I don't know that "subtle" plays into it. Trump doesn't like reacting, he likes acting. So when he reacts, he lashes out in another direction so that he controls the conversation. "Did Trump frequent a child sex ring" has become "will Republicans defend Trump's racism" because he chose to prove that his base gives no fucks, not because the SDNY decided to shake the tree. Likewise, "I'm for strong borders" has steadily morphed to "children in cages" and Pence standing resolutely staring down a bunch of refugees in cages didn't properly shift the discussion.
As to the people who are totally fine with hit...
... it's definitely easier for me bouncing between Seattle and Los Angeles to be dispassionate about it. I fly from liberal enclave to liberal enclave and from a place I employ immigrants to a place where they're my neighbors. Mitch McConnell is a cartoon supervillain, not my elected representative. So I can argue that what's happened has been an attempted shift in norms, with everyone attempting to toe the line of what's acceptable and the only way they can figure out how to do that is by trying it out.
There's a large, vocal minority that really wants the norms of 1939. They really want homosexuality to be an unspeakable sin, for African Americans to be second- or third-class citizens, for white nationalism to be the status quo. They're actively doing everything they can to convince everyone around them that blacks and whites don't marry. That the only good gay love is closeted gay love. And they're shouting that into the conversation as loud as they humanly can.
But the real problem is that our culture isn't strong enough anymore to shut them the fuck down immediately.
I think most of the people who aren't saying enough against racism are not saying enough because they're hopeful the problem will go away on its own without them having to take a stand. People suck at taking stands. Most of us are fundamentally cowards and we have a lot to lose. And I think this isn't a permanent shift - I think this is uncontrolled flailing because there's nobody strong enough to stand up and say STOP.
Trump is dominating the conversation right now because he shouts the loudest. But we have a lot more articulate, outspoken voices of opposition now than we did two years ago, and I think that trend will continue.
I just hope the fuckers don't shoot AOC or Omar before we get there.