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Pompeo Takes On the Politicization of Human Rights
A monitor displays the words Commission on Unalienable Rights behind Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as he speaks during a news conference at the State Department in Washington,DC on July 15, 2020.
Photo by ANDREW HARNIK/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Pompeo Takes On the Politicization of Human Rights

Walter Russell Mead

The Twitter mobs aren’t going to like the Commission on Unalienable Rights’ report, which the State Department released Thursday. The commission, chaired by longtime Harvard legal scholar Mary Ann Glendon, contradicts virtually every element of the new political orthodoxy.

To say, as the commission does, that property rights are a necessary basis for any meaningful concept of human rights is to break so many taboos that one hardly knows where to start. To claim in addition that religious liberty is among the foremost of human rights, that America’s founding was the most significant event in the history of human rights, and that national sovereignty is human rights’ most important defender is, for many human-rights activists, the worst kind of blasphemous trumpery.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who convened the commission and asked his former professor to lead it, doubled down on the combative and incendiary nature of the report. “Our rights tradition is under assault,” he said Thursday. “The New York Times’s ‘1619 Project’ . . . wants you to believe that our country was founded for human bondage.”

Read the full article in the Wall Street Journal

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