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The biggest problem with Donald Trump is that far too many people think he is the only problem. In truth, the factors that propelled this preposterous man to the presidency have festered for decades.

Trump is not the cause of these problems; he is the result of them.

We now live in a country that is grotesquely divided between the very rich and the rest of us. Working Americans see income inequality growing day by day. Most Americans earn $30,000 per year or less; most live paycheck to paycheck; the majority cannot sustain a $400 emergency.

Against this tableau of misery, what do Americans see? A bloated military/industrial complex that binges on taxpayer dollars in endless wars around the world; a health care system that is dominated by the greed of insurers, pharmaceutical companies, and corporate medicine, and that bankrupts people of lesser means; a criminal justice system that turns a blind eye to the thievery of Wall Street, while incarcerating poor people at alarming rates.

So who stands for the people? Certainly neither of our moribund political parties. The old paradigm of left vs. right, Democrat vs. Republican, is outdated. Both groups court voters at election time, but when it really counts, they slavishly dance on the strings of their corporate masters.

So is it any wonder that a huckster like Trump, offering bogus answers to the disaffected, could bully his way into the highest office in the land?

JOSEPH BAUERS

Champaign