There may be a light at the end of the tunnel. I've been wondering to myself for a while now how long before we cycle to a more liberal era in America. More specificially, I've postulated to myself that once Gen X'er's kids starting growing up and entering college and Gen X'ers begin to age and take the positions of power and authority held by the Boomers currently (whom I largely blame for the conservative morass we've been living in) we'd see some type of switch in values, and probably one is more liberal. (As a side bar - I think that the Millenials - the current college generation - the mini-van generation - whose annoying tendency toward self-centeredness and reliance on helicopter Mom and Pop who jump to the rescue of their 25 year old baby - will be replaced by a generation of kids who parents tell them to go out and do it on their own).
Looks like my prediction may not be so far off according to FuturesWatch (thanks Petey for the link):
"To gain an understanding of the shifts occurring in American society, it is necessary to look at political and social trends reaching as far back as the American Revolution. An analysis of these trends reveals a consistent pattern of shifts between conservative and liberal values in the United States . The cyclic shifts (or swing of the pendulum, if you prefer) occur over a period of roughly 25 to 30 years.
If this two-century old pattern holds true, the United States is in the midst of a major transition from conservative to liberal social and political values, with 2004 being dead center in the transition period.
An analysis to American trends and events across religion, morality, philosophy, and human rights reveals a series of "conservative" and "liberal" periods over the life of the nation. The most recent "conservative" period began in the late-1970s and reached its peak between 1994 and 1998. Conservative dominance of the American social and political landscape, though still potent (as the 2004 elections demonstrated), has begun to ebb.
As the pendulum begins to swing back towards the liberal end of the political spectrum, the nature of American politics and policies will change. But because of the lag time between the beginning of social change and its appearance in the public (and therefore political) eye, it may well be another five to 10 years before the United States begins to show significant evidence of this change"