Progressivism uses issues they think will be popular, but they use them as Trojan horses. Any concern for climate, racism, sexism, homophobia, etc. is a distant second to the transformation of the culture and the acquisition of power. This ideology is parasitical. It finds a popular moral parade and jumps in front of it to look like the parade's leader. The important thing is that it is grossly dishonest - and effective.
The religious right is gaining in power now for several reasons. One is a backlash. They feel threatened and they are pushing back.
The other is a kind of immunity to political correctness. This immunity leaves them standing when others are 'depowered' by political correctness. Imagine that there is a meme niche in our minds where one of three things can happen. One is that we adopt very basic, orthodox religious beliefs that fill those niches. A second possibility is that we are kind of empty in that part of our mental ecology. Very, very few people are that empty of ideas. The third is that we independent, critical thinkers capable of consciously filling that niche. Sadly, there are very, very few of these. And finally, there is the possibility that the niche is filled via political correctness. Each new graduating college class has been coming into the working world more politically correct than those before.
Only one of these will happen. That means that there is a great competition between the religious right and progressives. It is a war to see who will become the religion of the future.
But the rise of nationalism, populism, and simple-minded jingoism on the right isn't the logical antithesis of progressivism. Objectivism is. But the right has not been properly secured with sound moral/epistemological/political principles. A long-standing, increasing resentment to being lied to, to being made sacrificial animals, and to being shamed by political correctness is the fuel for the rise in militancy. This is a social/cultural evolution that probably includes many of the people who were before called 'Tea Party' people. They may have some of the right premises, even if they can't articulate them, but this 'movement' isn't grounded with solid principles. That is dangerous. The right can go wrong.
But progressivism is far more dangerous. Listen to the rhetoric. Peter Fonda says that Trumps 11-year-old boy should be kidnapped and put in a cage with pedophiles. Literally thousands of attacks on the current administration by saying they are terrorists or Nazis. And this includes major media outlets! This level of dehumanizing is a short step from initiating violence. It too is an evolution. First, they treat people with different ideas as bad people. They dehumanize them. Violence on a wide scale comes next. If you REALLY thought your nation was being attacked by Nazis wouldn't you get your hands on a gun and go after them?
Progressivism is getting progressively worse - and at an increasing rate. The corrupt are dug in and doing anything they can to avoid having their environment change to where they can't milk it. Add the increasingly violent totalitarian left, to a rising wave of militant right backlash, to a deeply corrupt special interest hooked to dishonest politicians and the result is an exploding, chaotic culture where individual rights disappear.
Dishonest and ignorance make progressivism workable. The religious right is less than honest in the explanation of their motives. One of their candidates might get elected on small government or reduced taxes, but in office begin a holy crusade against abortion. And the corrupt... There are far more than I had ever imagined. They too are, of course, engaged in deception.