From my perspective, the entire country has been getting more and more conservative over the past decade as the right wing wins every consecutive battle with the help of a compliant President, but that narrative doesn't play well with the base so they have to pretend the liberals are taking over instead.
I agree completely with the above bolded portion, but I'd say that it's only been picking up speed during the past decade. I think Obama would have lost if the Republicans had fielded a better candidate at the time, but they weren't ready for a Ron Paul. I suspect that the Millineal generation isn't as liberal in their hearts as they might appear in public, at least not on all subjects. As we now know, the new "alt-right" position has been growing in quiet, and didn't even tell the exit pollsters the truth of their vote.
Interestingly, arguments go both ways on this - depending on what side of the fence you are on. Meaning liberals are quick to say America is becoming more conservative and vice versa. A quick google search for this topic seems to go about 50-50 ("america is becoming more liberal" / "america is becoming more conservative").
I was under the impression that most polls actually have a majority of Americans more liberal-leaning in terms of policies: same-sex marriage, marijuana, raising the minimum wage - not necessarily to $15 though - and a few more, even though they might not personally identify as liberal or democratic. We have more POC and women in politics (aside from Trump's cabinet ha) and there seems to be a lot more discussion of race and various issues (for better or for worse).
North Carolina would be a good example - a Democratic governor won (and yes, I know that the republicans are $%^#%# around with that) in a very Republican state.
The general pattern of educated people leaning more liberal seems to hold true regardless of where or what we are looking at.
I teach college and high school in both liberal and conservative areas - and I've noticed that both groups of students talk about things I never even thought about a decade ago. I grew up in one of the most liberal, diverse, "gayest cities" - this is an actual title given to us by news sources like USA Today - in America. I never thought about feminism, politics, etc. when I was in HS and no one ever talked about it at lunch time. Now I have kids asking me about feminism and giving speeches about police brutality and global warming. I of course have conservative students who do the same for their own topics, like the 2nd amendment (lol), but it seems to me that if younger people aren't more liberal, they are at the very least more aware
Final thing, I think the democrats in general have been very quick to roll over and are not as aggressive as republicans (specifically tea partiers). See voting rights, intimidation, etc. The tea partiers were also VERY VOCAL. Not arguing that there isn't corruption etc. with the dems, because there is. Go back to my N.C. example (http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/12/north-carolina-republicans-make-brazen-bid-permanent-power-after-losing-governors-r
) - I can't fathom in a million years a Democratic legislature pulling something like this. (I could be wrong.)
Quite frankly the KKK and co have always been a part of America. They just got a fancy new name ("alt-right"), got more media-savvy, got some people who know how to carry a conversation normally (rather than the stereotypical raving lunatic), and got a white man in office who won't denounce them. I personally don't forsee them rising up and amassing this huge stronghold.