The Chronicle of Higher Education has an interesting piece by Christopher Phelps, professor of history at
Perhaps we should extend the Fulbright program to Congress. Most senators and representatives have never traveled outside the
(…) It was not immaterial that Senator Fulbright was a former Rhodes scholar and president of the University of Arkansas, but Congress's motivation [for the creation the Fulbright program] in 1946-47 was neither cerebral nor pacifist. It was to win the cold war. "We have intellectuals," the Fulbright program said. "
Fulbrighters handle the position of cultural ambassador in various ways. Some treat it as a holiday. Others hesitate to dissent from American policy while abroad. I have taken the approach that the Fulbright is a call to public service, and that the democratic interest is best upheld by free expression.
(...) That kind of independent judgment [=reference to Senator Fulbright] is worthy of emulation at a time when some would once again conflate dissent and treason.