Andrew Delbanco: On the Election II – The New York Review of Books

The lesson of this campaign, on both sides, is that with the fragile exception of the Affordable Care Act, which has expanded the number of citizens with health insurance, our clotted political system has failed to meet the emergency of rising inequality amid slow economic growth… This reality—compounded by the effects of globalization in gutting the manufacturing sector and exporting low-skilled jobs—is what underlies the anger that Trump has stoked, that Sanders tried to turn to better purposes, and with which Clinton must contend as a candidate and, one hopes, as president.

If slow growth remains the norm, and the “pie” continues to shrink (relative to better times that older adults can remember), the first imperative of government will be to distribute the pieces more equitably with the very wealthy contributing a larger share. If that does not begin to happen, there will be an explosion that makes this year’s politics seem tame.

May Donald Trump be banished on November 8 to a new TV “reality” show with Roger Ailes as his co-star so they can hire and fire each other through eternity. But if the two political parties, unchastened, resume business as usual without a degree of the bipartisan spirit that our current president—who stands higher in the polls than either candidate—has called for since his first day in office, some version of the monster will be back.

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