Liberals turned “economic anxiety” into a meme that belittled anyone who didn’t find their life wonderful. Their popular culture laughed at them. The "basket of deplorables" took note.
Trump didn’t just win in small towns, though he galvanized communities there. He surged in the aspirational exurbs where conservatives rule culturally. He also surged in Rust Belt communities that voted for Barack Obama twice. Places like Scranton, PA; Youngstown, OH; Janesville, WI; Orange County, FL; places that have trended Democratic for decades. Even union households voted in high numbers for Trump.
When our betters woke up after Election Night they were left wondering what the hell happened and questioned how it was that their influence wasn’t more convincing to the great unwashed. Their relentless mockery is exactly what fueled the uprising.
Democrats smugly reassured themselves that a new majority of women, Latinos, African-Americans, Asian-Americans, gays and lesbians, immigrants, and Muslims would be an unstoppable coalition. Seems they were wrong. The forgotten man who had been left behind these last eight years became a prairie fire.