So, how did the United States end up with Donald Trump as president? The answer is simple.
Republican President George H.W. Bush had dynastic dreams. He was the son of Senator Prescott Bush of Connecticut who told him his one regret in life was not getting involved in politics sooner. George H.W. made sure he and his sons Jeb and George W. did not make the same mistake.
The net result of Bush's dynastic dreams was that after he became president, it was impossible to rise in the Republican Party without being a Bush partisan. And when the crunch came in 2000, son Jeb, the Governor of Florida and Papi's friends and connections from his administration, including his Supreme Court appointees, delivered the White House to George W., the loser, with catastrophic consequences for the country.
So in 2016, when Jeb, Bush III, launched his campaign for the White House, the right-wing Republican base, who had elected every Republican president and then been left at the altar when it came time to govern, were determined to prevent another Bush nomination.
Bill Clinton, like George H.W. Bush, also had dynastic dreams for his family. The net result was the same as the Republicans. After Clinton left the White House, it was impossible to rise in the Democratic Party without being a Clinton partisan. And the Clintons were not subtle about punishing people who did not support them. This is clear from Alyssa Mastromonaco's book Who Thought This Was a Good Idea? Clinton may, in fact, not even have given his all for Gore during the 2000 campaign, not only to pay him back for distancing himself from the president for the Monica Lewinsky scandal, but because he probably figured that if Gore won, it would hurt Hillary's chances of ever becoming president.
In the old days, party leaders sought the best, most electable candidates to carry their banner. Now, the people in power seek to manipulate the system so that they face the weakest possible opponent. The promotion of weakness and suppressing of strength became apparent when it came time for Hillary Clinton to choose a Vice-Presidential candidate; the Democrats had no one else of presidential stature.
Twenty-five years of Clinton dominance of the Democratic Party had resulted in the preventing the creation of any power centers opposed to the Clintons. So, the American electorate went into the 2016 race staring at the prospect of another Bush-Clinton contest. There had been either a Bush or a Clinton on the national ticket every year from 1980 to 2004, both in 1992. Now, after a hiatus of just eight years, the nation was facing a repeat of 1992.
The strength of Trump in the Republican Party and the near success of Bernie Sanders in the Democratic Party was a rebellion against the leadership of both parties, the fix of the insiders, and the corruption of the electoral process. Trump is the reification of the breakdown of the democratic processes in the United States. The country has become a kleptocracy in the South American model.