Opposing educational reform

The past two weeks have juxtaposed the political rhetoric of the Democratic and Republican parties in the US. Their conventions to nominate their party's candidate for the next President of the US has paraded each party's best orators before arenas of enthusiastic audiences and network television coverage. As I watched both conventions, I was spellbound by what I was seeing. It became apparent to me why educational reforms have been urgently opposed for over a century. I've written 15 pages of notes to myself during the past two weeks that will become the next series of blog posts here.

Political rhetoric is different from political action. Talk is cheap and easily forgotten. Verbiage is designed for winning arguments rather than making significant changes. Yet rhetoric reveals underlying intentions, motivations and frames of reference. It's especially easy to see where one propagandist is coming from when put in the context of so many allies and opponents.

Understanding the intentions, motivations and frames of reference of any opposition provides exceptional leverage. "To know oneself and one's enemy" is essential to win a war without a battle. The more insight we have into opponents, the more obvious it becomes how they function as their own worst enemy. It becomes clear how to let them self-destruct, fall on their own sword and act out their urges to sabotage their own success. Educational reforms could fall into place while the opposition falls by the wayside.

Knowing one's enemy is easy compared to knowing ourselves. When we don't know where we are coming from, we're afraid of our own shadow. We point fingers at our own reflection in the mirror. We don't see how much we have in common with our enemy or why we need the battle in the first place. Coming to know an opponent's intentions, motivations and frames of reference usually involves some deep learning.

If "winning without a battle" is new or vague to you, here's some other posts that explored this possibility:

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