Philosopher, Richard Rorty, in 1998 described with great prescience the elements which have led to the populist "uprising" which has electrified our American political sphere. (See the commentary on the book by New York Time's critic, Jennifer Senior, dated November 21, 2016. http://nyti.ms/2fjlHdk) The "little people" have been misunderstood and/or ignored by the political elite, progressives, and the "rational" political analysts who have promulgated strategies which indeed would have 9or might have) objectively helped the little people but which have not been appreciated or understood by the very people meant to be helped.
The American left has evolved into a morass of political elements: identity politics, mere tinkerers with the political mechanics of elections and the like, ill-conceived incremental redistributions, and more without understanding the psychological element which seems to be primarily motivating the populists. That element ought to be understood as including a need for a balancing between private and public interest, a quest for meaning in one's life other than as a mere consumer or worker, and respect for living the "small life" well.
While predicting the rise of populism, Rorty hass not articulated any program by which the more "rational" political actors can make sense of the populists nor anything which can address their particular needs. There is no vision anywhere about a society which can bridge and incorporate the interests of the populists, the political economic elite, and everyone else.
That's because nearly everyone is working with a 18th-Century perspective about governance and social relations. What is needed is a new paradigm of what a 21st-Century America ought to look like in terms of governance and social relations. That paradigm is articulated comprehensively and clearly in the book, "An Action Manual." Do yourself a favor and study its new concepts and the pragmatic plan to implement a new social ethos involving a collective interest and rationality and more.