The politics in the US have become sort of entertainment rather than actual policy. Trump became president by various means and the public certainly was manipulated with simple messages that were easy to grasp. Perhaps he even intended to Make America great again. But Puerto Rico is still without a working electrical grid and many Puerto Ricans are living in motels in Florida paid by some funds. A strong president would have got the funds and a clean contract to fix it by now. Even the first contractor was awarded the job by party loyalty and donations to the party.
Trump's unifying theme of "foreigners" allows him to mess with anything that deals with jobs and goods from abroad, such as tariffs.
But there really is no plan. Republicans are using Trump to achieve tax cuts and are just laying low to get through the November elections. After that they may want to go ahead with cutting more Big Government, funds to healthcare and so on.
Frank Thomas has scolded Democrats of elitism. We do not represent the working classes anymore. They share much of the "guns babies and Jesus" principles with Republicans. That includes patriotism, respect for the law and military. The white evangelicals will stand up for the national anthem and will even block Netflix for making a deal with Obama. Recently there was a book by Yascha Mounk where the author seems to have neglected the hundred year old history of populism. But indeed, the current trend of nationalism and populism does seem to have only right wing ideology. Brexit and Trump are cut from the same cloth.
Frank: By “populism” Yascha Mounk means the species of nasty rightwing politics associated with Trump and various European bad guys such as the leaders of Hungary and Poland. He uses the word as a kind of synonym for racist tyranny, and in his account populist politicians are villainous in ways that go beyond the profession’s conventions. Populists, he informs us, tell lies.
The populists of the 1800s and early 1900s were much more leftist once upon a time, but still white Christians and were involved with religion and even the Scopes "monkey trial."
Looking at this from the outside, my friend from Australia sums it up:
To me, it is completely about the loss of any serious, thought-out ideology (whether left or right) or policies which have a rational goal of improving people's lives, and a reliance on purely following (and sometimes creating) uninformed public opinion to capture the democratic vote. It is the cynical politics of the advertising executive...
Things like healthcare are simply not an issue to people that have jobs and insurance. Why should they want to give Obamacare to those "liberals in the cities" who do not want to work? Never mind that most small employers, such as a hair cutting franchise of a fast food franchise, do not provide insurance to full time employees.