A couple of colleagues shared this letter by Marie Royce, Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, US State Department, on social media. It was sent to participants in a small international student recruitment conference in early December in the US.
I’m not sure what they were so excited about. As I mentioned in an understated LinkedIn comment, The statements and actions of the administration she serves belie her words… As we all know, talk is cheap and, in this case, utterly worthless, since official reality firmly contradicts the warm and fuzzy talking points. Indeed, in many cases, administration statements, policy proposals and proposals are a frontal assault on this official rhetoric.
I remember writing these kinds of letters when I was a graduate assistant in the president’s office at a major state university. You know, boilerplate kind of stuff. Another day, another constituent letter. (The more interesting writing consisted of policy statements and speeches.)
I know times are tough but I have the feeling that some people are grasping at straws, looking for something, anything, that they perceive as being cause for hope. Trust me – this ain’t it. I know this dates me but it kinda reminds me of the time teachers gave good students gold stars for outstanding performance or exemplary behavior. Decades later, I still have fond memories of those gold, silver, and blue stars. A little went a long way.
Maybe Ms. Royce and Secretary Pompeo should have a sit-down with their big boss in The White House (or Mar-a-Lago) to ensure that they are all on the same rhetorical and policy page. Yeah, right. When hell freezes over.
Shalom (שלום), MAA