The basic idea of a meritocracy- that people of merit should lead- is not inherently bad. The problem is what we count as merit.
Our republic has transitioned over time from being a meritocracy of values to a meritocracy of achievement. It's become perfectly acceptable to be a bigoted hypocrite in American politics, as long as you can create the illusion of a self-made man. No morals? No standards? No convictions beyond your warped sense of self interest? Sure, we'll hand you the keys to our nuclear weapons!
Moreover, we've normalized the idea that politicians are crooked, rather than perpetually holding them to a higher standard than they hold themselves. By doing so we've taken the reins off a rampaging elephant. The threat of public censure was all that was holding them back all these years. Then they managed to gaslight us out of censuring them. They fed us what will go down in history as the greatest lie ever sold: the argumentum ad crumenam- "I am rich therefore I am right."
A competent resistance must include a revolution of values and integrity. Otherwise it has no legs to stand on. Censure misconduct in your own ranks harshly. Demand accountability for all corruption. Don't suffer bigots. Raise up the most blameless among yourselves as leaders. If you do this, you'll stand a much greater chance of convincing the uncertain that your cause is the right one.