Policies work best when they are fair, consistent, and well implemented. Politics work best when they are representative and support effective policy. Principles work best when they are applied to both policy and politics to ensure just outcomes. But when these three interface, we often have tensions and challenges. That has especially been the case in the recent decisions of the Trump Administration relating to separating children from adults crossing the border and also in the recent decision to withdraw from the U.N. Human Rights Council. The following provides some perspective on each of these decisions in light of recent policy, political, and principle challenges.
We held hands as we sat on our couch in the suburbs of California. Our jaws were slack, tears raining down our cheeks by the conclusion of the news report, which explained the sale of little girls in Svay Pak, Cambodia to men who raped and tortured them. My wife turned off the television and looked at me. “Did you have any idea when we were walking the streets of Phnom Penh last week that this was going on?” she asked. “No,” I answered. “But now that we know the truth, we have to go back. We have to do something.” That was 8 years ago and my wife, Bridget, and I have lived in Cambodia ever since.