Joan C. Williams at the Harvard Business Review describes "What So Many People Don't Get About the U.S. Working Class." It is a really eye-opening article, and I won't be able to summarize all its necessary insights, but here are some: white working class folks "resent() professionals but admire() the rich," white working class men retain more traditional notions of manliness than most Democrats understand, and white working class folks aspire to middle-class jobs and pay, not minimum-wage jobs and pay, and see the poor as a drain on them. Of course, the right Democrat could remind people that rich folks aren't necessarily successful at anything useful -- they're just very good at redistributing workers' wealth upward to themselves.
If you've got a few minutes, check out this story of a Mississippi environmental activist apparently ramrodded into jail by our government. Tennie White got 40 months for allegedly falsifying three lab test results, but you might well come away from the story thinking she got 40 months for being a thorn in our government's side as they dragged their feet making certain local corporations clean up their mess (and these messes are worse in Mississippi than almost anywhere else). Note well, also, that this was Mr. Obama's EPA ringing her up -- though I suppose Mr. Trump's EPA will ring a lot more of them up.
Daniel Golden at ProPublica writes about how the problem of "legacy admissions" to colleges has only worsened over the last decade. The most famous legacy admission in America right now might be Trump advisor Jared Kushner, who got into Harvard the year after his father made a $2.5 million donation to the school, and Mr. Golden's 2006 book found this phenomenon quite rampant at America's universities; now fewer legacy admissions get in, but they still get in at a higher clip than the general population. So the next time someone complains to you about affirmative action, you can trump (so to speak!) them with legacy admissions. (Hate to pile on, but this is also yet another argument for the 91% tax bracket on millionaire income: if we have fewer folks with too much money to begin with, we should have fewer legacy admissions as well.)
Peripherally-related to the item from the other day in which Rick Perlstein warns us against making casual connections between past and present, Robert Borosage presents "Lessons from the Reagan Years" as we "Tak(e) on Trump." I agree that Democrats shouldn't "accomodate" Mr. Trump for short-term gain in 2018, not necessarily because there'll be no short-term gain in 2018 under any circumstances, but because you don't fight a radical by appearing "sensible" and "reasonable." Of course, these days you barely even have Republican moderates -- the Republican moderate caucus in the Senate when Mr. Reagan took office was two dozen strong; today, that "caucus" is Susan Collins of Maine, who rarely bucks leadership.
Finally, Paul Krugman says that "a bit more populism" won't solve the Democrats' problems with white working-class voters. Problem is, Mr. Sanders's proposal to "stand up to Wall Street, to the insurance companies, to the drug companies, to the fossil fuel industry," isn't a "bit" more populism for Democrats, it's a lot more -- Democrats don't stand up to any of these actors because they're afraid of losing their money. Also, while his pessimism about the "liberal" media actually covering "changed policy positions" is understandable, it's not the attitude that helped get rid of slavery, either.