Readers write about the GOP losing young Republicans, how the US can walk its talk on human rights, and why US policies toward Cuba should be relaxed.
GOP's 'social conservatism' alienates young Republicans
In regard to the Dec. 17 article, "Young Republicans seek a new kind of party": I voted Republican in 1996, 2000, and 2004, but not in 2008, because I was finally fed up with the ever-increasing influence of the religious right on the Republican Party – especially on issues such as abortion, stem-cell research, and gay marriage.
If the GOP returned to affirming individual rights, limited government, and fiscal responsibility, then I would be glad to support it again.
But as long as they support the toxic "social conservative" agenda of the religious right, then they will continue to alienate many young and independent voters and lose elections. And deservedly so.
How US can join UN rights group
Regarding the Dec. 10 Opinion piece, "Obama's moment on human rights": When I read this commentary, I was both surprised and concerned. The author, Iain Guest, suggests that a good way for the United States to reengage with the United Nations is to "join the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva."
This surprised me, because a member-state cannot simply "join" this United Nations body. It is not a matter of deciding to "appoint a delegate with a proven commitment to human rights." The countries represented on the Council are elected by the General Assembly, and there is competition for the seats.
The United States can, however, stand for election to the Human Rights Council in May of 2009, and I do heartily agree with Mr. Guest that this would be a good thing to do.
I was also concerned, because this missing piece of information allows the reader to be led down a path of proposals that seem to envision the United States, once again, throwing its weight around.