Economic pain does not explain why Americans elected Trump. Consider the exit poll data. A majority of those earning under $50,000 a year voted for Clinton, and that majority was even larger for those earning under $30,000 a year. Trump won majorities in every income bracket over $50,000 a year.
The explanation is whiteness — especially when the belief in white superiority has not been tempered by diversity and education. Racial identity remains the most potent construct for justifying superiority of some over others, and Trump exploited it masterfully.