Another mainstream pundit starts to figure it. This time, it's Peggy Noonan (unfortunately, link behind a paywall). Here's the nut of it (via Instapundit):
There are the protected and the unprotected. The protected make public policy. The unprotected live in it. The unprotected are starting to push back, powerfully.They also control the culture:
The protected are the accomplished, the secure, the successful — those who have power or access to it. They are protected from much of the roughness of the world. More to the point, they are protected from the world they have created. Again, they make public policy and have for some time.
I want to call them the elite to load the rhetorical dice, but let’s stick with the protected.
They are figures in government, politics and media. They live in nice neighborhoods, safe ones. Their families function, their kids go to good schools, they’ve got some money. All of these things tend to isolate them, or provide buffers. Some of them — in Washington it is important officials in the executive branch or on the Hill; in Brussels, significant figures in the European Union — literally have their own security details.
Because they are protected they feel they can do pretty much anything, impose any reality. They’re insulated from many of the effects of their own decisions.
And the lessons have been pretty clear:
In Hollywood, as we still call it, where they make our rough culture, they are careful to protect their own children from its ill effects. In places with failing schools, they choose not to help them through the school liberation movement — charter schools, choice, etc.— because they fear to go up against the most reactionary professional group in America, the teachers unions. They let the public schools flounder. But their children go to the best private schools.
This is a terrible feature of our age—that we are governed by protected people who don’t seem to care that much about their unprotected fellow citizens.
If you are an unprotected American — one with limited resources and negligible access to power — you have absorbed some lessons from the past 20 years’ experience of illegal immigration. You know the Democrats won’t protect you and the Republicans won’t help you. Both parties refused to control the border. The Republicans were afraid of being called illiberal, racist, of losing a demographic for a generation. The Democrats wanted to keep the issue alive to use it as a wedge against the Republicans and to establish themselves as owners of the Hispanic vote.Personally, I'm not 100% protected from the depredations of the age. But I do have advantages. I have a college education and a skill set that gives me options, should I need to exercise them, in an economy that's based more on exchanges of ideas and information than on physical labor. We aren't going to get the immediate post-World War II era back; it was an unprecedented time in history. But it won't do to ignore the concerns of so many of our fellow citizens.
Many Americans suffered from illegal immigration — its impact on labor markets, financial costs, crime, the sense that the rule of law was collapsing. But the protected did fine — more workers at lower wages. No effect of illegal immigration was likely to hurt them personally.
It was good for the protected. But the unprotected watched and saw. They realized the protected were not looking out for them, and they inferred that they were not looking out for the country, either.
Since the time of FDR, the Democrats have used the song "Happy Days Are Here Again" as part of their symbolism. The Democrats have held the White House for 15 of the last 23 years. Things haven't been happier for a lot of those years. The Democrats have also made the claim that they are the party of the working man, even before the days of FDR. A significant group of working men and women left the party, at least temporarily, when Ronald Reagan came to power. These voters, and more often their children and grandchildren, are now looking at a corrupt technocrat as the likely standard-bearer for the Democratic Party. What enthusiasm for Hillary Clinton there is comes from the protected and their enablers. Donald Trump is seeking a different audience, speaking to a different group of voters. The question becomes, at this point, which group is larger? I'm beginning to believe we're going to get an answer to that question in November.