The sad thing is that the Democratic platform would have helped them and Trump / the Republicans will only hasten their fall.
A valid criticism of the Democratic platform is that it will not return the working class to the prosperity of the '60s. The current platform is all about the bourgeois and relies heavily on globalism. It lacks any real trade protectionism, worker protectionism or safety net improvements beyond the status quo with the noteworthy exception of Obamacare... and speaking as an middle-class Democrat, Obamacare fucked me. Premiums went from $300/mo to $900 mo; deductible went from $1000 to $10k. And granted - I can afford to pay that (barely) and granted, my union blew the shit out of that as soon as I qualified but Democrats are about as lukewarm on union support as the Republicans were in the '50s.
I also believe we need to develop a project with Germany to better understand the great success they have in apprenticeship programs - an effort that connects employers, educators and the federal government to enable people to do-learn-do.
They have a civil structure assembled by the United States in the form of the Marshall Plan, as well as historically lower productivity. European society was deliberately reorganized by the United States to support happy workers in subordinate economies and pretty much every time a European country pops up as a trade threat it's because they're enacting market reforms that cause civil unrest and riots in Paris and shit. We deliberately set up Germany and France to make Cartier and Mercedes but never to make TRW or General Motors.
I personally don't have any problem with this: I do not feel that economic productivity is the measure by which a country's worth should be judged but the US was the champion of Capitalism and the USSR was the champion of Socialism and the USSR lost so of course the US has gone hypercapitalist. The real question is whether that "win" was steady state (I don't think it was).
Do declining salaries make men less attractive as marriage partners?
Yes. Declining socioeconomic status causes declining desirability signalling. The Atlantic can't help but write about this five or six times a year.
Having lived in northern Europe many years I sense there is a very significant difference in how men define their worth.
There are vast cultural differences between Scandinavian culture and American culture that are gobsmackingly bad for American well-being. Nick Reding argues that it's due to a Protestant work ethic combined with a frontier mentality that creates a uniquely American view that hard work, no matter how unfocused, is not only the key to success, it's also the key to Heaven and that un- or underemployment is a personal, moral failing.
Sometimes I sense that the call for MAGA - harking back to a time when blue collar jobs were readily available and gave a middle-class income, and "blacks knew their place and women stayed at home" - is like some desperate hope that they can avoid needing to change by getting the rest of the world to change.
This article, and the article I linked above, argue for the Mencken maxim: "success is earning a thousand dollars more a year than your wife's sister's husband." White working-class people aren't truly poor so long as black working-class people are poorer. We don't choose our anchors, society does... and when those beneath us are no longer beneath us, we have fallen.