Is the War on Christmas even the Worst Thing That’s Happened?

Some would say that diplomacy only works between governments. I wouldn’t make that assumption. When I was a member of Congress, I was very well acquainted with a media chief who was considerably more…

Is the War on Christmas even the Worst Thing That's Happened?

Some would say that diplomacy only works between governments. I wouldn’t make that assumption. When I was a member of Congress, I was very well acquainted with a media chief who was considerably more accomplished than I was.

My chief political liaison with the White House was something of a seasoned diplomat. She served in senior posts in several administrations, including as a legislative correspondent to the U.S. House of Representatives, chief of staff for Sen. Bob Dole of Kansas and press secretary for Brian Mulroney, the former Canadian prime minister. Before that, she was media secretary for the 1992 Reagan-Bush campaign. While she liked being in the White House, the difficult part was the public perception of her incompetence in high office.

In every aspect of her work, I only observed that she knew what she was doing. She knew what she wanted in life and where she wanted to be in order to achieve it. She also knew that the only way to accomplish any dream you had was to work hard and remain patient. That’s how diplomacy works.

So imagine my surprise when I heard from my old colleague and friend some of the most inflammatory, unhinged things she has ever spoken.

Under no circumstances should these poisonous words, hurtful to many, ever be spoken by anyone in government. Imagine the impact on diplomacy if media and the public started to believe that over the past few years some recent decisions to backtrack on global commitments on climate change, trade deals, sexual harassment and many others were because the administration was playing the game of divide and conquer.

Some would say that’s a little naive, but I think we’d all be better off if we didn’t try to play the same game. Now that the Disney decision has become public, my old colleague is publicly exposing her contempt for America and its people in seeking to play off our collective compassion to see how low they can go.

When DeSantis defends the Disney decision he seems to have a heart of gold. He continues to stand by that idea by speaking the language of the Walt Disney Company and Disney research. If you look at the language a company uses to justify why it should be granted immunity from lawsuits, it always says, ‘I seek to effect good and lasting changes in the world.’

That didn’t stop Rep. DeSantis from being castigated for sounding like a modern day Disney villain.

When I was engaged in diplomacy with China to cut down on North Korea’s nuclear program and win further economic concessions, one of my well-known Chinese friends summed it up: “Did you ever see a better deal for China?”

The fact that China brought us to the table, and since then has done more than any other country to actually end the dangerous nuclear threat on its doorstep made for a much better deal for China than one that was defined by shaming me and the rest of the world into surrendering.

Here’s the catch on my old colleague: The “War on Christmas” isn’t the worst thing that’s happened since President Trump was elected. Rather, this is the latest unhinged, over-the-top attempt by someone so far removed from reality she can no longer be considered a diplomat, but rather a cartoon villain acting for the short-term gain of hurtful headlines.

In the end, DeSantis doesn’t want to be a press secretary anymore — he wants to be an international bad guy.

In diplomacy you build relationships over time, if you’re committed to doing the job. DeSantis hasn’t even had that chance.

There are adults in the room, so my advice to DeSantis is to continue being gracious to U.S. Ambassador to China Terry Branstad and other wise men who have a different view of international relations.

America’s people want to deal with the world as a partnership, not a brawl.

For most of them, trade wars are worse than nuclear threats.

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