Okay here’s my thoughts:
Okay so our newest generation of voters have no living memory of before the Berlin wall. To whom “Better dead then Red” sounds more like commentary of the red and blue state map then the threat of Soviet invasion. I’m one of that generation. I was born before but memories are fleeting and Sesame Street was never brought to me by the color Red Menace.
In short Russia isn’t so much the Enemy as it is the land of furry hats and vodka (and maybe dudes from the 22nd century looking for “nuclear wessels” for the geeks).
In the past the public perception of socialism = communism was a common political tactic to argue against socialistic things such as universal healthcare, safety nets, and general government.
Now in this brave new world we don’t have that boogie man. We have Canada and Sweden.
Sure China is a large country with Communistic ideals but we buy all our stuff from them. They’re not really marketed as a threat to our nation the way the USSR was. They’re a business partner.
There’s also North Korea but who in America actually feels like North Korea is a real threat. We cut off the foreign aid and they starve. What are they going to do to us? Even if North Korea is a threat it isn’t a major meme in the public perceptions.
Instead we have the examples of Europe and Canada where everyone gets health care and Euro countries like Norway and Sweden which boost some of the happiest people. Most of which have social safety nets to catch you if you fall and average qualities of life (if ranked by happiness, and health) that are on par or better then the average American’s.
Plus recent failures are generally (whether right or wrongly) blamed on the right.
I think we’re heading farther to the left. Not as far as Europe is (some of that our Constitution and national philosophy doesn’t support) but alot farther then seemed possible a mere generation ago.