You draw a false dichotomy between liberal and conservative politicians. Both parties have overseen the widening of the wealth gap because both parties want rich people to give them money and thanks to laws and precedents like Citizens United, there’s nothing to stop them from being bought. And the conservatives either don’t understand or ignore the role history has played in the racial wealth divide of today, so they do nothing to combat it. Liberals at least acknowledge the problem, even if they’re bad at fixing it.
Fact of the matter is, though, politicians don’t represent the average person very well at all, so we’re continuously caught in the circumstance of voting for the party that does slightly more to acknowledge our problems, or voting against the party that will actively do the most harm.
The white working class believes that the Republicans have their best interests at heart because they buy into the myth that if they just work hard enough, they’ll be able to live a comfortable life and they think that Democrats are cheating by giving aid to people who aren’t them.
People of color, gender and sexual minorities, and women know the deck is stacked against them, that simply working hard doesn’t necessarily mean they will be financially secure. So they know just how much bullshit the Republican economic platform is, and they tend to vote for the Democrats because, even though they’re nowhere near as liberal as the rest of the world’s liberals, they’re more likely to at least put in economic safety nets for when things get especially bad and pass laws protecting people from getting fired for being a minority. So at least people won’t be homeless and starving while they look for a job, and maybe, if their employer doesn’t want the scrutiny, they won’t get fired in the first place.
Our economic system is failing. It doesn’t matter how rich the rich get, how much new tech gets invented every year, etc. If people are wallowing in poverty, that is failure. If there are drastic differences in the economic outcomes of different races, genders, and sexualities that is failure. The Republicans think they can bail out our system and that if the capitalism is pure enough (read: barely-regulated “free” market), everything will just magically work. The Democrats are actually looking at alternatives, even if they by and large are too conservative about pursuing them.
Give me a strong Social Democracy party and I will gladly vote for them. But in the meantime, as someone whose human rights aren’t considered important or morally allowable by a portion of the population, I’ll continue to vote for the party that doesn’t want to throw me under the bus.