Is it a matter of style or substance? I'm not sure yet, but the theme is unmistakable. So far, Bruce Tytler's campaign is all about the Brain War.
The phrase "brain war" appears in almost every article about the Tytler for Congress campaign that I've seen. Over the weekend, for example, a new article in the Utica Observer-Dispatch quotes Tytler as saying, "We won the Cold War. We can't afford to lose the brain war."
I presume that when Bruce Tytler talks about the Brain War, he is speaking in favor of support for public education. The analogy between the struggle to fund education and the Cold War is interesting to me because it has three degrees of separation from actual war. Let's remember that the Cold War was itself not actually a war. So now, Bruce Tytler is comparing educational advocacy to a long simmering competition that was in turn likened to a war.
If we are to use a war metaphor for education, what components will it include? Will there be the rocket propellled grenades of science and the roadside bombs of intelligent design theology? How about the trenches of fast food in school cafeterias? Do pep rallies become like USO shows?
I'm not sure whether Bruce Tytler will be able to pull off the brain war metaphor yet, but I have this much to say in favor of the concept: At least Bruce Tytler has come up with a memorable phrase tied to progressive policy. It helps him distinguish himself from the other candidates a little bit, and in this crowded primary field, that can't be bad.