Tuesday’s election results stunned pollsters and pundits. But to observers who have been watching deeper trends across America, the outcome was hardly incomprehensible. It didn’t register in every survey, but an acute crisis has been rolling through working-class America. Neither the conventional left nor the conventional right has fully grasped it.
For decades, progressives have emphasized the “income gap” separating rich and poor. Their cries have only grown louder since the financial crisis. They contended that income inequality would ignite a new class struggle, causing unprecedented political turmoil.
This was half right. There is indeed a gap in this country, and it has now led to a political revolution, a significant realignment in American politics. But the relevant gap wasn’t income. It was dignity.
This was an excerpt from a Wall Street Journal column authored by Arthur Brooks. The full article will be posted here on Monday, November 14, 2016.