The diplomatic practises of Donald John Trump, the President of the United States of America (POTUS), surely deserves attention. During his revolutionary election campaign, the world has witnessed some extra ordinary strategies. Those, who believed it was only to attract voters, remain in shock seeing the diplomatic practices of the new president.
Inexperienced politician Donald Trump has begun his presidency by taking unexpected steps, many of which undermined or ignored existing diplomatic protocols and traditions. For example, taking phone call from the president of Taiwan which had bad impact on relationship of United States (US) with China. Within very short period of Trump’s presidency his undiplomatic skills also jeopardized relationships with other world leaders, such as President of Mexico Peña Nieto because of the argument over the cost of wall which Trump plans to build on the US – Mexican border. Sweden government was not happy about Trump’s fake news about terrorist attack in Sweden. There was also an argument with ‘Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull over agreement with Obama administration to resettle refugees from camp in Australia’ (Palmeri et al., 2017), and many other diplomatic faux-pas. Morocco World News published: ‘Critics of Trump are accusing him of causing international chaos’ (Morocco World News, 2017).
President Trump simply goes around, does and says whatever comes to his mind and ignores any diplomatic protocols, etiquette and a deals between countries which were outcome of often long term negotiations. The question comes into minds of commentators and diplomacy scholars – Is this lack of experiences or is it Trump’s planned diplomatic strategy? Whatever it is, it catches attention of wide public all around the world.
CNN News wrote: ‘President Donald Trump is quickly becoming the world’s most undiplomatic and unpredictable diplomat’ (Collinson, 2017).
The whole world keeps their eyes on president’s Twitter account. His ‘Tweets’ have fascinating effect world-wide. In this instance, fascinating does not necessarily mean a positive effect. But, with no doubts, the ‘Tweets’ of POTUS are attention catchers. The fact that head of state uses Twitter is not unique. However, it was never used for practising diplomatic relations on this huge scale yet. Donald Trump is the first high politician who uses ‘Twiplomacy’ as main source of communication with wide public, with media and with leaders all around world. The reaction is extremist, it induces either hysterical support, emotional response or serious contempt.
President Trump uses two official Twitter accounts, which are followed in sum by 42 million Twitter users (Twitter, 2017a; Twitter, 2017b). One of his account – @POTUS seems to be officially under control of White House and is run in professional and ordinary way. In the other hand, account @realDonaldTrump is fully directed by President Trump. This is extraordinary fact, the state leader (in this case the most powerful leader in the world) expresses is very own rare opinions without professional advisor, and via unsecured private mobile phone. Social media have never been used by public figure in such a way.
‘Trump has succeeded in large part because he’s retained his vulgar vigor and translated it into the political arena’ (Hess, 2016).
Both supporters and opponents respect (in their own way) Trump’s social media strategy. His ‘Tweets’ usually come out very late night or early morning to ensure it will be ready for discussion in the morning news. He uses Twitter as a main communication tool with the rest of the world, because it is the fastest and the easiest way to reach millions of people and to get immediate reaction. Furthermore, it is way to turn attention of these people to the issues he wants to. Trump is able to turn a 140-character message into powerful tool of political promotion. Digital diplomacy is very recent phenomena and Trump is already showing us revolution in this new trend.
Whether Trump’s action can be called diplomacy leads to the discussion about what defines diplomacy. It is obvious that Donald Trump is not a fan of traditions and simply follows his own way. Diplomacy was built up on traditions, rules and protocols. Trump is freely breaching all adapted procedures and creates novel diplomatic practise on his way to ‘make America great again’. According to CNN, ‘Foreign leaders are learning valuable lessons about dealing with Trump and his administration for the future’ (CNN in Morocco World News, 2017). Considering that president of the super-powerful United States of America cannot be ignored and left out of the talks and debates, leaders will have to find the way how to deal with Trump and his unconventional diplomatic practise. Perhaps, this means that Trump has introduced the new style of diplomacy – Trumplomacy.
It will be very interesting to watch the progress, whether diplomatic sphere will finally rule President Trump or Trump will command the world of diplomacy. Is Trumplomacy together with Trump’s strong personality able to deal with the international affairs, such as issues in Israel and conflict in Syria, or to handle sensitive relationship with Iran?
Barbaro, M. (2017). Pithy, Mean and Powerful: How Donald Trump Mastered Twitter for 2016. [online] Nytimes.com. Available at: https://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/06/us/politics/donald-trump-twitter-use-campaign-2016.html?_r=1 [Accessed 10 Mar. 2017].
CNN. (2017). CNN – Breaking News, U.S., World, Weather, Entertainment & Video News in Morocco World News (2017). Trump’s Diplomacy: How Diplomatic is it?. [online] Morocco World News. Available at: https://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2017/02/207474/donald-trumps-diplomacy-how-diplomatic-is-it/ [Accessed 9 Mar. 2017].
Collinson, S. (2017). Donald Trump’s undiplomatic diplomacy. CNN. [online] Available at: http://edition.cnn.com/2017/02/03/politics/donald-trump-diplomacy/index.html [Accessed 27 Feb. 2017].
Hess, A. (2016). Everyone knows trump is the best on social media. Here’s why. [online] Available at: http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/future_tense/2016/02/donald_trump_is_the_best_at_twitter_here_s_why.html [Accessed 6 Mar. 2017].
Morocco World News (2017). Trump’s Diplomacy: How Diplomatic is it?. [online] Morocco World News. Available at: https://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2017/02/207474/donald-trumps-diplomacy-how-diplomatic-is-it/ [Accessed 9 Mar. 2017].
Palmeri, T., Vogel, K., Dawsey, J. and Toosi, N. (2017). Trump’s faux-pas diplomacy. [online] POLITICO. Available at: http://www.politico.com/story/2017/02/trump-foreign-leaders-phone-calls-234770 [Accessed 9 Mar. 2017].
Twitter (2017c). Diplomacy World. [online] Available at: https://twitter.com/DiplomacyWorld1 [Accessed 9 Mar. 2017].
Twitter (2017a). Donald J. Trump. [online] Available at: https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump [Accessed 6 Mar. 2017].
Twitter (2017b). President Trump. [online] Available at: https://twitter.com/POTUS [Accessed 6 Mar. 2017].
Twitter (2017c). Twiplomacy 🌐 on Twitter. [online] Available at: https://twitter.com/twiplomacy/status/805116053353271296?refsrc=email&s=11 [Accessed 9 Mar. 2017].