Never underestimate the power of a large group of stupid, ignorant and frightened people.
Greenwald, as usual has a good take on what is happening. On the other hand it is kind of like a chronic progressive illness. Unless cured or some how checked it continues to get worse. On the other hand the god father of modern conservatism Buckley argued that segregation was necessary in the parts of the south with majority African American populations back in the 50s. DuPont tried to get General Butler to lead a coup in the 30s. When were the conservatives, those with real power I mean, when were they really not nuts? Or at least when did they ever believe in democracy?
But I would suggest that there has been a kind of slow motion chain reaction that seems to be leading to the kind of explosion that ended the Wiemar Republic. Particularly since those who are not conservatives, and sometimes hold themselves out as progressives seem to have no clear goals or standards or beliefs.