Yes, I didn't mean to imply "so we can just sit back and watch it happen." But hopelessness is what gives us voter apathy. It's not the hopeless that go vote. The Republican party depends on playing to people's fears, sure, but it also depends on ideological appeals more than the Democrats. It can do that, because it doesn't have a coalition too large to have a coherent ideology. The "values" in "values votes" isn't just Evangelical Christian values though. The communitarian sense that people far away shouldn't get to tell you how to live has been a big part of American conservative ideology since the Anti-Federalists at least. It's why defenders of slavery and opposition to the civil rights movement talked about "state's rights", but that distrust of the distant over the local extends all the way down. You hear people say the name of their state capitol in the same tone they say "Washington". Using state governments to shut down progressive legislation in cities and college towns is abandoning a big part of their ideological appeal, at the same time demographics are turning against them.