by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
To the philosopher, nihilism means that nothing in the universe matters or has any significance. Political nihilism takes the philosopher’s theorem and applies it to existing social and political institutions, thereby clearing the way for their replacement. Surprisingly, Obama openly embraced political nihilism during an October 31, 2008 speech at the University of Missouri, when he abandoned his message of “hope and change you can believe in” and declared, “We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.”
Although this random act of honesty galvanized Obama’s base and helped secure his election, it also turned his declaration of intent and the oath of office into contranyms. To resolve this dilemma, Obama the fundamental transformer recast himself as Obama the true blue American, and reaffirmed his fidelity to the Constitutional Republic during his first inaugural address. …
… In the end, Obama’s above-the-fray, laissez-faire approach to leadership was a mistake — a mistake that today’s progressives will not repeat. They are the new nihilists, activists openly calling for the destruction of America’s existing social and political institutions so that new, progressive ones can arise from the rubble. No more electoral college, no more borders, no more constitutional restrictions is their cry, and all the Democratic Party’s presidential hopefuls say amen.