“It’s the economy, stupid!” I get Trump’s appeal: it’s to everyone who is losing out in the great economic and to a lesser degree social shift taking place. In general for a Trump voter even race and sex are subservient to this issue. The exception is the social conservatives who have NOWHERE else to go and quickly swallow the Trump platitudes without much evaluation because the alternative is so painful.
You are right in that is does no good to disregard what people feel are their legitimate concerns and interests. Trump’s rise is due almost entirely to an emotional response, a visceral reaction impervious to debate or reason. Trump’s original platform was American Populism’s 2016 version, though he’s flapped his flytrap so much in the meantime that the waters are thoroughly muddied by now. His populist appeal though remains pretty solid.
And he has done us a huge favor by discrediting the Republican party. The marriage arranged by the devil between the social and economic conservatives needs to be dissolved.