Over twenty years ago, while in graduate school, I read "The Latin Americanization of the United States" by Howard J. Wiarda. Among the issues we discussed were the growing gaps between the rich and poor and the rise of gated communities in the United States. The piece didn't make any waves then, but the message and discussions we drew from Wiarda's work are pertinent today.
This is especially the case when we see how income and wealth gaps, combined with crushing debt loads, are polarizing our politics and undermining the ability of the United States economy to maintain any kind of dynamic growth.
Apart from economic polarization, the political point that Wiarda made in his "Latin Americanization" piece describes how the United States was becoming increasingly centralized and bureaucratic. While I'm over simplifying the issue, this was a condition that lent itself to "corporatist" and, later, authoritarian political strains that are part of Latin America's political DNA (referred to as bureaucratic-authoritarianism).
What emerged in Latin America politically was an environment where leaders saw overgrown threats, and promised to both defend against and rid the nation of internal enemies. This would include going after those who did nothing about civilian incompetence, those who tolerated suspicious outsiders, and disciplining the corrupt political class running the state. Not surprisingly, Latin America became a cesspool of reactionary militarists and delusional nationalists.
This background is important because it helps us understand the reactionary delusion and authoritarian culture that's emerging in America. And, yes, Donald Trump has tapped into this emerging culture, which Ezra Klein and Vox explain here.
While Wiarda believed the "Latin Americanizing" conditions he saw emerging in the United States might be an evolutionary part of modern developed states he also believed it had corrosive qualities. This appears to be the case when we look at the wealth extracting bankruptcy, bailout, and crony capitalist model that's both tolerated and embraced in America.
If you don't want believe the trend you need to take another look at business charlatans like Donald "That's-4-Bankruptcies" Trump and what the multi-trillion dollar bailout kings on Wall Street have done to our nation's economy.
There's more, but you get the point. And if you don't, I think we all know who you're voting for in November.
Hat tip to Chris for Vox link.