I'm giving the Democratic politicians their shame of the blame. The politicians aren't omnipotent, though. That's why I say in the article that if a third of the country lacked the potential to act like trolls and troglodytes, Democratic centrism couldn't have pushed them over the edge.

Trump's support came not so much from the poor as from the resentment of white supremacists who were reacting against Obama.

But the Republican base has indeed been radicalized after decades of this dynamic. As Thomas Frank said, they vote against their economic interest, because they've been fooled by the wedge issues. They think democratic socialism is as bad as communism. They want their personal liberties, which they think entails their absolute freedom from government. That libertarianism leads to social Darwinism, a tribal coarsening of the discourse, and perhaps social collapse.

Knowledge condemns. Art redeems. I learned that as an artistic writer who did a doctorate in philosophy. We should try to see the dark comedy in all things.