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The interests of the working class were supposed to be the focus of the Trump administration, but the president has no coherent approach for lifting up blue-collar Americans.

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The real headline from this week's Republican debate wasn't that the candidates clashed over immigration and national security. It was that they agreed on economic policies that have proved unpopular and unwise -- and that may make the eventual nominee unelectable.

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White working-class voters have been a key building block of the Republican coalition since the rise of the Reagan Democrats 35 years ago. You would think that the party's presidential candidates would want to respond to the heartbreaking crisis these Americans are facing.

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In the 1950s, as the United States transitioned from a factory- to an office-based economy, the sociologist perceived that "if you wanted to find out what was wrong with American society and politics, you had to look to the white-collar worker," writes Nikil Saval in The Chronicle of Higher Education.

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For those die-hard bicoastal types who view much of America's heartland as flyover territory, the phenomenon of "rural brain drain," as The Chronicle of Higher Education calls the ongoing migration of younger generations from the country's small towns, probably doesn't seem terribly troubling -- but the Chronicle makes the case for why this mass exodus may constitute a national crisis.

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Bruce Springsteen, the iconic musician of the working-class U.S., endorsed Barack Obama on Wednesday. The announcement comes less than a week before the Pennsylvania primary, in which blue-collar voters may play a significant role in determining the Democratic nominee.

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