Pat Buchanan used to say that the left won the culture wars and the right won the political ones. This was during the first Bush administration when there had been Republican presidents for 25 years with only the one term of Carter in between.
As the Boomer generation heads into retirement, we are very close to seeing some of those advances reversed. If a Republican wins the White House in November, it is extremely likely that the Supreme Court will reverse Roe v. Wade and Casey v. Planned Parenthood either leaving abortion rights to the states or going so far as to make abortions unconstitutional altogether.
It would be conceivable, though less likely, that the Supreme Court could reverse itself on gay marriage. On the other hand, I think we will soon see the end of affirmative action regardless of the outcome of the Presidential election unless the case is put over for a term, which seems unlikely.
On the other hand, a certain economic populism that didn’t exist in the 80s has arisen. For right-wingers it is directed mostly at the government, for left-wingers, mostly at the banks. Right now we have a candidate leading the Republican primaries who is for taxes on the rich, for not cutting Social Security, and for universal healthcare even if he’s for deporting 11 million workers from Latin America.
I won’t be shocked to see a less tolerant yet more economically fair America in 5 years.