The 2012 elections have revealed several things: that the country is becoming more liberal, that the conservative approach of trying to pit us against one another isn't working, and that changing national demographics have resulted in the republican party being labeled as the "party of old white men" (as an old white guy I resent this!). This repudiation of prejudicial and radical conservative views should be a lesson for liberals and progressives in places like California, because the pendulum swings as a result of the failures of whatever political party happens to in control at the moment.
One reason the Republican Party has fallen so hard, is not because there isn't value in conservatism, but because they forgot that---despite its flaws---there's also value in liberalism. But part of the conservative plan to dominate politics was the creation of what they called "the culture wars," a construct designed to separate the country into "us vs. them."
"What’s most amazing is that these very issues that once helped to rally conservatives to the polls and “vote against their economic interests” are now more effective in drawing liberals to the polls. Social conservatism has been increasingly marginalized in American society and politicians are gaining much less traction pushing these issues. The passage of two marijuana legalization measures – in Colorado and Washington – and referendum support for gay marriage in four states shows that the days of GOP culture war wedge issues is coming to an end." (link)