Of course, the United States has experienced reactionary spasms before; indeed, the country, arguably, has always been reactionary, with brief moments of progressive politics that get eviscerate quickly.
In my experience, the election of Reagan seemed re-start the unrelenting slide to the Right that Nixon’s election began, one effect being that the feckless Democrats have been dragged to the Right, too.
And the White Supremacy, racism, misogyny, and goofy economics have been a mainstay of the “Republic,” too. As is the free ride given the GOP (and, earlier, the Southern Democrats/Dixiecrats) for its dog-whistling and Southern Strategy. It has been a White Supremacist Party for decades. How White Supremacist? Well, consider that, according to a relatively recent poll, fully 46% of registered Republicans in Mississippi believe marriage between African Americans and white Americans should be illegal:
And over 600,000 people–most of them believing they are proper Christians–voted for the anarcho-segregationist and pedophile, Roy Moore. His opponent won by only 25,000 votes. Sick? Yes. Such Christians also get a free ride from the media and from Christian “leaders.”
What is new with the White Supremacist, hyper-stupid Trump coup d’etat is, perhaps, the scale of what’s not getting done: smart solutions to immigration-problems and ignoring immigration issue that are illusory; addressing mass-incarceration; addressing global warming (the GOP stance is akin to ignoring viruses responsible for plagues); addressing, as opposed to widening, the immense wealth-gap; heading off another economic catastrophe; constructing a health system that provides more-than-adequate healthcare for people who live in the U.S. (mere Sweden can do it, but Big Daddy U.S. can’t? Seriously?); and so on.
From this perspective, the GOP is committing national homicide-suicide. The Democrats and other sources of power are accessories to the crimes.
Not co-incidentally, a recent book by Peter Pomerantsev, Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible: The Surreal Heart of New Russia, applies aptly to the U.S.: