A resolution we need to make

As television and newspapers begin to review the biggest stories of 2017, one theme seems to keep repeating itself — man’s inhumanity to man.

Whether it was white supremacists marching in Charlottesville, the slaughter of innocent children in Syria, terrorist attacks everywhere, the persecution of the Rohingya in Myanmar, or the continuation of human trafficking throughout the world, it was a bad year for the species Homo sapiens.

That list in the above paragraph does not even include the scores of incidents of bullying that made news in 2017.

In the past, Western democracies have publicly proclaimed that one of our goals is to promote peace AND freedom throughout the world. At times, we have failed spectacularly at that goal, but we have repeatedly maintained that in a perfect world, all people would be free.

Now, though, we seem to be retreating from that stance. As we turn from globalists to nationalists, it almost seems that our new posture is that all forms of government are acceptable — that brutal dictatorships should garner the same respect from us as a democracy.

That is the danger of focusing so much inward. It is — or should be — our business that the slave trade is beginning to flourish again in parts of Africa and Asia. If we stand idly by and tolerate the debasement of human life elsewhere, it is only natural we will value it less even in our country.

Certainly for the last century the United States and its allies have been beacons of hope for the oppressed, and we have maintained that our way of life should be the goal of the world. We may not be able to be the world’s policeman, but we should be its shining example.

We hope the current administration will re-establish and strengthen the ties to our Western allies. And that, together, we will restate and resolve a commitment to freedom for the oppressed and support for the underdog.

We cannot sit idly by and watch dictators gas their citizens. We can’t pretend the slave trade does not exist. We cannot tolerate bullies — either in schools or as heads of state.

In short, it is time to resolve to be a beacon of hope once again.

* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.