By Charlie Johnston
(A very nasty virus ripped through me the middle part of this week. I’m feeling on the mend today, at least enough where I don’t think I’ll sleep most of the day. A friend asked, concerned, if it might be Covid. I said I sure hoped so because, statistically, Covid is less dangerous to someone my age and system than the flu. Yeah, I know I get sick frequently, but I knock it back frequently, too and have no significant co-morbidities. Just the nerve damage. I figure my little bouts with viruses are just calisthenics for my immune system. This piece was originally published on Sept. 14, 2016. I have edited it lightly (taking out the dated intro) but making no substantive edits. It seems pretty basic and mild now, but at the time the series was a bit controversial. You can go here for Part I and here for Part II. I am deeply pleased that Donald Trump has made the Back to Work section I wrote below moot – for he has done it.-CJ)
Okay folks, here we go. I suspect the final installment is not going to be quite as dramatic as anticipation would make it out to be, but here it is.
Primary responsibility for and authority over a child’s education resides with the parents. States may demand compulsory education of the young, but if they do so they must provide for it in the form of vouchers that the parents may use in any school of their choice. The vouchers must be equivalent to the average cost per student at public schools.
States may demand performance benchmarks in basic subjects, such as mathematics, science, reading, writing and history. Such benchmarks must not provide cover for ideological indoctrination. Parents and private schools may file federal suit for damages and remediation against any state efforts to mandate ideological indoctrination under the cover of curriculum benchmarks.
Colleges must provide free speech and due process protections for all students. Colleges which encourage and indulge “safe spaces,” suppress free speech, and punish students for micro-aggressions – or fail to defend against rioting and sustained disruption of classes may be sued in class action by students for depriving them of the property right in education their tuition was supposed to pay for. Any college which refuses to allow ROTC on campus or access to military recruiters will be barred from receiving any federal funds. Since there will be no federal student loan guarantees, that will mainly consist of the denial of research funding and other federal collaborations that make use of the college’s intellectual resources. The federal Department of Education will be abolished as a stand-alone entity. Education will be the responsibility of the parents and the states – with the federal government serving merely as guarantor of rights, including property rights in the education that students and their families pay for.
War and Peace
The foundation of predictable, stable diplomacy is to start from the national interest. Just as a family’s first job is to protect and defend the family’s interest, so a nation’s first job is to defend the interests of its citizens. Effective diplomacy finds common interests with other nations and develops strategies to pursue and promote those common interests, always protecting the vital interests of native citizens.
The credible threat of the use of force – and the actual use of it – is always a key tool in the diplomatic bag. Other nations must always calculate both the benefits of cooperation and the costs of confrontation when dealing with the United States. America must be a reliable and steadfast ally to those who choose cooperation– and a relentless foe to those who insist on conflict. Predictability on the broad issues makes for global stability.
War must always be the tool of last resort, the tool used when either all others have failed or when the danger is so clear and present that decisive action must be taken to prevent a larger conflagration. If war must come, the clear object must ever be victory, defined as the unconditional surrender of opposing forces. I do not believe in proportionality or restrictive rules of engagement. That just gets more people killed. Let opponents know the true cost of confrontation early on and you will have far less confrontation later on.
America must never target civilians, but neither must it give opponents who don’t value innocent life an advantage by refusing to attack them if they embed themselves among civilians. Let civilians know, if they have embedded belligerents among them that they must get them out or themselves get out, for we are coming. Then come.
After victory, always give generous terms of surrender to an opponent, but terms that do not make it easy for belligerents to once again take control. The occupation of Japan after World War II and the Marshall Plan in Europe were successful models of how to make former opponents into real allies, while respecting their national sovereignty.
Pursue collective security agreements such as NATO with nations that have common interests and values. I am not a fan of propping up dictators’ clubs such as the United Nations (which may be the largest fully corrupt and incompetent institution in world history). If dictators must have a club to taunt free peoples, they can do it on their own dime and in one of their own lands.
Back to Work
In 2006, I did extensive research on energy resources related to two Congressional campaigns I was working on. I was surprised to discover that America is, by far, the most energy-rich nation on earth. Divide our resources in half and we would be the two biggest energy-rich nations in the world. Almost every state has substantial energy resources it could develop. We have been disabled like Gulliver with a network of restrictions and regulations that prevent us from tapping more than a tiny fraction of what we are capable of.
I realized immediately both the economic and national security implications of that fact. Open up our resources to exploration and development and it could put the whole nation humming with employment and economic vitality – while at the same time making sand the most valuable export the Middle East could muster.
Oil, natural gas and coal are just the start of what we can develop. Technology allows for clean uses. The liquefaction of coal, alone, can provide a diesel-like fuel that can power most military applications and many commercial uses. Cut away the bonds we have wrapped ourselves in and jobs would spring up in every state – white-collar, blue-collar, and all sorts of ancillary support industries.
I realized, with no little sorrow, that we weren’t going to do that any time soon. But when, in 2007, I began to develop plans that would quickly bring a shattered, disheartened people back to their feet with enough confidence and resolve to press on through the final challenges of the Storm, I realized that this was a critical ace in the hole. It was a way to get people working again quickly – and not in a pathetic make-work way – but with real dignity and providing resources that would help us endure all trials we must face. It will be done.
As I said when I began this, the items I have written here do not even amount to the tip of the iceberg of what I have been working at these last nine years. But they do illustrate the principles – and types of principles – that will be used during this critical period between the final crash and the definitive Rescue that will allow us to endure and prepare the way for Rescue. Come Lord Jesus!