Our two parties tell themselves flattering falsehoods; the reality is less-flattering to either
Wish I had something more substantive to add but this is good shit right here.
A thoughtful and thorough bit of analysis, Noah; lots to chew on here.
Nice job, Noah.
There is another way, I think more productive, to look at this divide.
Antagonism to educated "elites" has always existed. "They" are not like "us". Nothing new that it's solidified along party lines and as a result become another polarizing force. And this even when the elites are, by all the usual measures (see Scott Galloway and David Brooks), doing a pretty good job on economic issues.
I believe a more productive way to think about this is to realize that the "elite" side of the divide believes their brain, their education, their connections make them "smart" and "educated". For them it's all about The Facts. (Kahneman System 2). The Rest of Us, in many cases lacking the ability to use a formal education they never got, and often finding it too damn hard and time-consuming to bother, use their emotions. (Kahneman System 1). The power-hungry on the right have realized this. Sew doubt! By and large, the liberals have never understood it and so fail miserably when trying to tell good stories. As long as Tucker Carlsons can get paid for telling people *what they want to hear* rather than what's factually correct, we're in deep doo-doo. Fact-checking Trump? Gee, that sure worked, didn't it?!?!? Facts Don't Matter! Stories do!
Yes, the Meritocrats need some fixes too (see Michael Sandel). Those will be hard to get and, since it's about emotion and not facts, may not in the end matter much. But they should try.
Hope this is helpful to your thinking.