In this article he agrees that yes, Trump is a racist and appeals to those of like mind. But Trump’s appeal is far wider, reaching into the disillusioned white working class that has gotten the short end of the economic stick. In particular, Trump denounces our disastrous trade deals, which have moved many of the good blue-collar jobs overseas. What few remain have raced to the bottom on wages and benefits because it’s either take it or starve. Even if Trump’s promises are empty, and most likely are, at least he is claiming to fix the trade deals and create jobs by rebuilding our infrastructure.
Frank also notes that it’s a message the liberals fail to emphasize, as they have long given up on being the Party representing the working class. Now they cater to the top 10%, the professional class, because that’s where the campaign money is. It also justifies their neoliberal agenda. But it they leave manipulating the fears of the working class to Trump, charlatan as he may be, they will lose this voting block and very likely the election. Hence we did see some of this addressed in the Dem Convention, but they really need to make it a key element of their rhetoric and policy proposals going forward if they want to win this election.
Maybe they even need to hire Sanders for their framing department, since he also appealed to this same voting block. But in his case there is a long history of actually fighting for these proposals in Congress so we know it’s not the same as Trump’s manipulative spin and contrary history to such an agenda.