“Thank you for all that you have done around the world on behalf of our great country”
Dan Bartlett’s office, Special counselor to the President, The White House
If you’re an effective leader, you’re going to be criticized for your ideas. It’s not always easy to do what’s right, in spite of disagreement. Being politically correct is not clearly defined in today’s international, sociological context. Allies can become adversaries overnight. Enemies can become temporary allies, and geopolitics are the rules of engagement. Although there are some incompetent leaders, there are some brilliant, and very informed people, working in Washington. Some of those, whom I’ve met and have corresponded with, work in military, intelligence, diplomatic, secret service, cultural, law enforcement and political directions.
Leaders of private international corporations abroad have also provided me with perspectives that show our world in hues of color. I have learned many things from all these well-informed minds. Some are nationalist, others internationalists, some capitalist and others socialist. Regardless of their leanings, their combined experiences have taught me not to be naive. What I’ve learned, and the information they have entrusted me with, is confidential, and will stay that way. I gave them my word. However, solving global problems takes many different insights, which should include private citizens. Nobody has all the answers. We should work together. My diplomatic approach to the arts is effective, because it relies on cultural perceptions and history. That’s what citizen diplomacy, in a way, is all about. On a January morning in 1961, a man stood alone in the icy cold, and said, “Ask not, what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”
… I asked.
Every American should read the Constitution. It defines the power structure of America, (We the people, by the people.) If we are to be a successful republic, we need to stand for something: the responsibility to raise our standards of excellence in the United States, by helping humanity. After traveling to 50 countries, I can see that the old world concept of sovereign nationalism is changing. When the Constitution was signed in 1787, there were 800 million people on the earth. Now, as the world’s population reaches seven billion, and more countries obtain nuclear power, there will be completely new challenges, Food, climate, security and economics, are issues that the U.S. founding fathers couldn’t ever have imagined. Thinking like 1776 will prove futile in the real-politic of 2019. Yet, we need to have a constitutional standard by which to judge ourselves, or there is no basis for law.
This is the puzzle of sovereignty Americans must solve.
We do, after all, live together on the Earth; how to survive is humanity’s greatest challenge. The answers will not begin in the minds of the money-controlled politicians. The answers begin, when the world’s youth stops trying to understand our twentieth-century approaches, and political dogma, and begin questioning our self-appointed wisdom. By recognizing our mistakes, so that they don’t repeat them, they might be able to enhance society, creating a better life for themselves, and the planet. I wish them well. However, first, they will have to stop wasting their time, watching and texting nonsense on social media, and take part in actually shaping the world. I strongly urge them to fix their own country’s problems first, before trying to save the world.
I find the White House especially interesting at this time of world recession. A fortress of American power, yet finding that it must also adapt to a more global approach, in order to work with the international community. However, the President took an oath to the American people, “to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” This means he must protect the rights of the people. Americans demand that he keeps his word, and I agree. It will be difficult for him to do both global and national agendas. It is an interesting political time in history. Who will decide the fate of humanity? Asia, Europe, America, Russia or the Middle East? I’ve been in contact with the White House numerous times during my travels, to update them on my work, and to offer my cultural assistance overseas. We all can help. Perhaps, someday, U.S. Presidents will see the necessity for their administrations and citizen diplomats to work together. Having more informed approaches are not only important for America, but they just might help save humanity in our unstable, complex global future..
Kennedy speaks at the UN with the
Institute for Cultural Diplomacy