It’s uncanny how Richard Rorty predicted this election, but he didn’t just predict it; he saw the process that was happening even in the 90s. We just reached the breaking point now.
Given what we have learned since the election, I’m now willing to say that Trump is preferable to Clinton (as Zizek declared before the election). It’s a high cost but it’s better than eight more years of oppressing the rural working class and suppressing their anger and despair. The outcome of that after eight more years would have been a lot worse.
I saw the problem before the election but had no clue how bad it was. When I wrote the articles explaining why the rural working class would vote for Trump, I was shocked by the reactions I received from my friends. They did not see it at all. Not only that; they became angry at me for writing them. In other words, the Left’s unawareness of the problem was not just lack of curiosity or a result of living in a bubble; it was ideological ignorance. That is, they felt they SHOULD ignore the plight of the rural working class. It was an ideological war against the rural values. Clinton’s use of the word “deplorables” is reflective of this. Had Clinton been elected, this war, which the Left was dominating, would have continued for another eight years. The problem Richard Rorty saw in the 90s would have devasted the entire middle class by then, both rural and urban. It would have been everyone’s problem, except for the top 0.1%.
The key contributing factor, which was not often talked about in this election cycle, is the speed of the technological evolution. The reason why startups are so popular is because technology is super-effective and efficient in amassing the wealth for the very few. Its ability to “scale” the profit without raising the cost is almost infinite. The first group of people to see the consequences of this scary efficiency was the rural whites. Those in the lower class, I don’t think, saw the decline because they were already at the bottom, as low as anyone could go without dying.
The income disparity is the biggest problem we are seeing globally. All the other problems we are seeing, like racism and xenophobia, are merely the symptoms of this main problem. Fighting racism is like taking an aspirin to remove the symptoms of the illness without attending to the cause.