We were due for this vitriol. Our demographics are changing, we've supported dictators and armed the wrong side of other nation's rebels so many times that the hole we find ourselves in is no surprise. As David Harris, the anti-war activist used to say, "when you do shit all your life, at the end all you've got is one big pile of shit." What part of that isn't clear?
I see folks like Palin and Trump as a last gasp. They bring a twisted smile to the lips of people who feel lost, small angry, frustrated and most of all incapable of understanding change. Add to that their lack of the empathy gene and the desire to make right with might and you've got the perfect audience.