All is not hopeless, but things do continue to get worse without any sign of an upturn.
The ugliness of the birther lie was that it was concocted from thin air - completely in bad faith - as a tactic to consolidate support of extreme elements of conservatism, and thus fed the rise of Trump and Trumpism. The all-tactics-all-the-time approach to political success has led us to Trump's latest ugliness that he will not (may not) honor the results of the electoral process. He sees yet another weakness in our political system that relies on parties (meaning individuals or institutions) acting in good faith. No law requires a candidate to honor and recognize the popular will at the ballot. And we have seen that process is an easy target because it is an abstraction. Actions in bad faith for tactical advantage are rewarded unless they are immediately called out for what they are. When a "fair and balanced" press bends over backwards to avoid even the appearance of objectivity, depiction of reality suffers.
The point here is that Trump's latest and greatest affront is a new low - beyond the pale in a new way, which illustrates that we are unfortunately still going downhill in politics. With the Republican Party leadership continuing their stony silence, we have no reason to expect revulsion at Trump to result in resolve to shed pure party loyalty in favor of democracy. Instead, we must expect Republican leaders will be jockeying for position to maintain as much power in the next Congress.