I think the old adage that as a youth you are a super liberal, even socialist, then you get a job and morph into a super conservative, no longer holds. We are in a transition period, the problem is it is not clear to what system we are transitioning. Traditional liberalism and traditional conservatism have just about run their full game. We are just now starting to face the reality that the old fixes don't work as they used to work. That will only become more evident as we move forward. Our system is essentially based on a post WWII system and those realities no longer exist. We need a system which helps people meet their needs achieving economic wellbeing, invests in the future and creates a peaceful harmonious culture.
Having said that, I think the Democrats, perhaps with some outside encouragement from Greens, Left-libertarians, and even democratic socialists, are in a better position than Republicans to start looking at a next system which encourages a balanced economy, democratizes wealth, addresses environmental issues, and re-creates a sense of community (a plan to awaken a new localism while assuring at the national and state levels that basic human rights are addressed would steal much thunder from the Republicans).
The Republicans, I fear are made up of a fractured coalition of groups that really do not like each other. You have Right-libertarians (think Rand Paul), religious right (think Ted Cruz), economic conservatives/social moderates (slowly being driven from the party as RINOs, think Susan Collins), economic nationalists (think Steve Bannon), social conservatives, who often over lap with religious right, against gay rights and some are Christian dominionists as well (think Roy Moore), Washington conservative establishment (think Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, Bushes) and the Country-firsters many of whom who are a hair's breath away from white nationalist Richard Spencer. All of these are currently bundled under Trump--sort of.
The Republicans also have their funding sources who have helped the party outwit the Democrats in many locations and are largely responsible for the gerrymandered mess we have today. Imagine being a Democrat and having supported Bernie in Oklahoma--a lonely existence. Personally, I am an older middle aged Anglo male and I call myself a Democrat-by-default. I find I like the Greens, but I see little hope as a third party, at least in current mode. I also like Bernie Sanders, but we need at least as wise, but younger faces to lead the Left. For now, I vote Democratic when I can (unless the choice is bad) and in races where the Republican is unopposed (I live in a red state--for the moment anyway) except by a Green or a Libertarian, I will vote Green and have even voted Libertarian instead of a Republican.
Still, I see hope for the Democrats in spite of the punishment that have taken in recent years. We need a new vision based on a community-based model which maximizes participation, protects human rights, cleans and care-takes the environment, and creates a system which invests in people and the planet.