Blinken Wrong about His Predecessor's Rights

April 1, 2021

The State Department launched its 45th human rights report Tuesday -- but after Secretary Antony Blinken's latest comments, no one is quite sure what "rights" we're actually talking about. Under Biden, the administration has been pretty clear that they aren't interested in the Constitution's definitions or even moral law. They want to go back to cloaking their social activism in "freedom." And destroying the State Department's Commission on Unalienable Rights was only step number one.

"There is no hierarchy that makes some rights more important than others," Blinken argued. "Past unbalanced statements that suggest such a hierarchy, including those offered by a recently disbanded State Department advisory committee, do not represent a guiding document for this administration. At my confirmation hearing, I promised the Biden-Harris administration would repudiate those unbalanced views. We do so decisively today."

Unbalanced? Is that what Joe Biden's administration thinks about hundreds of years of biblical, moral, and legal consensus? Former Secretary Mike Pompeo could only imagine. "It was sad to hear," he said on "Washington Watch," "that the work of the commission that I had put together [with people] from every major religion, people from across the political spectrum [had been abolished]." The whole point of that project, he said, was "understanding human rights. We are each made in the image of God and there are certain set of rights that come with that. And in the American tradition, our founders talked about that and thought an awful lot about that... but it comes back to these fundamental rights that we each have -- because, in fact, we are endowed by our Creator with them and not from some government. And now, to watch this administration declare that the government can, in fact, create rights or destroy rights, and that these are political creations, not things that are inherent in the traditions of our country and in the nature of humanity..."

After eight years of Barack Obama abusing the term "rights" and slapping that term on things like abortion or LGBT extremism, Pompeo's desire was to get back down to the bedrock of human rights, the foundation. What are those universal human rights that can't be taken away from government?

As discouraging (and expected) as this week's news from Blinken was, Pompeo pointed out that regardless, "The State Department didn't take away any of our rights yesterday. They simply repudiated the central understanding of the American tradition of human rights..." Not, that's a dangerous proposition, he said, "to suggest somehow that government can grant a set of rights for all of humanity, because we know different nations will come to different conclusions." Even inside the United States, people come to different conclusions. But no matter what the Biden administration does, "they can shelve [our report], they can deep-six it, but the work has been done. It's out there. We can use it as a guide point..." even if this State Department does not.

Look, Pompeo reminded everyone, this was inevitable. "Even before [our commission] had written its first order, held its first meeting, it was attacked by the progressive radical Left as threatening to them. I don't know what's threatening about a historical review of the foundational underpinning of the human rights tradition in the United States of America. I would have thought that [this would have been taken] seriously. It would have been welcomed by the human rights establishment. But in fact, it was not."

And why not? Because they have their favorite causes and priorities that they want to reward that are deeply disconnected from the central understandings of the United States of America. "You talk about reproductive rights. There was no administration in history that supported women's health the way that ours did. And there was no administration in history that protected the rights of the unborn with the same seriousness." This administration is headed down a completely different path. "They're clearing the deck so they can advance their priorities, which are not rooted in fundamental freedoms and fundamental rights."

At the end of the day, it's disheartening. But Mike's message to Americans who care about these deeply-held beliefs and freedoms is: don't be discouraged. "I think Churchill had it right in the end. When we've exhausted all the other possibilities, the United States gets it right. And I am I am confident that faith leaders across the world, faith leaders all across America, will return our nation to the fundamental understandings that our founders had. And these ideas of protection of the unborn, these ideas about religious freedom, the central understanding of human beings being created in the image of God, and therefore having these inherent rights, [will be] central to the way we think about our country. We will prevail. We will be successful in the United States, will continue to be the most exceptional nation in the history of civilization."