It was, in the end, the economy, stupid. I think the votes that made the difference came from fearful, frustrated, disaffected people whose ‘skilled’ jobs began leaving ten to twenty years ago, but who didn’t come face to face with the fact that our current and future job market has no place for them. We don’t have millions of places for these people to go, and it finally dawned on them that they can no longer listen to the conventional messages.
I doubt that any business savvy is going to change this dynamic, because the global economic forces are driving this transformation, not solely the alleged inability of our past administrations to make ‘good’ trade deals. I don’t see The Wall is Flat as the 21st century World economy Bible, but Friedman identifies enough undeniable forces to demonstrate that the dissolution of the manufacturing base in America is not a simply matter of bad deals.