“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. There are indeed some very informed and intelligent people working in Washington and private international corporations I’ve met. However, solving global problems takes many different insights which should include private citizens. Nobody has all the answers. We need to 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 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 in food, climate, security and economics that the US founding fathers couldn’t ever have imagined and had to face.
We do after all, live together on the Earth, and how to survive is humanity’s greatest challenge. The answers will not begin in the minds of the money controlled politicians of the world. The answers begin when the world’s youth through social networks, stop trying to understand our twentieth century approaches and political dogma and begin questioning our self appointed wisdom. By recognizing our mistakes, they can enhance society to create a better life for themselves and the planet. I wish them well.
I find the White House especially interesting at this time of world recession. A fortress of American power, yet finding it must also adapt more to a global approach 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.” That means 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, Middle East? I’ve been in contact with the White House numerous times during my travels to update them on my work and offer my cultural assistance overseas. We all can help. Perhaps someday, US 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 just might help save humanity in our unstable, global complex future..
Kennedy speaks at the UN with the
Institute for Cultural Diplomacy