|Don't blame me; I just work here.|
The death penalty is legal in over half the states in this country, thirty-one of the fifty.
The United States is not as bad as the serious killer countries. China kills way more prisoners than anybody else. We don’t know how many because they keep the number a state secret. Freedom of information hasn’t caught on in the Middle Kingdom. Followed by the Islamic righteousness bunch – Iran, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Pakistan and Egypt, in that order. That was in 2016. In 2015 fifth place in that list went to the United States instead of Pakistan.
Given America’s willingness to go to war, it should come as no surprise that it finds itself among the nations that fail to hold human life sacred. All Western European nations have eliminated the death penalty, as have Canada, Australia, Mexico, South Africa, and much of Latin America. But not the United States. What does come as a surprise, at least to me, is the extent to which the United States will go to defend their right to take human life.
The United Nations Human Rights Council just passed a resolution condemning nations which take the lives of gay people for being gay. Twenty-seven nations supported the resolution. The United States did not. Not our business, says the US, if you kill your gay people.
How low we’ve sunk since that unforgettable day, December 6, 2011, when Hillary Clinton addressed the UN in Geneva on the topic of human rights for gay people. I’m not a Hillary fan, but I will never forget what she did on that day as Obama's Secretary of State. Just thinking back on it brings tears of pride and joy to the eyes.
And now we get – “No skin off my nose!”
It bothered me when I read the news this morning. The gay press is howling, as you might imagine. But most press reports give the statistics only - 27 in favor, 13 against, 7 abstentions. Most fail to give any explanation for why, other than that Trump is a nasty piece of work, the U.S. not only failed to abstain but actually voted against the resolution. You have to dig a bit before you realize what’s going on. I figured it out when I noticed that Japan, too, voted no. Japan is another country that doesn’t want to criticize anybody for having the death penalty for fear their action might come back and bite them in the ass for being hypocritical.
So there you have it, folks. We demand the right as a nation these days to kill bad guys when we want to. And since we know what's good for the goose is good for the gander, we're not going to step on your right to do the same - and to define bad guys any way you want to. Speaking out to save the lives of gay people around the world is no longer on our agenda.
Got to keep one’s priorities straight.