The size and stability of the American middle class were once the envy of the world. But changes unleashed in the 1960s pitted Americans against one another politically in new and destructive ways. These battles continued to rage from that day to now, while everyone has fallen behind economically except the wealthy. Right-wing culture warriors blamed the decline on the moral shortcomings of "other" Americans - black people, feminists, gays, immigrants, union members - to court a fearful white working- and middle-class base with ever more bitter "us vs. them" politics.
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