Since Reagan (and actually, a long time before that, but Reagan was where it really started to come out into the open; look at Nixon’s “Southern Strategy” for an immediate precursor), the main right wing strategy has been to game the system. This was and is the only strategy that can work against the progressive program that started with the Enlightenment, which is based on the obvious truths of the human condition. It plays to the xenophobia of the right wing by giving them a toga to hide behind and still act in the xenophobic ways their emotions tell them to. That is the “darkness” you refer to in this article.
The only progressive strategy that can beat this cynical one is the long fight. Resist, resist, resist, at every opportunity. Never stop, never give up, and never, ever hide and hope it goes away. It won’t. Fight the long fight.
And remember this: this strategy is, ultimately, the best they have. And it can be beaten. In fact it is, on a regular basis. There will never be a final victory against it. But it can never gain final victory either. Eventually its own deep flaws of divisiveness will make enough people angry enough to overthrow it, every time. Its temporary victories lead to the excesses that are the seeds of its fall.