It seems incredibly self evident to me why our country has shifted so much to the right. Beyond the (often credible) conspiracies of banks, business, and government, our population is aging. You look at the countries like Libya and Egypt, they're massively young countries, with the majority under 30 years old. Here in the US, we've got this big bubble of the Baby Boom hitting their old age.
Revolutions and rebellions tend to be more common among the young. Hell, it was this same generation that led during the 60's hippie revolution. Now they're aging, have become conservative, and want security more than they care about ideals. A natural shift, really. Sad for the rest of us, and sad for the state of democracy in general.
And we all know old people vote far more than the young. Plus, kids/young people these days are all hypnotized with their iPhones, iPods, wii games, internet, and the good old TV. We have no time or energy anymore to put towards social rebellion. We guage our ears and get tattoos, which is all pretty bland and safe as far as rebellion goes; even the drugs are largely passe; at least, they don't lead anywhere like one might say they did in the 60s with the psychedelics. Now it's just party drugs, like ecstacy and rave shit.
It's like Tom Petty sang, about rebels without a cause. There's no more idealism.