What I see occurring, both now and increasingly in the future, is Americans abandoning prior positions and principles in the light of harsh realities.
Years ago, a majority of Americans opposed universal health care, as they felt this is something that should be obtained on an individual basis and through the private sector. But, with the costs sky-rocketing and employers struggling to afford coverage for their employees . . and job losses that eliminate such coverage . . and the reality of millions (including children) without health coverage . . Americans are now largely supporting some sort of govt-provided health care for everyone (and will likely even cover those in U.S. illegally). And, with govt-provided health care, you KNOW that the govt will increasingly have a say in what used to be personal decisions that have an impact on health costs (anti-smoking we've alread seen; I suspect we will see efforts to curb consumption of alcohol, high-cal/fast foods, caffeine, sugary drinks . . that Americans will be pushed to exercise a certain amount of time weekly . . I wonder if genetic testing will at some point be used to tell people who they can procreate with . . who would be a bad vs. good genetic match for you). When told that "this is the only way we can afford to cover everyone", Americans will gradually give up the right to make decisions for themselves.
There was a time when religious practices and symbols were such a part of public life that very few even questioned it. But now, you see surveys where a majority of Americans support removing public expressions of faith (lest, I believe the thinking is, every cult and sect must be given equal footing . . add to this, many people today resent anyone or anything setting limits or judgments upon their behaviors).
There was a time when human life was respected and protected. But, over time, the demands for abortion-on-request have gotten stronger, such that even barbaric practices like partial-birth are defended as "rights". Seems like the only life seen as worth protecting now are the convicted murderers sitting on death row.
With the economy, there was a time not long ago when the average American trusted private business to make sound decisions rather than govt. Now, its the other way around -- due to stupid, self-serving decisions by a relative few, the Federal govt will increasingly take over decision-making regarding the economy. Politics, not market forces, will dictate (kind of reminiscient of the former Soviet Union).
Probably the biggest die-hards of all are the gun-rights people. But, in the face of wide-spread gun violence, affecting even those from "good" neighborhoods, I think it will eventually occur that private ownership of firearms will be denied to all but a few well-heeled collectors. Again, because of the irresponsibilty of a relative few, all Americans will be denied the right to protect themselves and their property, and denied any means to resist the oppressive govt all this indicates will be the future of America.
And, you know that people will gradually trade away what remaining freedoms exist. They just become too tired and too fearful to resist any longer. I know that I am coming to feel this way . . . just take everything so that perhaps I can die in peace. Man, this is not the country my father fought for.