Just a comment on one notable thing from the 2012 U.S. elections. There has been an amazing turnaround in public opinion on gay marriage. Once deeply unpopular, referenda in Maine, Maryland and Washington state approved it, while an initiative in Minnesota to block same-sex unions failed.
A serious defeat for social conservatism or traditionalism? Not really, since gay marriage is in some ways socially conservative: it is pro-family, pro-monogamy, anti-promiscuity.
A significant political event? Perhaps not. It affects only a few people. Gays are few, gay marriages are fewer.