VICTOR DAVIS HANSON on Liberal Nihilism in a Nutshell:

Obama had been elected in 2008 not on what he stood for or wished to accomplish—indeed voters had no idea of what “hope and change” actually meant—but largely for his iconic status as the first mixed-race president, and a perfect storm of events that favored his nontraditional Perot-like candidacy: the September 14, 2008, financial meltdown that at last saw him take a permanent lead in the polls, unhappiness over the Iraq war, the absence of an incumbent vice president or president in the race (the first time since 1952), and John McCain’s lackluster campaign whose central premise was to avoid any negative campaigning that might be libeled as racially driven. The result was that voters did what they had never done in the last half-century: elected a liberal from north of the Mason-Dixon line.

Obama’s dilemma was the same one facing the new nihilistic Democratic Party. Its agenda, once equal opportunity was achieved, became an equality of result, engineered and coerced by the federal government—an ideology opposed by a majority of Americans. The natural expressions of that nihilism were symbolically expressed in the strange careers of “Mattress Girl,” Sandra Fluke, Ahmed the clockmaker, Eric Holder, the National Council of La Raza, and the hunger strike in Missouri Jonathan Butler, the multimillionaire’s son. Its iconographies were the Pajama Boy ads, the “Life of Julia” video, and the hockey-stick climate graph.

The ideological success of Obamism, to the degree that it exists, rests largely in using sympathetic media, universities, foundations, the entertainment industry, and billionaire progressive activists—in the other words, the small but highly wealthy, influential and powerful coastal populations—to convince Americans that it is hip and cool to support agendas that they otherwise suspect, and to scare them that the alternative is a racist, sexist, homophobic America run by wealthy, cruel white male Christians.

Related: John Hawkins on “The Tribalist Liberal Losers Who Want Virtue On The Cheap.”