There are many potential explanations behind how Donald Trump — a man who frequently shows disregard towards the basic rights of religious and ethnic minorities, who threatens to use government power to attack the free press, who boasts that he would kill and torture possibly innocent people, and who expresses veneration toward Vladimir Putin — emerged as the Republican Party’s presumptive presidential nominee. Stagnant wages have caused real pain, which was until recently ignored by too many politicians. Changing demographics have stoked nativist sentiment, creating a base of voters receptive to Trump’s anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim rhetoric. Political polarization has exacerbated citizen frustrations, pushing some voters to a candidate deemed as being “outside the establishment.”
But underlying the rise of Trump is another cause entirely of our own making: trickle-down economics, the economic philosophy of tax cuts for the rich and little regulation of business. Trickle-down created Trump by weakening the middle class, fostering distrust of others, and undermining the competency of government.This article was originally published in The Huffington Post.