It is said that you can tell a lot about a person by the company that they keep. Going by that standard, the US’s reputation is in tatters. Take for example the issue of governments executing LGBTQ people simply for being who they are. You would think that if the UN came up with a resolution condemning such a practice and calling for its end, that would be a really easy call and the US would sign on. But no. According to Alex Emmons:
The U.N. Human Rights Council approved the measure on Friday with a 27-13 vote, with seven countries abstaining. The United States, led by Amb. Nikki Haley, voted for an amendment to the resolution that said the death penalty was not necessarily a human rights violation, and voted against amendments urging countries to stop using experimental drugs in executions.
While last week’s vote is not evidence of any significant policy change, it does show what kind of company the U.S. keeps among nations that support the death penalty. Twelve other countries joined the United States in voting against the resolution, including Egypt, which executes political dissidents, Ethiopia, which is considering the death penalty for same-sex activity, and Saudi Arabia, which, in 2015, beheaded more people than ISIS.
In the final vote, the US found itself allied with Botswana, Burundi, Egypt, Ethiopia, Bangladesh, China, India, Iraq, Japan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and UAE.
You can read the text of the resolution here.
This is not the only time that the US has voted shamefully and it is not just a Trump phenomenon.
The Trump administration’s vote is nothing new — presidents from both parties have long objected to U.N. resolutions critical of capital punishment. In December 2016, for example — in the final weeks of Obama’s presidency — the U.S. voted against a resolution urging states not to execute minors, pregnant women, and the intellectually disabled.
Why does the US vote this way? Because it retains the death penalty, one of the most barbaric forms of punishment that should been eliminated from the world a long time ago. Hence it opposes any resolution that has wording that even suggests that the death penalty as a whole should be condemned, as stated in its own weasel-worded statement explaining its vote.
This is one of those issues where it is very clear which side history is on. One day, the US will eliminate the death penalty. Then you can expect the US government to moralize to the rest of the world, especially whichever country is then considered an enemy, about how evil the practice is.