There are times when you'd miss the old liberal elitists all the same. When Obama spoke to his people last week, I recalled watching his inauguration with my then 10-year-old daughter, thinking this would be something she'd remember in times to come - an obviously good thing, a happy day for the human race, you might assume.
But you'd be assuming a lot there, you'd be forgetting that for some people, this was an obviously bad thing, an unhappy day, a bitter defeat for them and a victory for the "liberal elites".
We did not know the depth of that unhappiness at the time, but we know now that leaders of the far right were seeing great opportunities in such "progressive" developments.
In human affairs in general, when you break with your old ways, there is usually a reaction, an urge to go backwards to a more familiar place - so you can never assume that when an Obama is elected, everything is just going to keep getting better all the time.
In fact you can be pretty sure a struggle will ensue, and sometimes it will all go horrendously wrong - in America and Britain, when they went after all the "liberal elitism", all the "political correctness" which was supposedly oppressing the "forgotten" people, they did it with a vengeance.
Would you recognise the rise of Trumpism in these lines? "They aroused popular enthusiasm by sophisticated propaganda techniques for an anti-liberal, anti-socialist, violently exclusionary, expansionist nationalist agenda."
That would be about right, would it not?
That is a classic definition of fascism, by Professor Robert Paxton.
Indeed last week, when Trump held up that Bible to reassure his white "base" in their defiance of reason and enlightenment, he was doing a classic far-right trick of harking back to the old ways - like the Brexiteers evoking their heroism in a war that happened before they were born.
Though to give us our due, some of us did not need to see America on the edge of civil war, or Britain being misruled by some of the worst people in the world, to sense that something very, very wrong was on the way.
Why, in October 2016, in the Life magazine of this paper, I wrote a long article with the words "Trump and the rise of fascism" in the headline.
Because back then - and indeed to this day - you still had a body of supposedly serious opinion which tut-tutted and harrumphed at any use of the word "fascism", except perhaps in cases of actual Nazis marching in full uniform and making inflammatory speeches in German.
To which I would respond, that by the time they're wearing uniforms and marching, it is too late.
And anyway, with Trump you didn't have to be Professor Robert Paxton to discern where he was going with this - the man himself has constantly made it clear that he feels deeply frustrated by the constraints of democracy, he never stops admiring the ways of the "strongmen" who have moved beyond all that foolishness.
But that Life piece didn't just take the man at his own evaluation, it put forward the view that these "populists" were riding on the back of another victory - that of a rampaging corporate culture over the "administrative state" so reviled by fanatics such as Steve Bannon and Dominic Cummings.
So the Republicans are supporting Trump not just because they are bad people - though of course they are - they are loving his trashing of government which they have been advocating for generations.
Interestingly, they never blame the misfortunes of the "forgotten people" on those corporations which run their world. According to them it's our old friends the "liberal elites" and the "political correctness" which were killing everything.
And though they will always be subverting democracy with a tsunami of misinformation, there was a moment of truth even for Cummings recently, when he was obliged to give the viewing public an extensive guide to his family's many properties and estates - he who has been calling out "rich Remainers" for their membership of an "elite", may give that one a rest for a while.
Yet his defence of his own breach of lockdown was consistent with the attitude of the Tories in their Brexit campaigns. They lie, and they lie some more, and then their story gets completely ridiculous… and then they just do what they were going to do anyway, because they can. Regardless of the damage done.
These characters do reveal themselves, but not exactly as they intend - when Trump said that he got rid of all these pandemic experts because he's a business person, and he doesn't like to see a load of people sitting around doing nothing, he was crystallising a few decades' worth of the "conservative" fetish for "small government".
And because they are addicted to their own bulls**t, not only are they incapable of dealing with a real-world problem like a pandemic, they truly do not care about such things any more than a Mussolini would have cared.
These guys are not here to help.
I think that's clear now.