What were they thinking?
The recent vote in the U.S. Senate against a UN Convention is the latest example of the far-right ruining the Republican Party. The UN Convention on the Rights of Disabled People is based on the Americans with Disabilities Act, which had bipartisan support when it was passed by Congress in 1990. It protects the rights of individuals regardless of their physical conditions.
The UN Convention, signed so far by more than 125 countries, has the same objectives. There is no conceivable reason to reject the UN initiative. To argue that it impinges on U.S. sovereignty is nonsense.
This would have less impact, if any, on U.S. sovereignty than many other pacts, agreements and treaties that the U.S. has signed over the years. There is nothing in it that imposes on the U.S. what is not already covered by the ADA.
Other arguments against it were: it was a way to force Americans to adopt laws to accept abortion rights and the rights of homosexuals; and, that it demands the complete disarmament of its people. The UN Convention has nothing to do with these issues.
The UN resolution was endorsed by Sen. John McCain, and some other Senate Republicans. Former senator Bob Dole, who sponsored the ADA, urged Senate passage.
We look foolish in the world. We set the standard for such protection of individuals with disabilities and now we reject a worldwide convention that endorses our standards.
But this outlandish behavior is just a recent example of the far right wing of the Republican Party doing or saying incomprehensible things.
When are the moderates, or less stringent Republicans, going to get some courage and stand up to the extremists? Can reason start to bring the party back to where many Americans can again support it? It currently acts like a circular firing squad.
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