The Atlantic

'Human Rights Are Largely Irrelevant to the Emerging Trump Doctrine'

The president’s Asia tour reveals just how little such ideals factor into his vision.
Source: Jonathan Ernst / Reuters

Donald Trump is the first president in modern history who barely pays lip service to the promotion of universal human rights. On his grand tour of Asia, he stopped in Vietnam, where he failed to press the regime on what Human Rights Watch a “dire” lack of individual freedoms. Senator John McCain : “@POTUS in #Danang & no mention of human rights - Sad.” Instead, Trump prioritized trade and lauded the Vietnamese president for doing “an outstanding job.” Then Trump was off to Manila, where Rodrigo Duterte, the president of the Philippines, is accused of fighting the drug trade through a campaign of extrajudicial killings. Trump claimed he had a “great relationship” with Duterte, and a Philippine spokesman, never mentioned human rights at all.

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The Atlantic

The Atlantic9 min readPolitics
Don’t Use These Free Speech Arguments Ever Again
Most speech, hateful or not, is protected by the Constitution. To pretend otherwise is foolhardy.
The Atlantic3 min readPolitics
Emmanuel Macron Expounds as the World Burns
It was a perfect late-summer evening when President Emmanuel Macron—tanned and super-energized in a dark-blue suit and crisp white shirt—held forth before the Elysée press corps on matters of international import. Posh Paris was largely out of town.
The Atlantic9 min readPolitics
Abolishing the Filibuster Is Unavoidable for Democrats
Even if the party sweeps Congress and the White House in 2020, the Senate rule would let a faction of the reddest, whitest states stymie its agenda.