The job of a diplomat is to get quarreling parties to agree to a compromise in order that physical conflict or a counter-productive situation may be avoided.
The following question concerning diplomacy has been posed. "Is the perceived lack of diplomatic success in high-profile situations trickling down and affecting how we interact with each other in everyday life?"
I've thought about this for a few days and feel that it would probably be more relevant to ask the question, " Is our lack of compromise in everyday life when dealing with each other trickling up and affecting the way the diplomats that represent our government function ?"
In my fifty-six years on this planet, I don't think I've ever seen a time when politicians mimicked the behavior of the public more than is currently the case. The wall between the public and private persona of most politicians has been clearly knocked down and we, the public, see them now as more human than at any other point in my lifetime.
Modern high- profile politicians speak and act more like "one of the gang" than they do the "statue-like orators" of my youth. Having seen both types "close up and personal", I 'd have to say that, in the long run, the persona of today's politician offers more hope. That being said, one has to wonder whose lead the modern-day politician is following when it comes to shaping their public personality and behavior. I say, "I have seen their role model and it is us ".
Every day once-trivial confrontations take place on the lawns, sidewalks, and streets of our nation that have escalated into full-blown border skirmishes. In public, we guard our place in traffic or our place in line, with all the gusto of a border guard itching for someone to dare to "cross the line" on their watch. We race up to red lights, passing other cars in the process. We muscle our way to the front of any line that has either food or merchandise waiting for us at the other end. We compromise on nothing and demand everything.
We have become so entrenched in this behavior that those we elect to office have figured out that if they act like us and talk like us , we will vote for them . We no longer vote issues; we vote body language.
Doesn't it seem strange that the failed negotiations we face with North Korea and Iran and the relentless squabbling that has saturated Congress all seem to us as if they are somehow just bigger versions of the conflicts we have in our own lives ?.
Believe it or not, politicians are still influenced by the people who vote for them. Politicians spend so much time trying to identify with potential voters that they can't help but pick up some of the habits of those voters. So, the next time you're cutting someone off in traffic and yelling at them for being in your way, or pushing your way to the front of the clearance-sale crowd, knocking down anyone in your path, if some diplomat happens to approach you and ask you how they should handle a situation like, say, North Korea, whatever you do, don't tell them, "Do what I would do".