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By jimjam
Hindsite wrote:It is called presidential diplomacy.


Despite the headlines, Trump's personal meetings with foreign leaders is quite common; it's the way he goes about them that breaks with tradition.

Not until Franklin D. Roosevelt did personal diplomacy become increasingly common in the presidency. Technological advancements in communication and travel, America's rise to global preeminence, the growth of presidential power, and increasing domestic incentives made the practice appear attractive and often necessary to White House occupants.

Professional diplomats are generally better informed than political leaders on international issues. But history provides us with many examples of the value of leader-to-leader diplomacy. Roosevelt's connection with British Prime Minister Winston Churchill played a central role in the Allied victory during World War II. The bond between Jimmy Carter and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat was crucial to Egyptian-Israeli peace. And Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev's relationship was key to the end of the Cold War.

Presidents themselves have recognized the importance of leader-to-leader diplomacy. George W. Bush wrote in his memoir: "I placed a high priority on personal diplomacy. Getting to know a fellow world leader's personality, character, and concerns made it easier to find common ground and deal with contentious issues."

One of the most striking things about Trump's personal diplomacy is his praise of dictators. While past American presidents also sought to form personal bonds with unsavory leaders, none so publicly embraced and praised brutal authoritarians such as Kim, Putin, and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman as Trump has done.

Trump also differs from past presidents by appearing indifferent to the risks of personal diplomacy. "You have nothing to lose and you have a lot to gain," he said.

Personal diplomacy is a tool presidents use to advance American interests. While disagreement is a natural part of international politics, he often views it as a personal affront. Before he fell in "love" with Kim, he called the North Korean dictator a "madman" and mocked his height and weight.

Trump has even attacked allied leaders. When Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stated his country wouldn't be pushed around, the president felt betrayed and lashed out, calling Trudeau "very dishonest and weak."

Leader-to-leader diplomacy is inherently personal. But presidents are best served when they don't take it too personally. ... -diplomacy

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