Saturday, January 31, 2009

Education/TLR: the Democracy Project

The Texas Ascendancy Campaign will increase the power and influence of Texas so it can be a positive force in our country, leading America back to prosperity, preserving and strengthening our American Republic.

The Democracy Project, which I describe now, will be an important part of this effort. Maintaining our representative democracy has three aspects: (1) foundational, (2) strategic, and (3) tactical.

The foundational aspect of the Democracy Project is knowledge of the foundations of our republic, which means knowing and understanding the constitutions of Athens, Sparta, and Rome. A core group of Texans must understand how these governments rose, flourished, and failed. Some of us must understand well, like our Founding Fathers understood, the histories of these great civilizations. Some of the writers of the Federalist papers signed themselves Publius, after Publius Valerius Publicola, drawing on their knowledge of Roman history.

The Federalist and Anti-Federalist papers are an important debate on the strengths and weaknesses of the American Constitution and some of us must be conversant with the arguments on both sides in order to maintain our American constitutional government. We will lose what we do not understand.

We must understand criticisms of democracy, like that expressed by Walter Lippmann in his book, "The Phantom Public." We can better protect our republic if we understand its weaknesses.

The Texas Diplomacy Project is an example of the strategic aspect of the Democracy Project. Strategic thinking is the long term plan for gaining political power for Texas and its allies within the American political system.

The tactical aspect of the Democracy Project would include detailed short term plans to gain and exercise political power. For example, Texas members in the US Senate and House of Representatives could start forming a new political caucus, an American Heartland Caucus, that looks out for the interests of middle-American families and the states in the American Heartland, which I think of as the states that are not West Coast and not East Coast states. (The name "Heartland Alliance" is already taken, so we need to be careful in the name we use.)

Texans need to be leaders, not followers. We cannot follow politicians from either the East or the West Coast, and we cannot allow either the Republican National Committee or the Democratic National Committee to set direction for America's Heartland because that job should belong to Texas.

Education is a vital part of the Democracy Project. Our public schools need to introduce our children to Constitutional issues so they understand some of the arguments and concerns on both sides of the debate over ratification. Our universities must make available paths of study that allow some students to become well versed on Constitutional issues. If Texas is going to be a dominant player on the national stage, we need to develop first class Constitutional lawyers.

There is a big overlap between education, law, and leadership (TLR, the Texas Leadership Revolution) in the Democracy Project. The Texas Ascendancy Campaign has many pieces, some of which overlap.

Put together all the pieces of the Texas Ascendancy Campaign and we have a road map to greatness.

Robert Canright

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