It’s not that Trumpistan lacks answers. The trouble is they don’t know the questions. Trumpistanis believe a politics of nativism, populism, and militarism can save them from the forces of change battering down their suburban splendor. They can’t, because politics had nothing to do with it. What is happening is that the same technological forces that built those suburbs now demand new economic structures, built around software and research, and the need for trained minds to be in constant contact, 24-7 rather than 9-5.
Bankers and insurance agents, the middlemen who held the country together through the 20th century, are no longer needed in the 21st. They’re like John Henry, the steel-driving man. They’re coal miners, they’re auto workers, they’re ditch diggers, they are in the way, and they are being replaced by machines.