Not here to lecture

Trump gave his Talk to The Mooslims today, telling them he’s fine with the oppression of women as long as they don’t set off the odd bomb in places we Americans like to hang out.

President Trump sought to rally leaders from around the Muslim world on Sunday in a renewed campaign against extremism, rejecting the idea that the fight is a battle between religions even as he promised not to chastise them about human rights violations in their own countries.

“Go ahead! Violate all the human rights you want to at home! Just don’t do bad things to us. Do it to her, not to me.” Such a noble sentiment.

While Mr. Obama and President George W. Bush in different ways and to different degrees had promoted human rights and democracy as tactics to undercut support for radicalism, Mr. Trump made clear he did not plan to publicly pressure Muslim nations to ease their repressive policies.

Did Obama and Bush promote human rights and democracy solely as tactics to undercut support for radicalism? Did they not do so also because human rights and democracy are inherent goods?

“We are not here to lecture,” he said. “We are not here to tell other people how to live, what to do, who to be, or how to worship. Instead, we are here to offer partnership — based on shared interests and values — to pursue a better future for us all.”

But it’s not about “telling other people how to live, what to do, who to be.” It’s about protecting everyone’s rights to decide how to live, what to do, who to be. In Saudi Arabia and similar theocracies, women are not free to decide how to live, what to do, who to be. Saying that human rights should be universal is not more coercive or intrusive than saying that human rights should be exclusive to men or white men or men of the correct religion.

Of course, Trump is such a reckless fool that it may be just as well that he’s not trying to address human rights issues…but that’s just one more reason to want him gone.

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