Waging and Winning the War of Ideas

by Michael Dennin

In a February 15th Op/Ed published in the Washington Post , Leftist columnist Eugene Robinson belabored what has become a sobering fact – President Obama is winning the argument over government. As he correctly points out, “In his bid to be remembered as a transformational leader, President Obama is following the playbook of an ideological opposite, Margaret Thatcher. First you win the argument, she used to say, then you win the vote.”

Evidently, today’s Republican Party never got the Iron Lady’s memo.

The reason Mr. Obama is winning the argument over government is simple – Republicans aren’t even engaged in the War of Ideas. When was the last time we heard John Boehner, Mitch McConnell and Eric Cantor professing the Conservative and Libertarian Right’s philosophical argument against Mr. Obama’s collectivist case for more government and less individual freedom. When was the last time we heard the GOP’s leadership hearkening back to the lofty ideals, virtues and accomplishments of the Founders and Framers to make the conservative case against the Left’s nihilistic effort to “fundamentally transform” America into a socialist state? The only Republican who seems to be actively engaged in the grand philosophical argument is TEA Party and Libertarian favorite Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky. Why is this? Are Republicans clueless and/or apathetic about the necessity of taking the philosophical fight to their socialist adversaries and making their case to the American people? Could it be that the GOP leadership is bogged down in the nuts and bolts of running the government and campaigning for office? Could it be that there is a lack of passionate and articulate Republicans who are willing and able to effectively persuade Americans of the desirability and superiority of the Conservative and Libertarian argument? Is the GOP too divided, too fractured, to make a coherent case to the public? Could it be all of the above?

Regardless of the explanation, in the absence of the Republican party’s effort to “win the argument”, it is both obvious and imperative that someone is going to have to step forward and fill the breach in the War of Ideas, and that someone is YOU and that someone is me – grassroots Conservatives and Libertarians all across this great land. Like it or not, it has fallen to us to present and explain our philosophy and our agenda to our communities, states and nation, and persuade our fellow Americans to embrace our philosophy and agenda. Conversely, we must cut through the lies and obfuscation of the Left and explain their philosophy and agenda and convince our fellow Americans to reject them in total. In doing so, let us not underestimate our “progressive” (socialist) adversaries as the Republican party has underestimated Barack Obama. Never forget that the only thing “progressives” care about is power. Never forget that they will justify any means necessary to possess it. Never forget that they are at war with us, our philosophy and the country that they seek to “fundamentally transform” – the United States of America. The good news is that we are not “progressives”. We don’t have to lie about who we are. We don’t have to lie about our agenda. We don’t have to lie and pretend that we love and respect the United States of America, the Constitution and Individual Freedom.

We can win the War of Ideas. Our ideas our superior to theirs. Our ideas work. Our ideas made our people and our country free and prosperous. Our socialist adversaries can make none of those claims. However, Barack Obama and his “progressive” co-travelers will continue to win the argument (and win the votes) if we don’t refute their argument ourselves. The Republican party hasn’t gotten the job done, and we are at best complacent and at worst foolish to expect and/or assume that it will get the job done for us. Therefore, you and I – grassroots Conservatives and Libertarians across America – must take it upon ourselves to accept this challenge, step forward and fight for what we believe in. The greatest threat to our freedom and prosperity is not Barack Obama and his socialist argument, it is our silence. Let us raise our voices and make ourselves heard.


Posted February 17, 2013 by Candidus in Activism, Politics

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