Hillary, as a dutiful servant of the 1%, will continue that failure. Trump, as a fascist demagogue, recognizes in that failure an opportunity, not to help the increasing numbers of people suffering from radical income inequality, but a way to direct their rage to his own advantage and enrichment.
Lyndon Johnson touched on a vital principle of conservative politics in the Age of Trump, “If you can convince the lowest white man he’s better than the best colored man, he won’t notice you’re picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he’ll empty his pockets for you.” The GOP is still desperately lying to itself and everybody else that the core of Trump’s strategy is something other than racism, even as 80% of its base is “totally fine” with Trump’s naked racist appeals. And his appeals are precisely to an angry, ripped off, increasingly exploited base of people who are watching both their retirement and their children’s futures disappear while a vanishingly small elite enjoys phenomenal wealth and the middle class loses ground.
Pope Francis warned about income inequality at the outset of his papacy and was shouted down by “prolife” conservatives for talking about anything other than abortion. He was labeled a Marxist and a Communist. But of course what he really is is a Catholic who understands that poverty is a huge driver of all the rest of the evils we face–including abortion and family breakdown. His–and the Catholic tradition’s–counsel is to work for solidarity and the common good, including a living wage for workers. Trump’s demagogic appeal is to Blame the Brown Other. Francis made clear which side of the border he stood on in response to Trump’s racism.
Pope Francis gets it because he believes the gospel. He empathizes with those who are victimized by our increasingly radical inquality. But he also understands that scapegoating the weakest and poorest will never solve the problem. It will just enrich and empower the people who are the real culprits.