and I think 'Diamond Don' would be well advised to watch it. We had a thriving coal mining industry here in Britain until Maggie T (the 'Iron Lady') came head-to-head with 'King Arthur' Scargill and won the toss. The last big coal mine near Selby in North Yorkshire closed down last year. A glittering future had been foreseen, the East Coast Main Line was diverted at great cost to avoid subsidence due to widespread underground activity. Then last year the announcement came like a thunderbolt, that Kellingley was to close.

      So the environmentalists have got their own way, clean fresh air all over Wales, the North and Scotland... And nice long jobless queues. 'Diamond Don' would've got on well with the 'Iron Lady', better than she got on with Ronnie R. Being a grocer's daughter, she understood spreadsheets, profit and loss... Half the North was closed down in the 1980s. Can 'Diamond Don' rival that?

      We import coal of a lower calorific value from Eastern Europe - Welsh coal was reputedly the best, followed by Yorkshire and the North East -and our thriving steam preservation 'industry' depends on the imports, but they get 'clagged up' with this brown coal. Which was to go now?

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 2 weeks ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Martie – Capitalists have put capital above all else. It has become a myth. The truth is Labor is the only thing that creates profit. Capital can generate interest, but not profit. As long as the myth continues, profit on the backs of labor will continue to generate rich folks. It is a crime that capital can sit idle and generate interest, while labor sitting idol is lost. It puts labor, under the current ideology at a terrible disadvantage.

      As far as the mines go. We will exhaust the earth. That is an idea over a hundred years old, but it seems we are beginning to see how much the earth has suffered under the management of capitalist.

      We have all gone mad in pursuit of money.

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 2 weeks ago from South Africa

      Mike, I am not up to date with your coal miners' issue. But this thought-provoking interview reminded me of our problems.

      Mines are closing at the speed of daylight down here, because they are no longer profitable. Besides the fact that most mines are by now totally plundered by foreign capitalists, laws that determine minimum wages and taxes evidently minimize profits. Workers' Unions try to prevent unemployment. Because their efforts are in vain, they organize demonstrations of protests, which lead to destruction of state and private property.

      My question is, why would capitalists turn into welfare organizations? What would be the best solution to this problem?

      But before I break my head in an effort to produce solutions, let me rather hope harder for the best. May those in charge get wisdom from above -

      Greed makes people blind and deaf. My hat off to all poor laborers above and under ground.

      Well written interview! I wish it had a happy ending.

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 2 weeks ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Bill - I actually have noticed that strong Trumpian supporters are saying things more aligned with sanity. So, there is hope.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 2 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Have you noticed how quiet Trump supporters are lately? The end is near and I think even the staunchest of his supporters are re-thinking this whole mess. Anyway, sorry I'm late, fun and thoughtful story/interview.

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 2 weeks ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello mar - I should have listened to the lyrics of the song more. I could have gained more material. You have that natural ear for music that I lack.

      I think Ache2 and I always get confused about those two movies. Sissy and Sally are two completely different actresses. The 'jumping on the table' scene is iconic, I have thought of it many times myself lately.

      I see people arguing in the comment sections and less so (because I am not there) in the forums. What a waste of precious time.

      Thanks for the nice comment.

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 2 weeks ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Shy - Thank you for the idea for this interview. My imagination seems to have dried up here lately. Not that it should be difficult with all the material we are given out of Washington D.C.

      I was playing with the idea of a Frued Trump interview, but all my writing has been rated G so far. And jumping from G to XXX is a good leap.

      Thanks for the blessings.

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 2 weeks ago from Jeffersonville PA

      "Well a lot of things have changed since a way back then

      And it's so good to be back home again.

      Not much left but the floor, nothing lives here anymore,

      Except the memory of a coal miner's daughter."

      Loretta's lyrics are just as powerful today, maybe moreso.

      Norma Rae - I enjoyed Ache2's initial confusion between two movies and am actually thinking of that iconic 'jumping on the table' scene quite a bit these days.

      No matter what you write about, your comment section is a welcoming and safe place. Hugs and thanks, mar

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 2 weeks ago from Texas

      I love the expose of Trump's opinions of the coal miners and total disregard for any person's plight.

      I also love Doonesbury.

      You did a great job.

      Blessings as always my friend

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 2 weeks ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Genna – It is clear to me, that you cannot let capitalism run rampant. Business men would water down, everything they could in the pursuit of profit. It has happened over and over again in many industries. Regulations have brought us breathable air, clean water, food that is not tainted or poisoned. Regulations have supported the middle class with wage laws.

      As for the coal miners. There time has run out. The earth can’t handle the carbon and more importantly, there are viable alternatives brought to us by science and technology.

      You are correct about the presidency. It is like watching a poor magician. The doves are peeking out from his breast pocket. You can hear the elevator that carries away the assistant. And he never guesses the correct card. He is an embarrassment. There is no doubt that there is profits from all the free advertising. Really, his brand name is talked about on every channel, every day.

      The line of miserable ducks behind him adds to the disgrace. I am glad you used the word glutton, because that is exactly what we are witnessing. No President in our history has set out to dismantle the nation. No American wants America to be weaker, or smaller or lose influence in this mixed up world. Yet, that is what we are seeing.

      I thought when the WH Press conference, journalists were not allowed to bring their cameras or recording devices, then every news outlet would publish favorable pieces about Democrats the next day. That would break the smug back of the WH press people and quick.

      Thanks for the thoughtful comment. It is a good place to vent.

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 2 weeks ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Wow, Mike. Very apropos and timely. This dovetails back to what happened with the advent of the Industrial Revolution. Many skilled laborers lost their jobs when steam-powered and other machines were invented. But working conditions were often terrible until government intervention stepped in along with some (certainly not many) factory owners making improvements and changes after many complaints. Mr. Trump is no more helpful than a blast of hot air down the shaft to the real plight of our remaining coal miners.

      One of the aspects I like about your creative and clever F&F and Trump Interview series is that they are a brilliant metaphor of how the Trump presidency is just another reality show. (The royalties waiting in the wings have yet to be fully disclosed.) Reality shows are no more real than Donald Trump. Sadly, his supporters seem to love the "in your face" drama, peppered with humiliating tweets and 60-second sound bites of donkey dust that corrodes the dignity, intelligence and integrity the majority of Americans want in the White House. Trump uses this audience with the same self-indulgence as a glutton loves his lunch. If they want to sell their souls, so be it. Live and let live. But it doesn't give them the right to sell the rest of country in the bargain.

      And I don't think the media has been tough on Trump at all. I wish they'd stop their endless speculation of "why would he do something so incongruous?" and pussyfooting around his caricature of a true POTUS. Just cut to the chase: This emperor "has no clothes" and can in all probability lead this nation into chaotic failure unless he's impeached. It's that simple. And it's what most Americans already know.

      I will now climb down from my soapbox. (Lol.)

      Well done, Mike. :-)