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  • Senator Kerry's Fallacious Emotional Appeal for a U.N. Treaty

    When the facts and law are not in one’s favor, there is a natural temptation to appeal to the emotions of your target audience in order to win an argument. This is referred to as argumentum ad passiones—an attempt to manipulate an audience’s emotions by pulling on their heartstrings in order to bring them to your side.

    Such is the case with Senator John Kerry’s (D–MA) appeal in today’s Huffington Post in support of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), an international human rights treaty that is scheduled for an up-or-down vote tomorrow at noon.

    Senator Kerry knows well that U.S. membership in CRPD will do nothing to advance the rights of Americans who suffer from disabilities. Indeed, in the materials accompanying the Administration’s transmittal of the treaty to the Senate, President Obama states that the rights outlined in the CRPD are already enjoyed by American citizens and that “existing U.S. law [is] consistent with and sufficient to implement the requirements of the Convention.”

    If ratification of the treaty would have no effect on the rights of Americans with disabilities, what’s left, other than an appeal to raw emotion? Shrugging off the notion that ratification would enable a committee of “international disability experts” in Geneva to erode American sovereignty, Senator Kerry emotes:

    That’s a threat to our sovereignty? That’s a price too high to pay to make sure that when American combat veterans who left their legs on a battlefield travel overseas, there’s a ramp in front of the building so they can enter and exit or use a bathroom? You tell those veterans that a committee’s advice is sufficient reason to deny them dignity and respect when they travel overseas.

    So let’s get this straight:

    1. The United States should ratify a treaty that will not improve the rights of disabled Americans whatsoever;
    2. Ratification will somehow inspire a hypothetical foreign country to also ratify the treaty;
    3. Such ratification will further inspire that foreign country to fully comply with the treaty;
    4. A disabled American veteran can hypothetically travel to that foreign nation at some point in the future and benefit from accessible restrooms?

    Such attenuated premises and conclusions strain credulity, which is exactly why Senator Kerry must rely on raw emotion to make his point.

    To be clear, U.S. membership in CRPD would not advance U.S. national interests either at home or abroad. The rights of Americans with disabilities are well protected under existing U.S. law and are enforced by a wide range of state and federal agencies. Joining CRPD merely opens the door for foreign “experts” to interfere in U.S. policymaking in violation of the principles of American sovereignty.

    Senator Kerry’s support for CRPD should come as no surprise, since he apparently hasn’t met a treaty that he doesn’t like. From the New START nuclear arms reduction treaty to the Law of the Sea Treaty, rarely has the Senator from Massachusetts concluded that a treaty does not advance U.S. national interests.

    The United States should continue to lead by the example it has set for protecting the rights of Americans with disabilities through comprehensive legislation and enforcement—and leave emotion out of it.

    Posted in Featured [slideshow_deploy]

    12 Responses to Senator Kerry's Fallacious Emotional Appeal for a U.N. Treaty

    1. Disappointed reader says:

      Whereas appealing to people's paranoid fears of a UN takeover? That's not about appealing to emotions at all! Good think that Heritage and their friends, like Senator Mike Lee, would never do such a thing.

    2. J. Atkins says:

      I believe that we should not make treaties with the United Nations. I strongly feel we should not endanger America's sovereignty. I feel America can and should take care of our veterans. They have fought and sacrificed for America. They deserve the best of help and care and of our appreciation and respect. This is America's job – not the U.N.

    3. Roystoll2 says:

      The United States of America is a sovereign country and thus immune to foreign intervention in our laws and customs. This is just one more incursion into that sovereignty to undermine our government and move it to a one world government. Our Republican form of government is obviously under attack from within and somebody needs to step up and fin a way to reverse it.

    4. Susan Fitzmaurice says:

      Yes, and my rights as a disabled American will not be upheld when I travel abroad. I cannot expect my basic accessibility needs or my human rights to be upheld. The Republican party has proven yet again that they care nothing for me and US citizens with disabilities. The vote today just proves that the disability vote in America will always be Democratic. Obama won in part because Republicans don't care about 1/5 of the American citizens- those with disabilities.

      • Mike, Wichita Falls says:

        The diasability vote, like that of all other "victim" groups, will always go Democrat not because the party cares but because they want the votes and the power. Goodies for votes, wealth redistribution away from political enemies and to political allies.

        Whatever happened to people relying on themselves, their family, their neighbors and an insurance policy for help with their disability? Am I being too insensitive?

    5. Tomtom says:

      Kerry should have no say concerning our Military. He proved himself a liar and a traitor (another Jane Fonda)
      He slandered our Military men when he lied to congress and threw away his self appointed medals!!!!!!

    6. MerMs says:

      The treaty is important to people with disabilities. Many other countries have already sign on to the treaty and are working to improve the accessibility in their country. Many countries look to the US for leadership, the republicans in the Senate just said to the world that they don't want to be a leader in disability rights.

    7. tracey says:

      how do you find out if they voted on this today and what was the outcome?

    8. danc770 says:

      The UN is an anti- American entity that was established to take away our Freedom. We pay for the UN which has never appreciated anything he United Sates has done, FOR any of the other members in it. The are nothing short of Moochers who receive money from the United States Tax payers for nothing! They do nothing positive. The United States needs to leave the UN and tell them to take a Hike!

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