Turn on the news today or log into your social media and you will see headline after headline of attacks on our liberty and security. Whether it’s anti-police riots, jihadist gunmen, or corrupt politicians, our nation’s traditions and principles are under heavy assault. It is demoralizing. We know who seeks to destroy our society and what their objectives are. But what can we actually do to stop them?
What we face today are multiple “wars of ideas.” While enemy combatants are not an invading force shooting bullets and dropping bombs, the outcome is the same. Our way of life is up for grabs. The Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement is an opponent in one of the idea wars. The attacks on our police officers – and law and order itself – coming from their protests across the nation are a threat to our justice system and could have far-reaching effects if we do not engage.
Fortunately we do not need to adopt their tactics of lawlessness and violence to defeat them.
Author Robert R. Reilly lays out four maxims for winning wars of ideas in The Knowledge Group’s 2015 special report, The Islamic State and Information Warfare: Defeating ISIS and the Broader Global Jihadist Movement:
- “the first thing one must do is formulate the ideas that are so central to one’s life that one is not willing to live without them.”
- “one cannot go into a war of ideas until one understands the ideas one is at war with.”
- “wars of ideas, by definition, can only be fought by and with people who think.”
- “along with a consistency of purpose, one must have the organizational and
financial means for conducting a war of ideas over the course of generations.”
The right to free speech and to bear arms, freedom of religion, a limited and constitutional government, a right to due process, and equal protection under the law are all ideas that no American (more…)