Then came Vietnam and television to reveal it all; the Civil Rights movement and Affirmative Action and the easing of immigration restrictive laws, that allow non-whites from Asia and Africa and Latin America and women liberation and the Pill and abortion clinics, the yippies and drugs and Manson and the murder of JFK and Bobby and Martin, and gradually "innocence" was lost. There was a rupture in America. Goldwater and Wallace tried to stem the tide but it was not to be and Watergate and the Church hearings about the doings of the CIA and the War Powers Act, began the limitation on America.
Reagan sold nostalgia with a grin and "aw shucks" and America started to believe again. The USSR was a shell and the Wall came down and America was once again "great. Then Reagan was shot, but the smile was not extinguished, but then came the Savings and Loans and the Iran-Contra scandals and 281 killed in Lebanon and attacking Libya and Grenada did not help. The "fantasy" was revealed and America was inconsolable and tried to regain its composure with Panama and Iraq, but to no avail. The Banks, Investment firms and Insurance companies took over the economy under Clinton's neo-liberalism but then came 9/11 and America's vulnerability was laid bare and G. W Bush invaded Iraq and Afghanistan but this would be a quagmire, draining the resources of America. Barak Obama was the new hope and he managed to repair the economy, but it was a job-limited recovery and the wars stated to be winded down, but then ISIL reared its murderous head and America was re-committed and many longed for the glory days of the 50s.
Enter Sanders and Trump. They promised hope. Sanders attracted the young and progressives, while Trump attracted the middle-aged whites and nativists. Sanders promised to go after Wall street and the 1%, who grew wealthier and wealthier, while the middle class dwindled and the poor got poorer. He promised a revitalised economy without the "ravages" of free trade (TPP, and the drawing away of jobs and investments) and a "new deal", to restore the middle class, reduce poverty and regulate industry. Trump promise to build a "wall" to keep the Mexican "drug dealers and rapists" away; to prevent Muslims entering the country; to make " America great again", blaming immigration, the media, women, LGBTs and minorities for America's decline.
Middle-aged, white, males ( some women also) and anti-immigrant, anti-abortion, anti-LGBTs Muslims, anti-free traders and diverse others who see their "way of life" threatened by the "other", flocked to Trump and his ranting and ravings grew by leaps and bounds without the weight free from the weight of policies. He appealed to their nostalgia of the time when America was white and Christian and women and blacks knew their place and gays and lesbians (LGBT), and abortions were illegal and family values reigned and America was strong economically and militarily. They long for it and believed in it, blinded by their nativism, their confusion and their false sense of what is real. No matter who Trump attacked, immigrants, women, Mexicans, Muslims, judges, the handicapped and especially the media, they believe. No matter the vulgarity of his attack, they believe. No matter the opposition of the Republican "establishment", they believe.
When this "dream" is shattered in November, what will be their response?