In an attempt to improve relations with authoritarian states, President Obama has avoided association with traditional human-rights defenders, and Secretary of State Clinton openly downplayed the role of human rights in discussions with China, writes Jacob Mchangama in the National Review.
Human rights are not only threatened when they are systematically violated. They are being undermined by democracies, often in the name of tolerance and equality. We are witnessing rights inflation in the West, as ever more entitlements are referred to as human rights. This dissociation from the original human rights concept is undermining the very principle of rights as a protection against tyranny. We are also seeing the erosion of belief in these fundamental principles. Secretary of State Clinton openly downplayed the role of human rights in bilateral discussions with China in 2009, saying that jobs were important, too, writes Jacob Mchangama in the National Review.