However, the Democrats haven't been acting like Democrats for too damned long, and in 2008 we got an absolute fake carrying the Democratic Party banner while at the same time ruining the brand.
People deep down know the system is heavily rigged against them, but they are at a loss as to what to do about it.
The point of the Tea Party movement, back in 2009 and 2010, was to attach this anger to the free-market philosophy. Tea Partyers figured out a way to oppose the bailouts even though Republicans had passed them. They mimicked the protest fashions of the 1930s even though that was a period uniquely lousy for Republicans. They screamed about what they called “the ruling class” even though their bad ideas would only empower our economic rulers. And taking the novels of Ayn Rand as inspiration, they hijacked the populist sensibility on behalf of the “job creators” — the poor, disrespected billionaires, your comrades in suffering.
In their mission of rescuing free-market orthodoxy after free-market orthodoxy had crashed the global economy, the Tea Party succeeded. They don’t hold protests in parks anymore, but their distinctive species of cultural theft persists nevertheless; it will go on until economic conditions on the ground improve or until the genuine owners of the populist tradition finally take it back from them.