Television and film are probably the most influential American instruments of soft power today, but somehow this obvious fact seems to elude Mitt Romney. But don't take my word for it (insert Levar Burton voice)--Joseph Nye, the originator of the soft power concept, seems to agree:
"Sesame Street is a great example of American soft power. It attracts others to us, and costs very little. It is interesting that Romney singled out that program for cutting, since his book has a page or two on the importance of American soft power. Maybe he forgot?"
Maybe he did forget the frightening "math" involved in such an argument about our budget and whatever he believes China will be paying for in our future. He probably also forgot that this children's program airs in more than 150 countries. That is priceless but extremely cost effective--a near perfect example of soft power and influence.
Such a simple equation. The thing is, Romney could probably prevent future gaffes (recall his recent Europe trip) this month by simply reviewing some of Nye's books before election day. Heck, he should review them just for his own business career regardless of the election. Too bad he probably won't.