Human rights need renewed emphasis

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

If you could list all the key policy issues that went ignored by the Trump administration, you could say that human rights was arguably the most critical unattended issue of them all.

You see, Donald Trump once called North Korean murderer/despot/tyrant Kim Jong Un a “smart cookie” and professed to “falling in love” with the Marxist madman. Trump’s fealty to Russian strongman Vladimir Putin has been chronicled on this blog countless times. Indeed, he has given a pass to the conduct of despots all around the world, from Saudi Arabia to Turkey to the Philippines.

So … with Joe Biden and Kamala Harris set to take office in four days it is good insist that they return human rights advocacy to the top of their agenda.

President-elect Biden has heralded the return of the United States to the family of nations, by re-engaging in international treaties and pacts to stem climate change, to fight international pandemics and to prevent rogue nations — such as Iran — from obtaining nuclear weapons.

It is imperative that as president, Biden insists that all nations work toward adhering to basic principles of decency and humanity when governing their own citizens.

Donald Trump never spoke to the nation about those issues in a forthright and authentic manner. He was too busy taking undeserved credit for matters that had nothing at all to do with advancing human rights abroad, let alone at home.

Human rights has been the linchpin of many previous presidential administrations. It is time to restore the issue to the place of prominence at the White House … where it belongs.

Joe Biden has pledged to restore our national “soul.” He contended during the campaign that Trump had inflicted heavy damage on our image abroad, if not at home as well. The quest for adhering to human rights issues should become paramount as part of President Biden’s soul-restoration project.

The first place he can start is by ending the coddling of murderous dictators that infected Donald Trump’s foreign policy.

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