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Trump and American Political Decay

After the 2016 Election

Donald Trump greets supporters at his election night rally in Manhattan. Carlo Allegri / Reuters

Donald Trump’s impressive victory over Hillary Clinton on November 8 demonstrates that American democracy is still working in one important sense. Trump brilliantly succeeded in mobilizing a neglected and underrepresented slice of the electorate, the white working class, and pushed its agenda to the top of the country’s priorities.

He will now have to deliver, though, and this is where the problem lies. He has identified two very real problems in American politics: increasing inequality, which has hit the old working class very hard, and the capture of the political system by well-organized interest groups. Unfortunately, he does not have a plan to solve either problem.

Inequality is driven first and foremost by advances in technology and second by globalization that has exposed U.S. workers to competition from hundreds of millions of people in other countries. Trump has made extravagant promises that he will bring jobs back to

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