The Right Way to Talk About Rights

Daniel Oliver, First Things

Universal Declaration of Human Rights Day commemorates the day in 1948 that the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Recently, the Trump administration has been giving some thought to that declaration. In July, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo created the Commission on Unalienable Rights in the Department of State—and not a moment too soon. Many are confused about human rights today. There has been an explosion in the number of “rights” claims worldwide. Secretary Pompeo’s commission should provide a better guide than the U.N.'s—a guide steeped in the American tradition, which is the world’s best hope.