Friday, April 8, 2016
Opt Out and the War in Vietnam
Here is what I learned from the War in Vietnam which has relevance to Opt Out: Money is important, power is important, technology is important, but when people are fighting to defend something near and dear to them- whether it is their country, their community, or their family- their capacity for sacrifice can overcome the most extraordinary financial and technological advances possessed by outsiders, The technocrats shaping US policy in Vietnam- many of them ivy league trained- could not imagine how the people of an Asian country which was largely pre-industrial could stand up to the the firepower that the most powerful nation in the history of the world could unleash against them, But they vastly underestimated the willingness of Vietnamese civilians as well as soldiers to sacrifice to defend their country against foreign invaders.
Similarly, those behind testing and Common Core in the US have virtually limitless resources to buy off governments and state education departments. They can use their wealth to control presidents, governors, mayors, and school commissioners. And they cannot imagine why mere parents think they have the wherewithal to resist their policies. But what they forget is that when parents feel their children's welfare is at stake, there is no sacrifice that is too great for them to make. The Opt Out movement is a reflection of that sacrifice, And in the face of parents determined to defend their children, neither bribery or intimidation will work. That is a lesson that elites are gradually learning, the hard way.
Just as they did in Vietnam