Well, a positive article is hard to find these days, however, I would question some of your apparent reasons for our demise. One starting point that you use is that, “The conservatives arguably brought a healthy revitalization to Western politics in the Reagan/Thatcher era.” and that sounds positive. But the truth is significantly different, at least here in the States. Here Reagan initiated his Southern strategy (idea initially from Nixon) desiged to give the South a code that said, we are going to put the blacks back where they belong! Since then, that message has been consistently built upon by the Right, complacent media, the courts and State Legislatures and now it has produced a Trump who is expert at hustling the politic and media.
Another point that you do not mention is the outsourcing of jobs, initallly promoted by Clinton and NAFTA and then the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act, which allowed financial institution to rob the State! That further destroyed most remaining jobs for middle and lower class workers and was essentially supported by the Obama Administrations appointment of Holder to insure that not one executive would ever be held accountable! Obama and his Justice Department continued with this Harvard driven reliability throughout his 8 years of executive protectionism while all the long promoting Empire around the globe!
So, while on the one hand, I would agree with your assessment of the California “scene,” I am afraid that we in the rest of the country are going to have to address the potentially disastrous effects of a would be Dictator who unless checked by his own Party and the very Corporate Media and elite that supported him, may actually accomplish his deepest narcissistic desires. Remember, the Media created the platform and attention for his ascendancy and Presidency and in only a few days of office has shown a consistant inability to intelligently deal with Trump and his gang! They somehow, despite a visceral understanding of the process, cannot prevent themselves from publishing every Tweet, every photo-op and every response he makes, which are all designed to give him free propaganda to a shocked Nation!
The speed of the Administrations attack on all aspects of government, indicates how prepared the Ultra Right is, as well as how dismally unprepared the Democrats and Progressives are and highlights a complete lack of organized opposition to this apparent coup! Even Sanders seems to be lost in the whirlwind of nominations and policy shifts as demonstrated by the votes already taken for the Trump nominees!
I have to conclude by saying that I did see Trump winning and wrote to many people including Sanders, about why he could win and why it was important to have the DNC or another organization ready to combat the Trump machine. Capitalistic Globalization and its marrage to the religious institutions, both Christian and Jewish, in our country will be very hard to stop, especially now that it is in the door. Until the elite recognize that Trump, with the power of the pulpit, (which by the way Obama never inderstood) free propaganda through the media, the police and churches beside him, can reach them as well, we may find that what we thought unimaginable, has actually come to America! Then God help us all!