I bought and listened to Thomas Frank’s What’s the Matter with Kansas (it’s just a 45min monologue at the iTMS). Frank uncovers how the GOP became the voice of the everyman while pushing law and policy that generally benefit the upper class most of all. It’s a vexing problem but I’ve always attributed it to language and the GOP controlling the debate. Frank goes a bit deeper and reveals a 30 year plan of campaigns that stress values, but that deliver economic law instead. So the game is to get people riled up over issues, but the GOP never actually does anything about the issues, instead concentrating on pushing laws that deregulate industries. He also goes into how the GOP exploits victimhood, since they never “win the culture war” and come off as the underdog, even though they control all three houses of the government.
The only downside to all this is that while Frank points out the root of the problem, he doesn’t offer any solutions (at least not in the audiobook version).