Tweeting Diplomacy

tweet1How much has the world of politics changed since social media took on traditional mass media? The modus operandi for communication by most politicians is via an official channel that is highly controlled by a team of professional script writers and spokesmen. Every word is scrutinised for political correctness. It’s pure political masquerade. They call that ensuring “political correctness”. In essence, the official words of political leaders may or may not be his words. They are words written for him by professionals and could be dictated by powers that are beyond him. But things are beginning to change. 

Philippines President Duterte is notorious for speaking “his mind” without reservation and concerns for political correctness. His unfiltered statements made on the world stage had raised many eyebrows. They were often times worse than political incorrectness. They can be rude, outrageous and outright offensive – almost tantamount to profanities. On a positive note, he makes no pretension in what he says.  There is no peppering of words to obfuscate his real intent. Is this good or bad for international diplomacy is another question.

Some Duterte’s Quotes

“I was separated from my wife. I’m not impotent. What am I supposed to do? Let this hang forever? When I take Viagra, it stands up.” (BBC.com)

“It’s good I didn’t join the priesthood or else now I would be a homosexual.” (news.com.au)

Duterte may be a case of extremes. You either hate him or like him. But he has certainly brought about a new chapter in how we expect politicians to behave in public. He removed the curtain (the official communication channel) that separates political leaders from the masses. His undignified messages are raw and without political finesse. Duterte is not alone. President-elect Trump created a new norm by bypassing official script-writers using “tweeting”. Like Duterte, the tweeting Trump shoots from his hips without interference from his aides (as of now).

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On 6th January 2017, Former Mexican President Vicente Fox Quesada joined the tweeting party and tweeted the following message to the President-elect:

“TRUMP, when will you understand that I am not paying for that ****** wall. Be clear with US tax payers. They will pay for it.” (truenews.com)

 

Would Trump be continuing with his tweeting habit or will he eventually succumbed to sacrosanct political etiquette? Time will tell. At least he won’t be tweeting from @realDonaldTrump anymore. The real Trump will inherit the Presidential Twitter account @POTUS. You can be sure that this will be the real Trump without the “real” prefix after he takes office.


2 Timothy 4:3

For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine.Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.


 

 

 

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