Welcome, class. I’m Professor Brancaccio, and this is “The Making of Trump: 101.”The premise of this class is to study how someone like Donald Trump can get this close to becoming president.Jimmy, thoughts?“Well he has a lot of money, he’s a guy who has lived the American Dream, and we love to talk about his hair.”Noodles, your view?“I think Jimmy has rung the bell one too many times, professor. Look, let’s be honest here. There is a large, large segment of our population who believe they have been left out of the conversation.”What exactly do you mean by “left out,” Noodles?“I mean for the most part, the political conversation deals with the rich and the poor. No one appears to care about the middle class. Trump at least pretends to care.”Why is that important? Danni?“I think what Noodles is saying is too many in the middle class feel like no one is paying any attention to them. They are not represented or thought about.”OK, Steven? Ideas?“Exactly. The perception is the middle class is only important to politicians when someone has to pay the bills.”Well, let’s talk about that a bit. Government plays many roles in our society, but what’s one of them? Jake?“You’re right, professor, it does play a number of roles, but one of those roles is to help those who need help. So when people complain about the government helping out those in need, I get confused by that. That’s what it does.” Lou Brancaccio is The Columbian’s editor emeritus. His column of personal opinion appears the first Saturday of every month. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.