[UPDATE AT END]
One of the fascinating, though disturbing, aspects of our mega-hypocritical culture (the word hypocrisy is no longer sufficient), augmented by an equally mega-biased media, is that you have to look extremely closely to understand what is actually happening—for example, who is really supporting human rights and who is not.
Obama, as most will recall, wasn’t particularly concerned with applying such a concept to the Iran deal. He was even less interested in supporting the democracy demonstrators in that country in their fight for freedom during which many were jailed, injured, tortured and/or killed—one of the more shameful moments in American history.
But along comes the putatively racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic, transphobic, ageist, ableist (have I missed anything?) Donald Trump and the reverse is true. First, he nominates Ric Grenell—an extraordinary man I have known for roughly a decade, who makes no attempt whatsoever to hide his gayness—to the most important ambassadorial post in Europe: Germany. Then Mr. Grenell proceeds to do many things ambassadors don’t normally do, including pressuring major German companies like Volkswagen to comply with U.S. sanctions on the mullahs. He isn’t always popular with his hosts, ruffling feathers in the sclerotic EU as well—the European record on human rights not being exceptionally attractive—but he is getting results.
He has now outdone himself. Via Benjamin Weinthal:
A Jerusalem Post report on the Iranian regime’s public hanging of a man based on an anti-gay law led to the Trump administration’s announcement on Tuesday to end the criminalization of homosexuality across the world.
The US ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell, the administration’s most high-profile openly gay official, told the Post on Tuesday that “71 countries criminalize homosexuality and eight will put you to death for being gay. The Trump Administration is launching a new push with our European allies to end this human rights outrage.”
Grenell is spearheading the international effort to stop the persecution of the LGBT community in countries that impose criminal penalties, including the death penalty, on homosexuals.
In other words, Grenell is out to save lives—a lot of them. As noted, Iran is not the only country that hangs gays. (You can see plenty of gruesome photos of this on the internet if you haven’t already.) Saudi Arabia, Yemen (Pelosi’s favorite), Qatar, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the UAE also impose capital punishment on same-sex relations. I don’t know the fate of gays from the other sixty-some of the 71 countries, but I imagine it isn’t pretty.
Ironically, in the era of the pathetic Jussie Smollett (a man few of us had heard of before this week), not to mention posturing from the jejune Cory Booker, etc., it is the Trump administration that is actually doing something concrete for gays, something that neither Obama nor Clinton (nor any of the growing number of current Democratic candidates, for that matter) even mentioned, let alone attempted.
See what I mean about finding a new word for hypocrisy?
Anyway, my friend Ric (I am proud to say that), who was on multiple occasions over a number of years the communications director for several of our UN ambassadors (including Bolton), is being floated to replace Nikki Haley now that Heather Nauert has taken herself out of the running. I am of two minds about this. At this juncture, it may be that ambassador to powerful Germany is a more important position than ambassador to the basically ineffectual UN. Germany is the troublemaker still making deals with Iran and Russia. (I’m confused. Isn’t Trump supposed to be Putin’s lackey? Oh, wait.) For the sake of all of us, it might be better to keep Grenell in Europe.
But whatever the case, Ric Grenell is one of the few public servants I know of with the guts and moral fiber we so desperately need, and almost never have, in key leadership positions. Dare I say—well, I guess I already did in the headline—that he should be considered somewhere down the line for our first openly gay president?
UPDATE: I notice in the comments some think I am playing identity politics, which I normally abhor. I take their point to some extent, but, to be clear, I would support Ric Grenell for high office whatever his sexual preference, based on his character and policies, which are ultimately what interest me. In a sense, I was trying to “trigger” the left by playing their identity politics back to them, because it is so hypocritical. If that point wasn’t clear, I apologize. As for those who condemn homosexuality in general, I have nothing to say but that I adamantly disagree.
Roger L. Simon—co-founder and CEO Emeritus of PJ Media—is a prize-winning novelist and an Academy Award-nominated screenwriter. He is also, regrettably, white and cisgendered, which means he may be basically finished. He is desperately trying to finish his last novel before this is so.