The opioid crisis has been a major issue in the United States for several years now, but many in the political elite were unaware or detached from the severity of the situation. This failure of the elite to address important social and economic issues has been highlighted by the rise of anti-establishment figures like Donald Trump, who won the presidency in 2016.

In the years leading up to the 2016 election, the opioid crisis was claiming thousands of lives each year, but it was not a priority for many in power. Even when researchers like Anne Case and Angus Deaton began to shed light on the issue, the political class remained out of touch with the struggles of ordinary Americans.

Donald Trump’s unexpected victory in the 2016 election was a wake-up call for the elite, but instead of reflecting on their failures, many chose to double down on their existing beliefs. They blamed the American people for not appreciating their prosperity or for being easily manipulated by demagogues. This attitude only served to further alienate the electorate and deepen the divide between the elite and the general population.

The response to Trump’s presidency should have been one of introspection and reform within the elite class, but instead, it has been marked by arrogance and a refusal to acknowledge their own shortcomings. The belief that they have been failed by the American people rather than the other way around is a dangerous mindset that only serves to perpetuate the disconnect between the rulers and the ruled.

In a democratic society like the United States, it is essential that the ruling class remains responsive to the needs and concerns of the people they govern. When the elite fail to do so, it is up to the electorate to hold them accountable through the ballot box. The rise of anti-establishment candidates like Trump is a symptom of this failure, not the cause, and until the elite class recognizes this, the divide will only continue to grow.

It is time for the political elite to listen to the voices of the people and work towards meaningful reform that addresses the real issues facing the country. Only then can we begin to bridge the gap between the rulers and the ruled and move towards a more inclusive and responsive government for all Americans.