A friend of a friend posted this to Facebook. I think it sums up nicely why Trump won, and not because of the words but because of the fact that a very large part of the country actually believes these words. It's a painful read firstly because it's wildly misguided in pretty much every way, but if you read it a few times it's more painful because she actually believes everything she's written to her core.http://www.chicksontheright.com/open-letter-whiny-safe-space-liberals-crying-racist-sexist-country/
I could rebut her point by point, but that's pretty much a fail for the same reason any pointwise rebuttal always failed here. It's not the points that matter but the belief behind them.
The center has lost its connection with the heart of America and the fringes have kicked in - not just on the right but on the left as well. Trump and Sanders were the two candidates with actual positive traction on what I'd call America's heart and (in terms of US politics) both were fringe. Jeb Bush and Clinton were the center candidates and they were just disconnected.
I don't know where the Democrats go from here. They need someone connected to common people that won't be shut down. I don't think Michelle Obama is it - she's too tied to Barack and would get every bad thing that could be connected to him thrown at her. Finding someone that's not "political elite" but can energize the funds or free TV time that's required to win an election will be a very hard ask. If Trump does moderately well as a President, and it's quite possible he will in 4 years, welcome to a populism driven cycle for a very long time.