Paul Gordon Collier
In warfare, the generals throughout the ages who succeeded and were recognized as being ‘great’ were the ones who controlled where and how the battle would take place. In the case of Hannibal, he very rarely fought the entire Roman Army head on, save for the case of Cannae, where he set the battlefield in advance.
In the case of the 300 Spartans, they picked the critical defense point, Thermopylae Pass, to set up their defense. In the case of Themistocles, he laid a trap for the Persian Navy and sucked them in to the battle ground of his choosing, the narrow passage of Salamis.
Too often, the Constitutional activists engage in battles with statists on their terms, in their battlefields. They engage in a debate about the merits or demerits of the practical outcomes of the policies that statists will push for, such as Net Neutrality, Common Core and even Obamacare.
The statists have on their side two decided advantages in this battle- they have the call to emotion and the sheer volume of data that makes it almost impossible to lucidly prove, beyond all doubt, that their policies are not sound, that their policies will not deliver what they promise to deliver.
There is, however, a battlefield the statists have a decided disadvantage, the battlefield of standards. You see, we are buried in a deluge of ‘facts’, some of which are true, some of which are half truths, some of which are lies, some of which are un-provable assumptions. Despite all the data out there that prevents us from affirming or denying a path to ‘truth’, there is a discernment that can be applied to guide us out of this intentional avalanche of data, standards.
If do not have a level of self-awareness that enables you to understand and articulate your true root standards in life- be they in the sacred- the social- the market- or- for the political activist- the civic- you do not know the root of the actual battle being fought
Let’s take the debate over Common Core. Currently, many Constitutional Activists are showing the flaws in Common Core’s standards, ridiculing special math, citing examples of children crying over tests, They are debating about the soundness of the ‘standards’ of common core, which is the battlefield the statists have set for them. It is a battlefield that favors the statists.
The battlefield for the Constitutional activist is over the root standard of governance that common core represents, as opposed to the root standard of governance for a Constitutionalist. Should critical education standards be defined by a Federal Government? Does that practice violate the American Republican model of governance? Is it possible for a small group of ‘experts’ to define the standards of education that will affect a nation of 300 million?
So long as we do not clearly define our standards and articulate them, we are engaging in a debate that will always occur on the enemy’s choice of battlefield. When we define our standards and fight from those standards, we force the enemy to have to engage with us on the field of battle of OUR choosing.
In order for us to set the battlefields of OUR choosing, we must first come to understand our standards of civic governance and stick doggedly to fighting over these standards, avoiding the peripheral battles over the effects of violations of those civic governance standards. Our nation has a document that articulates the core standards of civic governance we should strive to see one day come to full fruition, the Bill of Rights.
Before we can set the battlefield, then, we need to learn and come to consensus among we Constitutional Activists as to what those core standards are that will say- this line and no more. Here is our Thermopylae. Here is our Salamis. If we cannot identify the critical defense points of our nation of liberty, we cannot hope to stop and turn back this statist invasion of America the Brave and the Free.