Saturday, September 10, 2016

What can Trump and Clinton learn from diplomats?

Joe Johnson, "What can Trump and Clinton learn from diplomats?"

Friday, September 9th 2016
Cartoon face of female wearing glasses
Donna Oglesby
Donna Oglesby, Diplomat in Residence at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida, has published a book chapter just in time for this Presidential campaign.  Here is Donna's take on the value of diplomatic rhetoric.

"A community that believes understanding, informing, and influencing foreign publics and dialogue between Americans and United States’ institutions and their counterparts abroad is worthwhile is a community using and living within public, that is to say political, language.  Diplomats, above all are committed to the idea that contradictions in interests and values can often be worked out rationally, using language.  We believe that effective verbal and non-verbal language can lubricate the great and smaller gears enmeshing separated political communities into a single international system within which differences can be addressed without conflict.
"Given our understanding of political language as an instrument used to explain and persuade, what are we to make of this presidential election season, indeed, this year in global politics?  Like Alice in a strange new land, I feel the need to question the all-knowing Cheshire Cat: "what sort of people live about here?" to which the cat replies "in that direction lives a Hatter, and in that direction, lives a March Hare. Visit either you like: they're both mad!".
"Mad or not, their language defines the realm in which diplomats now work. Perhaps it’s time to take a longer look at Diplomatic Language. Join me in Chapter 20 of the new Sage Handbook of Diplomacy."

Author: Joe Johnson 

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