"Why the white working class is alienated and pessimistic"
"That huge bloc of Americans increasingly feels itself left behind—and lacks faith that either government or business cares much about its plight. Under these pressures, noncollege whites are now experiencing rates of out-of-wedlock birth and single parenthood approaching the levels that triggered worries about the black family a generation ago. Alarm bells should be ringing now about the social and economic trends in the battered white working class and the piercing cry of distress rising from this latest survey."
This article made for interesting reading. Let's remember that post WWII Germany went through the same alienation process of the working class, and where that led. Im not suggesting the same is possilble here - the numbers are very different, and the US in the 21st century is far, far more diverse, likely providing some protection from that fate.
The goal is to understand and reason. It's understandable why this demographic is angry and desperate. Going Republican, Tea Party, Palinized. Scary stuff when you think about it that way.
What can be concerning is the sense of disinfranchisement of a large demographic. Historically, that sort of alienation has led to crime, violence, and backlash. Given enough influence, that disatisfied demographic can change elections and bring about reversal of progress.
That's not to suggest that the US is equal enough yet. It's not.
This kind of change tends to make people reactionary: things used to be better for them, so they reason that if they can change the political climate back to the way it was, good times will return.
The problem is that even if they're right, the majority is very fuzzy on their history. For instance, they may think we need to get back to our evangelical roots, and 5 out of the last 6 presidents (except for Bush Sr.) have been evangelicals. However, only 4 out of the previous 38 presidents were; which suggests going back to not electing evangelicals would be behavior more consistent with a desire to turn back the clock.