Wednesday, January 11, 2017
Let's say you were the world's greatest diplomat. Let's say you could enter any negotiation and always get everything you want. You are a champion of justice? You got it. You are in favor of civil rights? No problem. You have a body of downcast people you represent? And you want to protect them? You're there.
You've got it. You're perfect.
No matter who you come up against, you prevail. When you go to negotiate with someone, and say, "I have these demands, 1, 2, 3... 10," and your partner says, "I have these demands, 1, 2, 3...10." You get them all. No, "Let's compromise. What will you drop and what will I drop? How will we negotiate?" No. You get it all. You're the great negotiator! You never betray your morals!
You see, in diplomacy there is always give and take. Always something that is a betrayal. Always a compromise. Always. We, here, in the trenches can look to our leaders and say, "Traitors! You betrayed us here! And here!" And we're right. They always betray their own folk, here and here. They can't help it. They have to. That's what it means to be diplomatic. To give in order to get. To betray one side in order to benefit another. To be a traitor. A moving traitor. That's a diplomat. A moving traitor. Just make their treachery worse than ours. Or make our two gains better than our loss. And call it a win for all.
But what's the alternative? Suppose you were the perfect diplomat. Suppose you could always get your way. Always promote your cause. Always stand for justice and refuse to bow down to compromise. Suppose you never had to put up with the diplomat dance of, "Who will I screw now to make sure someone doesn't get screwed later?" Suppose you could just be Superman and fight for Truth, Justice, and the American Way?
Every time you engage in diplomatic relations you win. Every time you raise one banner or another for human rights and freedom, you prevail. Every time you are asked to compromise your values you refuse. You are adamant. You are righteous. You are victorious. You are the champion of your people.
What would you call that?
A brilliant negotiator?
I would call that a dictator.
Be careful what you wish for.