And yet, afaic, it fails utterly in that regard. This is about more than the mere clash between two opposing sides with "non-intersecting data sets and myths," this is about cult behavior in the political arena, people motivated by nothing more than foolishness and lies, hatred and spite. It's not even wanting to burn the village in order to save it, but merely the pyromaniac's impulse to simply burn the motherfucker down, without worrying about who might still be in the edifice.
Is our political system dominated by an elite class of technocrats and corporate assholes, accountable to no one but their donors and owners? Sure. Is the system corrupt and resistant to the needs of its actual constituents, as opposed to transnational merchant princes? Indisputably. Do said merchant princes give even a third of a fuck about you, your family, your community? Probably not even that much.
It's not that their concerns are misplaced or even untrue, it's that they sincerely think the solution is a reality teevee con man whose main grift is posing as a successful tycoon. They have no evidence for believing such things, yet they persist in doing so.
Taibbi has had a pair of companion pieces recently in Rolling Stone, about the pseudo-populist pushback against the elites (characterized by Brexit), and the concerted counter-pushback in response to that, to undermine any future vox populi prospects. Is every single person who voted for Brexit a moron and/or a sucker? Doubtful, but what is not in dispute is the overwhelming statistical likelihood that the people most likely to be hurt by the Brexit are the exact same people who voted for it most ardently.
And that's what brings us full circle to the Drumpfkins that Saunders eloquently profiles in his epic jeremiad, these air-headed maroons wondering where their country gone and blaming everyone but themselves for it. Well, fuck you, assholes. You own it too: the asshole that went from Vermont to Arizona for a "kitchen job," traveling two thousand miles in the hopes of getting a job that most people wouldn't need to cross the street to obtain; the laid-off construction worker who thinks that everyone who gets fired sues their former employer, yet cannot produce a single concrete example; the mouth-breathing halfwit who likens Drumpf's gold-and-marble penthouse to fucking Batman.
John Stuart Mill famously said that while not all conservatives were stupid, most stupid people were conservatives. You could plug in "Drumpf supporters" for "conservatives" and get the same result; you could also plug in "racists" for "stupid" and compound the effect. Drumpf and his flock's inability to vocally repudiate and disassociate themselves from the scum-sucking barrel-dregs of this society is every bit as damning as their plaint that every mosque isn't scrambling to provide a press release declaiming every dump ISIS takes.
Here is where I differ from the usual bien pensant librul who just wants to find common ground with these fucking meatheads: I don't fucking care about them, or their bullshit lives and concerns. They willingly use fake anecdata to stoke their own anger, and they fucking well know it. Fuck them. I've had enough of this shit.
There is no common ground, not even among the notion of "firing the elites," certainly an admirable if unrealistic goal (especially if, you know, your champion is, whether he's merely a hectomillionaire or somehow actually worth the ten billion dollars he says he is, an elite by definition). It does not matter if the problem has been correctly diagnosed, if your solution would, by any reasonably honest analysis, be nothing short of utterly catastrophic.
Look, I don't want to disenfranchise morons; after all, they pay taxes in some form or other, and therefore have a vested interest in the outcome of any given election. Plus the whole basic right-to-vote thing. But I also happen to think that people who pay attention to this shit and vote accordingly every time, and have their facts straight, have a right to expect that their futures and those of their children are not going to be hijacked by a bunch of excitable idiots.
If you truly want to have even a remote chance at advancing progress in this country, stop trying to "understand" these apes, and just work on beating the shit out of them, driving them back into the woodwork. Half of them sound like borderline psychopaths, and the other half might as well be, as they are essentially cultists. Write them off, beat them mercilessly into the ground, scatter salt on their ashes, and move the fuck on already.