The fearmongers on the far right who have for decades counted on hordes of voters coming to the polls to vote against homosexuals have found they are losing traction. Hell, even Iowa is going to allow gay marriage next week. So what are they to do?
After all, without generating fear of the “other” the hatemonger can’t get alot of mileage. The tactics used to make suburban families fear the welfare queen in the Cadillac, the dark Willie Horton, the gay man and “San Francisco Values,” the Muslim. All are designed to thrive on fear of the unknown coupled with prejudice against that which is not easily recognizable or people who aren’t “like” them.
The latest “thing” making the rounds has actually been on the table for a few years, but is receiving renewed attention. Just this week I have heard it talked about on Janet Parshall’s Christian right wing rant site and Mike Huckabee’s FOX show. And of course the Culture Warrior himself, Billo, jumped all over it. They want you to think a dark international conspiracy is looking to take control of America’s children. What’s behind all the “discord?” Protecting children.
The threat to families presented by the far right blowhards is nothing less than the most widely accepted treaty in the history of the world. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, or UN CRC, was drafted in 1989 and soon thereafter ratified by most of the planet’s governments. In fact, only two countries haven’t done just that. Which two? Take a guess.
On the website www.unicef.org/crc the UN states “The Convention on the Rights of the Child is the most widely and rapidly ratified human rights treaty in history. Only two countries, Somalia and the United States, have not ratified this celebrated agreement. Somalia is currently unable to proceed to ratification as it has no recognized government. By signing the Convention, the United States has signaled its intention to ratify-but has yet to do so.”
That’s right, Somalia, home of no government and pirates, and the United States. Of course some countries have implemented the rights support for children alot more than others, but at least they went so far as to make an attempt and not hamper the movement.
Who signed it on behalf of America? Madeline Albright, under Bill Clinton’s presidency. Why hasn’t it been ratified by the United States Senate? Clinton didn’t submit it, sensing right wing ideologues would keep it from passing. Now that the balance has shifted somewhat in the Senate, the fundamentalists are afraid the treaty will be put forth for ratification. And it may well be soon, as President Obama has called the failure for the U.S. to ratify “an embarrassment,” rightly so.
As the U.S. Congress never seems to be lacking in right wing mouthpieces ready to obstruct anything moving people forward, Pete Hoekstra (R-MI) early this month put forward the so-called Parent’s Rights Amendment to yes, it’s true – amend the U.S. Constitution to protect parents from their children having rights too.
The scare site www.parentalrights.org has been set up to push the movement, even claiming that gay marriage should be an example. Stating that if an amendment to the Constitution prohibiting gay marriage would have been put forward sooner, it might have passed (presumably they mean under Reagan or the first Bush). They don’t want us to make the same “mistake” with kids (by letting them have some rights too) so they are acting now.
In reality, it;s probably just as much an attempt to keep the right wing satiated and heading to the polls in future elections as it is genuine concern. The base conservatives need focused enemies to keep them going. Sure, they still have gays and Muslims, but Iowa has gay marriage and the torture debate has exposed them even more so as anti-Arab. Time for another bogeyman to come out from under the bed.
Yes, America, it’s time to stand against conservative idiocy once again, this time on behalf of children everywhere. Funny, the right will fight to the end for embryos -but children out in the world, that’s a different story.