U.S. Effort to ‘Nationalize’ Human Rights Undermines Them at Home and Abroad
from The Internationalist and International Institutions and Global Governance Program

U.S. Effort to ‘Nationalize’ Human Rights Undermines Them at Home and Abroad

The draft report of the U.S. Commission on Unalienable Rights provides a gift to despotic regimes and reveals the Trump administration’s hypocritical human rights policy.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks at the National Constitution Center about the Commission on Unalienable Rights in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on July 16, 2020.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks at the National Constitution Center about the Commission on Unalienable Rights in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on July 16, 2020. Brendan Smialowski/Pool via REUTERS

In my weekly column for World Politics Review, I examine the flaws in the draft report of the U.S. Commission on Unalienable Rights.

How can you square the doctrine of “America First” with the promotion of human rights? It’s a question that has bedeviled the Trump administration since it first took office. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo provided his own answer on July 16, when he unveiled the much-anticipated draft report of the U.S. Commission on Unalienable Rights.

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In a strident and tendentious speech at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, Pompeo attacked the “proliferation” of “new rights” claims to cover an ever-expanding set of groups and issues, saying it was time to get back to basics. Henceforth, U.S. human rights policy should be grounded in the limited conception of rights outlined in America’s founding documents. Pompeo’s misguided effort to nationalize U.S. human rights policy, if successful, would undermine the cause of freedom, equality and justice both at home and abroad.

Read the full World Politics Review article here.

More on:

Human Rights

Political History and Theory

Civil Society

Authoritarianism

Civil Liberties