The main reason the 1950s looks so good to so many of us is that in moving from the old order to the new, we lost much of our civilizational confidence. You may say that that confidence was misplaced, or an illusion; you may even say that it was obnoxious, and good riddance to it [yeah, something like that --ed]; and you may be right on all points. There is something awfully attractive about civilizational confidence though. Like innocence, once gone, it can't be recaptured. Those of us who recall it shouldn't be blamed for missing it.
The lack of confidence might have began with the dirty, stinking hippies, but at least Derb and the gang still had the Cold War to keep them going. Without the Cold War, they are really in a fix.