Unfortunately, our system is "one dollar = one vote", not political democracy. The checks and balances that should be instituted are the ones that check human consumption and the flow of resources (power) away from our places toward aristocracy/plutocracy.
It isn't that people actually voted for Trump per se, but that they bought all of the crap that was advertised on the news product that blew him up into a giant orange baby balloon, and the corporations receiving tax deductions for buying that advertising (theft of time and attention).
As you said, we need to evaluate our history. One of the things we need to go back and look at again is how the 'Greatest Generation' created consumerism, and all of the run-on effects of the income tax system's favoritism and corruption that allows a bankrupt real estate pickle vendor to become a religion for bullies.