In the gilded era, worker unrest was channeled by management into ethnic and racial competition (until unionism broke that game and allowed workers to unite.) Management divided work into black jobs and Irish jobs, for example, so that the groups could fight over what work they were entitled to instead of uniting to demand better working conditions and higher wages.
Many other passions are channelled in our society: lust for competition is channelled into business competition and sports.
Can we do the same for conservative populism? Can we divide the factions and pit them against each other in a more effective manner?
Have we been doing it all along?
Has Koch money broken the traditional divisions, allowing conservative populists to unite in the Tea Party? Koch money has been indoctrinating shock troops for almost 40 years, readying them to take control of populist movements with a unified antigovernment ideology. Students are targeted with tiny little grants to inflate the importance of the indoctrination. Endless founts of think-tank propaganda are created, all funded for the same goals by the same money, to drive conservatives into the arms of these Koch-spawned leaders.
We've seen inevitable-looking surges of right-wing influence before: one was called the Reagan Era. Sooner or later they founder on the practical experience of their idiocy and harms: they produce their own opposition.
The question is, how do we hasten that opposition along and then keep them divided again?