Wooing The World With Karaoke: “Soft power diplomacy, baby!”


Let’s face it, politics and fun tend to go together about as well as alligators and puppies; they just don’t mix well. US Ambassador Kirk Wagner is trying desperately to change that through “Soft power” in his post as ambassador to Singapore, and he thinks Karaoke may be the key!

Soft power” is a term coined by American political scientist Joseph Nye to describe the extension of US influence through the lure of American culture, values, or policies as opposed to hard-line diplomatic tactics or even force. Ambassador Wagner’s version of this approach incorporates some downtime with karaoke, which has certainly become a part of our American culture.

US Ambassador Kirk Wagner (right) enjoying some "soft power" downtime

US Ambassador Kirk Wagner (right) enjoying some “soft power” downtime: photo courtesy of the Washington Post

“Soft power diplomacy, baby!” Wagner posted on his Facebook page according to the Washington Post. He also apparently uploaded a picture of himself on stage with mic in-hand doing karaoke in a Singapore night club, though I have yet to find said pic.

“Learned something new today,” Wagner’s status update read. “Singapore had never seen an Ambassador from the United States do karaoke. I have rectified that situation. I hope it’s a good thing …”

We all do, sir. We all do. 🙂